Today's news

August 11, 2004

Tuition fee move to boost young medics
The full cost of variable tuition fees for medical and dental students in their fifth and sixth years of training will be met by the Government, it emerged yesterday. The move is aimed at combating what one insider described as the "gin and golf" image of medicine by boosting the number of trainee doctors from working-class backgrounds. In addition, students on "fast track" courses, which compress training into four years for those with a first degree in a related science subject, will have their fees paid in years two, three and four.
Financial Times

Jobs struggle for debt-laden graduates
Graduates are leaving university with an average debt of more than £12,000 and only a 50-50 chance of finding a job requiring graduate skills, two surveys published yesterday showed. However, the good news from the Higher Education Statistics Agency was that the average starting salary of those who graduated last year and found a job was £17,000. Six months after graduating, 7.2 per cent of the men and 4.2 per cent of the women were still looking for work, perhaps hoping for something better than the jobs many of their peers had settled for.
Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Guardian, Times, Daily Mail

Graduates find salaries are not as high as their hopes
The narrowing of the difference in earnings between those with and without a degree emerged yesterday as Government figures showed that a third of those who graduated in 2003 are still unemployed a year later. Of those in work, nearly a third are in secretarial or sales jobs. The results, together with the latest prediction that average graduate debt will rise to about £26,000 by 2007, will challenge the Government's target that up to 50 per cent of school-leavers should attend university by 2010. Peter Elias, of the Institute of Employment Research at Warwick University, said: "With more graduates entering the labour market, employers simply don't have to pay the same premium they used to in the past."

Former Christie's chief faces call to quit academy
The disgraced former chairman of Christie's was facing angry calls yesterday to resign from the committee of the Royal Academy Schools. Two years after Sir Anthony Tennant was forced to stand down as chairman of the RA Trust, academicians expressed disbelief that a man who would be arrested should he set foot in the United States has been able to continue his association with the 236-year-old institution. The row has ignited as the academy is in turmoil over the resignation of Brendan Neiland, who stepped down as Keeper of the RA Schools last month amid accusations that thousands of pounds were missing from the schools' accounts.

Legal victory on student shot in Gaza
Lawyers for the family of British student killed by an Israeli soldier have won the right to see a secret military report into his death. Tom Hurndall, 21, was shot in the forehead while leading children to safety in the Gaza Strip in April last year. He fell into a coma and died nine months later in a London hospital without regaining consciousness.

Princess shows her face after 1,500 years
The face of a wealthy Anglo-Saxon woman, equivalent in stature to a modern princess, has been forensically reconstructed using clues from her skull. The woman, who lived in the 6th century, was one of 219 bodies discovered during an archaeological dig at Butler's Field, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, in 1985. Caroline Wilkinson, a facial anthropologist at Manchester University, painstakingly carried out the reconstruction over two years.
Daily Telegraph

Double dose of shooting stars
Astronomers say that the annual Perseid meteor shower will be the best in years. The Perseids occur in mid-August when the Earth passes through the debris trail of the comet Swift-Tuttle. John Mason, of the British Astronomical Association, said, weather permitting, the display should be unusually good.
Daily Telegraph

Who will rule the Royal Society?
A look at the byzantine election procedures and the leading contenders for the post of president of the ancient scientific institution. Candidates include Paul Nurse, Martin Rees, John Sulston, David King, Richard Dawkins and Frances Ashcroft.
Daily Telegraph

Oxford All Black
Here are the latest breathless deliberations by Oxford dons on the robe designed for the new Vice-Chancellor John Hood, a New Zealander. "Council has resolved that the Convocation habit shall be a black silk gown with a form of gold and black lace sewn on the collar and sleeves." Very nice it sounds, too.

Sir Robert Jennings, professor of law at Cambridge who went on to become President of the International Court of Justice, died on August 4, 2004, aged 90.

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