Today's news

June 10, 2004


Lords inflict defeats on fees bill
The government's plans for university top-up fees suffered a fresh setback when peers inflicted three separate defeats on the higher education bill during its report stage in the Lords. Liberal Democrats, Tories and the Labour peer Lord Puttnam voted for amendments that defer the fees for those planning to take a gap year in 2005 and restrict them to the first three years of a degree course. A third amendment guarantees that all tuition fee income would be in addition to and not in replacement of state funding of universities. The government is likely to oppose the amendments when the bill returns to the Commons.
( Times Higher , Guardian, Independent )

Scientists uncover solid evidence of global warming
European scientists have drilled a 3km column of ice from Antarctica, providing researchers with the oldest and most detailed record of climate change ever obtained, stretching back 740,000 years. The results of the first analysis, published today in the journal Nature , suggest that the next ice age lies 15,000 years in the future. But the prospect of a stable climate has been thrown into doubt by human activity causing global warming. The ice shows that today's greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are by far the highest for at least 440,000 years.
( Times, Guardian, Independent )

Feud at top 'tearing Royal Academy apart'
With a feuding management, a major exhibition cancelled and a former head who claims that the institution needs fundamental reforms, the Royal Academy of Arts appears to be foundering. David Gordon, who resigned as the secretary of the RA two years ago, has spoken out for the first time since leaving the institution. He told the Art Newspaper that at the RA "everything is a crisis" due to the "absence of long-term planning". He also described the RA president, Phillip King, as "completely inadequate".
( Guardian )

Appeal for high-flyers to aid graduate teachers
An appeal for business people to coach graduates on an inner-city teaching scheme will be launched this week as part of a drive to bolster links between companies and state schools. Teach First, set up last year and modelled on a US scheme, recruits graduates from leading universities who are likely to choose a career in business rather than teaching for a two-year stint in challenging London schools. Now in its second year, Teach First wants to recruit more than 200 business and industry leaders to coach and support this September's batch of graduate teachers.
( Financial Times )

Students have good reason to complain
Susan Bassnett says that despite being the core business of universities, students are often given pretty low priority.
( Independent )

How to hatch young tycoons
British universities are emulating America by supporting their graduates in setting up spin-off companies. The result is a new generation of entrepreneurs.
( Independent )

Letter : Swindonians are outraged by University of Bath plans to build next to a site of special scientific interest near the town. ( Independent )

Obituary : Christopher Longuet-Higgins, cognitive scientist with a flair for chemistry, died March , aged 80. ( Guardian )

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