Today's news

July 14, 2004

UUK chief warns of overseas threat to colleges
Ivor Crewe, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of Essex University, described Britain as "the silver medallists in the higher education Olympics" in a speech to the Centre for Reform think-tank in London. Professor Crewe warned the Government that additional funding would be needed alongside initiatives to enable universities to earn money from overseas students and other higher education exports. He called for a co-ordinated programme to recruit overseas students and less concentration of funding for research projects to support universities outside the "golden triangle" in London and the south-east.
Financial Times

Number of graduate jobs rising
Graduates are in line for a jobs bonanza this summer with the biggest rise in vacancies for five years. A survey of 600 employers, published today by the Association of Graduate Recruiters, reveals that the number of vacancies for those leaving university has risen by 15.5 per cent. A regional breakdown shows that more than half of the jobs on offer are in London and the Southeast, with only 8 per cent of vacancies in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The largest number of vacancies is in accountancy followed by management services, law, IT and investment banking.
Independent, Financial Times, Guardian

Iraqi accademics targeted in murder spree
Since the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, 13 academics at the University of Baghdad alone have been murdered in what appears to be a war on learning. Only six weeks ago the female dean of the college of law in Mosul was beheaded in her bed along with her husband. Nobody knows who the perpetrators are, but some university staff suspect that there is a campaign to strip Iraq of its academics and to complete the destruction of Iraq's cultural identity which began with destruction of the Baghdad Koranic library, the national archives and looting of the archaeological museum.

Sistine Chapel of the ice age revealed
Experts are hailing a cave in Nottinghamshire the Sistine Chapel of the ice age, following the discovery of elaborate carvings etched in the limestone around 13,000 years ago. "We were shocked, excited - almost disbelieving," said Paul Pettitt, lecturer in human origins at the University of Sheffield and member of the English Heritage-funded team.
First reported in The Times Higher , July 9: It's Brit Art, but not as we know it

Melting ice threatens London's future
There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than for 55 million years, enough to melt all the ice on the planet and submerge cities like London, New York and New Orleans, Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser has warned. Speaking on his return from Moscow, where he has been acting as the prime minister's "unofficial envoy" to persuade the Russians to ratify the Kyoto protocol to fight climate change, Sir David said the most recent science bore out the worst predictions. "Ice melting is a relatively slow process but is speeding up. When the Greenland ice cap goes, the sea level will rise six to seven metres, when Antarctica melts it will be another 110 metres," he said.

Students' research casts doubt on conviction
A forensic science project by a group of first-year university students could help overturn the conviction of a woman who has been in jail for almost 12 years for the murder of her elderly aunt. Susan May was found guilty of murdering Hilda Marchbank, 89, in her home in the Lancashire village of Royton in March 1992. The central plank of evidence against May was what the prosecution insisted was her palm print in Mrs Marchbank's blood on the wall of the victim's bedroom. However, research by six first-year students at Paisley University found that it could not be conclusively proved that the mark on the wall was blood - it could be any number of substances. Guardian

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