Today's news

May 11, 2004


Demand for university places to soar
Demand for university places is on course to jump by almost a quarter of a million would-be undergraduates by the end of the decade, leading to tougher competition for entry to top universities, according to forecasts by the Higher Education Policy Institute. Their predictions suggest a combination of demographic change, rising numbers gaining A-levels and a surge in students from the 10 new EU countries will mean up to 240,000 extra applicants for undergraduate degrees.
( Guardian )

UK museum opens US branch
After years of battling against cash-rich American foundations at heritage auctions, Britain's museums are taking the radical step of opening their own out-stations in the United States. The first transatlantic version of one of Britain's major collections opens next week, when swords, pikes and cannon from the Royal Armouries join a new £25 million arms museum in Kentucky.
( Guardian )

Why spin-outs are old hat
Feature considering the over-concentration on university spin-outs and the more prudent collaborative approach that is emerging as doubts grow about the 1,000 or so new businesses set up to commercialise academic research.
( Financial Times )

Middlesex campus plans spark anger
The revelation that Middlesex University is pulling out of plans for a multimillion-pound campus in Tottenham has caused fury in the north London borough. There are angry accusations that the university is turning its back on the disadvantaged local community in order to woo international students, and the high fees they pay, to a campus in a country park setting.
( Guardian )

The woman behind the HE pay deal
Interview with Ucea chief executive Jocelyn Prudence, credited with sorting out the pay arrangements of the universities and higher education colleges.
( Guardian )

Uncommon problems
Report on how the University of Sierra Leone is recovering after the country's civil war.
( Guardian )

Psychologist advocates pets on wards
Pets should be allowed into hospital wards and made available on prescription, June McNicholas, a psychologist from the University of Warwick, told delegates yesterday at the Royal College of Nursing conference in Harrogate. Dogs, cats, parrots and ferrets can help improve the physical and psychological condition of people suffering from serious illness or recovering from surgery, research has found.
( Independent )

Bitter truth: Greens are good for us
Scientists at the Institute of Food Research based in Norwich have discovered why a diet high in green vegetables helps to stave off cancer. Chemicals released when vegetables such as cabbage or Brussels sprouts are chopped, processed, cooked, chewed and digested make cancer cells mortal, stopping them from proliferating indefinitely. The protection is provided by the chemical that gives the vegetables their slightly bitter taste.
( Times, Guardian, Daily Mail )

Scientists identify Skye's last dinosaur
The last-known dinosaur to roam Scotland was a small, two-legged flesh eater that lived 170 million years ago, hunted in packs and sometimes ate its young, Neil Clark, the paleontologist at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, claimed yesterday. A set of footprints from the mid-Jurassic period found on the Isle of Skye suggest that the kangaroo-sized Coelophysis outlived its much larger cousin, the Megalosaurus.
( Times )

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