Today's news

July 5, 2004

£1 million to be spent on top-up persuasion campaign
The government is drawing up plans for a £1 million-plus campaign to explain to students and parents how its controversial top-up fee plans - now on the statute books - will work.
( Guardian )

Fake degrees offered on web
A British website is offering fake degrees that appear to be genuine academic qualifications. The forged qualifications range from medical and law degrees to masters in English, all for £165. The Liverpool-based forger, Peter Leon Quinn, has been questioned by police but released without charge (see story in The Times Higher , February 28 1997 /story.asp?storycode=101856 ).
( Guardian )

Spin-outs hit by tax rules
The number of high-technology ventures spun out by universities has slumped in the wake of the introduction of tough new tax rules on shares held by academics, according to experts at Oxford and Exeter universities.
( Financial Times )

Universities to see exact nature of A grades
Universities could be shown sixth-formers' exact A-level records to help them distinguish between the hordes of applicants gaining the top mark. A-level courses are made up of six modules, all marked out of 100. By the time sixth-formers apply to university, the results of their first few modules are known. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service plan to make these early scores available to universities.
( Sunday Times , Daily Mail )

Debt-ridden students queue for holiday jobs
Britain's debt-ridden undergraduates will net almost £1 billion from vacation jobs this summer, a study published today by the Bank of Scotland estimates. A glut of lifeguards looks likely.
( The Independent)

Oxford may bend admissions rules for star singer
Singer Charlotte Church may quit showbiz to study for a degree if her new album is a flop. Ms Church, the youngest person ever to address the Oxford Union, scored excellent grades at GCSE but is yet to take her A levels. She is interested in studying psychology at Oxford. A university spokesman said exceptions to the admissions rules were made for bright mature students.
( Sunday Express )

Gap-year girl shot on remote island
Grace Forster, 18, was almost paralysed by a bullet when bandits raided the camp where she was working on an environmental project on Pemba Island in the Indian Ocean. Ms Forster, from Cambridgeshire, had just arrived on the island to map underwater conservation areas.
( Daily Mail , Telegraph , Guardian )

Stress can be good for you
A brief bout of stress can strengthen the immune system, according to researchers in the US and Canada. The evidence, presented by Suzanne Segerstrom and Gregory Miller in the American Psychological Association journal Psychological Bulletin, shows that short-term stress "revs up" the immune system to prepare the body for injury or infection.
( Telegraph )

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