Today's news

August 3, 2004

Tories to charge students more for loans

The Conservatives are planning to impose an interest rate above inflation on student loans to fund their commitment to abolish all university tuition fees. The policy is due to be announced in the autumn in a move that Michael Howard, the Tory leader, believes will prove popular with universities, students and parents. Party insiders say that charging more for loans will more than compensate for the loss of income caused by the abolition of fees.
( The Daily Telegraph )

Backing for warning over women’s role in medicine
Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, has endorsed Carol Black’s controversial warning that a female-dominated medical profession could lose its power. Professor Black, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said that having too many female doctors risked lowering medicine’s status, and family commitments made it more difficult for women to devote themselves to specialities which required long, unsociable working hours. ( The Independent , The Daily Telegraph , The Daily Mail )
First reported in The Times Higher on July 23

Academic warns cancer patients about therapy on the net
Misleading advice on complementary therapy available on the internet is putting thousands of patients at risk, according Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University.
( The Guardian , The Independent , The Times , The Telegraph )

Boycott threat to university
The Association of University Teachers has said it is prepared to "grey-list" Nottingham University over its refusal to implement a pay agreement. If the threat is carried out, the union’s members across the UK will be asked to sever academic links with Nottingham.
( The Guardian )

Academic condemns NHS reforms
Reforms being made to the National Health Service could prove as disastrous as rail privatisation, according to a book out this week. Allyson Pollock, of University College London, says in NHS plc that unless the Government has a change of heart, the policy will drastically undermine healthcare provision.
( The Financial Times )

Lecturer suicide after ecstasy tragedy
A university lecturer gassed himself to death with barbecue fumes days before facing a court for giving his wife an ecstasy tablet that killed her. Andrew Williams, 46, who taught English at Staffordshire University, filled his bathroom with portable barbecues, sealed the room and lit them.
( The Sun , The Daily Mail )

Acid rain ‘keeps lid on global warming’
British scientists have shown that acid rain, the pollutant blamed for killing fish and damaging forests, cuts the production of methane gas, thought to be responsible for a fifth of today’s global warming effect.
( The Times )

Holidays in sun leave Italians cold
For most foreigners, Italy is a paradise of sunshine, wine and Mediterranean cuisine. But don’t be surprised if the Italian on the sunbed next to you is looking glum. Psychiatrist Raffaele Morelli has conducted a survey that shows many Italians have been going to the same holiday destination in Italy for at least ten years and the habit is making them miserable.
( The Times )

London student faces £45,000 debt
Victoria Tyson, 23, faces the future with a £45,000 debt after taking out loans to pay for three courses to qualify as a barrister. She took her law degree at Metropolitan University in London, for which she took out a loan of £12,500, completed a Masters in Law at a cost of £9,100 and now faces £16,100 in tuition fees for a one-year course for the Bar Vocational Council exam.
( The Evening Standard )

Grade-A students face new tests
Bristol University is to introduce special tests to help course leaders choose between applicants with a string of A grades. From September, students applying to study law and veterinary medicine will have to take an admissions test.
( The Bristol Evening Post )

Could Northern lights dim golden triangle?
Most research funding goes to four universities within the "golden triangle" but could this soon change? asks Donald MacLeod.
( The Guardian )

Francis Crick dies
Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA with James Watson, has died in San Diego, California, at the age of 88.
( The Independent , obituary)

Artist and teacher dies
George Mallalieu, a driving force in the painting department of North Staffordshire Polytechnic (now Staffordshire University), has died aged 62. He played a significant role in the visual arts and the lives of many emerging UK artists.
( The Guardian )

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