Today's news

April 20, 2004


Government pays children to stay at school
A £450 million scheme to persuade more young people to remain in education after 16 was launched yesterday as part of a government move to divert more of the education budget to the frontline. From September, 16-year-olds from families with an annual income below £30,000 will be eligible for up to £30 a week, paid directly into their hands, if they stay on at school or college. Charles Clarke, the education secretary, said: "The government is determined to smash school drop-out rates."
( Financial Times , Guardian , Independent , Times , Telegraph )

Suburban studies centre opened
Suburbia, the butt of of satire yet home to more than half of Britain's population, is to gain status at last as academic subject matter with the opening of the country's first suburban studies research centre. Based appropriately at Kingston University, just down the road from Surbiton, setting for the suburban comedy The Good Life, the centre will examine the suburb in film, fiction and history, attempting to challenge traditional perceptions often locked in the 1970s.
( Guardian , Times , Daily Mail )

Cambridge and MIT hone students for employers
Cambridge University and Massachussetts Institute of Technology are swapping students and ideas to produce graduates that employers need. The two institutions, which formed a partnership with £60 million of UK government funding, are experimenting with teaching methods in the sciences, potentially equipping UK students with more of the skills employers say they currently lack.
( Financial Times )

Civil service offers graduates best job prospects this summer
Graduates considering a career within the civil service, local government and the management consultancy sector may have the best job prospects this summer, according to the latest Graduate Market Trends report.
( Evening Standard )

Conference to explore reason for drop-outs
A one-day conference, Retention in Higher Eeducation, takes place on May 13 at the Commonwealth Institute in west London to discuss why students drop out of education and what can be done to avoid this.
( Evening Standard )

Bradford wins MOD grant for peace studies
The country's only academic department of peace studies, at Bradford University, has won a £650,000 contract from the Ministry of Defence. It will pay for 600 army, navy and RAF officers to take residential courses.
( Guardian )

Midlands universities face rush of students
Universities in the west Midlands are bracing themselves for a rush of applicants as more students forfeit a gap year to start studying before tuition top-up fees are introduced.
( Birmingham Post )

Parents heard student's killing on phone
A Finnish student at East London University was beaten to death in a London park while her desperate parents listened to her dying cries on her mobile phone, a court at the Old Bailey heard. ( Telegraph )

Biologist dies
Tony Wallwork, professor of biology at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, has died aged 71. He had a lifelong interest in studying mites in habitats ranging from polar lands to deserts.
( Guardian )

Death of prizewinning author and academic
Gweneth Lilly, the winner of the Welsh Book Council award for 1981 and 1982, has died at the age of 83. Ms Lilly lectured for three decades at St Mary's College in Bangor.
( Guardian )

Iron found to improve women's memory
Young women may be able to achieve significant improvements in memory and concentration by taking iron supplements, scientists at Penn State University in the US have found.
( Independent , Telegraph )

Chicken shed litter breeds resistance to drugs
Large chicken sheds are a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria which could make human infections more difficult to treat with conventional medicines, a study from the University of Georgia in the US has found.
( Independent )

Old Russian monuments torn down as property prices soar
The Alexei Tolstoy State Museum and other protected sites in Moscow are being sold off to private developers. It has caused a public outcry and demands for an explanation from Moscow mayor Yury Luzkhov.
( Independent )

British bluebell faces extinction
The great British bluebell could be wiped out by its Spanish cousin within a decade, conservationists have warned.
( Daily Mail )

Calorie cut extends life
Extreme low-calorie diets can reduce the risk of developing diabetes or the clogged arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes, researchers at Washington University in St Louis have found.
( Times )

Varnish increases cancer risk
Researchers at Duke University in the US have warned women using the Pill and HRT that they face a new cancer risk from exposure to a common solvent found in varnishes, paints and dyes.
( Daily Mail )


Guardian Education section

Businesses lament lack of bright trainees
UK employers say that too many people are going to univerity and are calling for a radical overhaul of vocational training. A new report from the British Chambers of Commerce skills taskforce, to be published tomorrow, suggests the government has failed to recognise the needs of employers.

Lessons in rural vice
Report on police officers being put in touch with the countryside.

Hair today, the games tomorrow
Hopefuls compete to represent Britain at leg-waxing in the biennial Skills Olympics. Depilation, crucial to swimmers, is a main event.

Private colleges call for clampdown on visa scams
Private colleges are calling on the government to clamp down on bogus operators, whose visa scams are damaging their business and harming the reputation of British higher education abroad.

Loved and lost
The death of Ben Pimlott leaves a huge void at Goldsmiths College, says Polly Curtis.

Applied passion
Profile of Celia Hoyles, prizewinning mathematician at the Institute of Education, who has a mission to bring excitement into school lessons.

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