Today's news

April 13, 2004

Magdalen rise to the Oxbridge challenge
They may have lost the Boat Race but Oxford salvaged varsity pride last night when they defeated their ancient rivals, Cambridge, in the final of University Challenge. Magdalen College beat Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, by 190 points to 160, becoming the first institution to win the television competition three times.
( Daily Telegraph )

Shrouded in greater mystery
The Turin Shroud bears the faint image of a man's face on its back surface as well as its front, according to a scientist at the University of Padua, who digitally enhanced the only existing photographs of the Shroud's reverse side. The discovery is set to resurrect the 600-year-old controversy over one of Christianity's most venerated but disputed relics.
( Times, Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph )

Science grasps eureka moment
Neuroscientists in the United States have identified the brain region involved in the "eureka moment", when a solution to a puzzle suddenly appears from nowhere. The researchers, from Northwestern University, and Drexel University, report in the Public Library of Science journal Biology today that the moment is accompanied by a burst of telltale neural activity in the right hemisphere of the brain.
( Guardian, Times )

Professor's classical quest comes to a head
Two halves of a 2,500-year-old Greek lion's head sculpture are to be reunited after spending most of their existence apart. Former Newcastle University professor Brian Shefton spotted the connection between the university's part-sculpture and the other half owned by a Swiss collector in the 1970s. But he had to wait until today to see the pieces reunited in accordance with a bequest from Leo Mildenberg, who died in 2001.
( Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Times )

Student scam lets migrants flood into UK
Thousands of illegal immigrants are posing as students to gain entry to Britain. University application statistics reveal a dramatic increase in applications from countries identifies as problem areas.
( Daily Express )

- Ben Pimlott, warden of Goldsmith's College, London, and acclaimed scholar and biographer of Harold Wilson and the Queen, died on April 10, aged 58. (F inancial Times, Daily Telegraph, Times, Guardian , April 12)
- Gerald Kerkut, one of the most gifted neuroscientists of his time, has died aged 76. ( Independent )
- Douglas Falconer, a geneticist who conducted key research in selective breeding, died on February 23, 2004, aged 90. ( Times )

Higher education items in the Easter press
- Admissions tutors at Manchester University will be looking for medical applicants who display humility as well as having the right A levels. ( Sunday Telegraph )
- Letter from Ron McLone, director general of assessment, Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, regarding an alternative to SATs. ( Daily Telegraph , April 10)
- Letters regarding tests for university admissions. ( Times , April 10)
- When pay is more than an academic question: Employers and unions are working on a new deal for lecturers. ( Guardian , April 10)
- A Mori poll has found that education brings more rewards than just the financial ones touted by the government in the top-up fees debate. ( Guardian , April 9)
- Student rents in London are twice the national average. ( Evening Standard , April 8)

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