Today's news

September 21, 2004

Colleges to charge top fee rates
Two-thirds of universities in England are preparing to charge students the maximum top-up fee of £3,000 for all their courses, according to a survey of vice-chancellors published today. Many universities will levy the full fee because they fear that they will look "second rate" alongside their competitors if they charge less. Interviews carried out with more than half the 120 university vice-chancellors in England also disclose serious doubts that the proposed new Office for Fair Access will help to increase university attendance from a wider range of social backgrounds.

Fears over law student numbers in Scotland
Some of Scotland's foremost figures in law and politics have voiced concern over the idea that Scottish students should be given priority on law courses north of the Border. The latest figures from Ucas, the university admissions service, show that the number of students from England coming to study at Scottish universities has risen sharply since last year. This, together with the introduction of top-up fees in England from 2006, has led to fears of an increase in applications to Scottish undergraduate law courses, and a proposal to introduce a quota system for students.

Letter: Sentiment is worth 1,000 tins of paint
David Giachardi, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, writes: "While the Royal Society of Chemistry cannot approve of graffiti being daubed on Britain's roads or buildings, I must nevertheless praise the excellently produced DNA molecule image in the Cambridge road artwork. I would relish the chance, were it legally allowable and aesthetically inoffensive, to paint on every corner and junction of every town and city, in whopping words, the line 'Chemistry Vital OK!?'."
Financial Times

Art college may ban nudes after complaints
A London art college is considering banning drawings and paintings of nudes from its walls after complaints about the nature of some student artwork. The artist Maggi Hambling, who has taught life drawing at Morley College since the 1970s, described the decision as "incomprehensible". Morley College has sent out a questionnaire to staff and students asking whether they think the practice of displaying paintings and drawings of the naked human form in public spaces should continue. No decision will be taken until the results are collected at the end of this week.

Scots spin-out aims to raise £17.5m in listing
Edinburgh and Napier University spin-out company MicroEmissive Displays, is planning to raise £17.5 million when it lists on London's Alternative Investment Market next month. The listing values the company at £35 million.

Charity begins at home for students
Feature article on Uniaid, a bursary scheme to pay the rent of students who might otherwise be deterred from going tot university.

Balancing act at the DNB
Interview with Brian Harrison, editor of the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography .

Scientists turn to plight of the bumblebee
The growing threat to the bumblebee is to be investigated by scientists who fear they are dying out in Britain. A team of researchers at the University of Southampton's School of Biological Sciences, is launching a special project which they hope will help halt the decline of bumblebees in the countryside.

Happiness is a WI, choir and charities
Living in a community with a thriving Women's Institute, busy charity shop and active church choir is good for the health, a study claims. Researchers from Essex University have found that neighbourhoods with the highest levels of voluntary work have less crime, better schools and happier, healthier residents than districts without community spirit.
Daily Telegraph

Male drivers 'programmed for the chase'
Men are psychologically programmed to be worse drivers than women, according to a report published yesterday. Male drivers are more likely to exhibit risk-taking and aggressive behaviour on the road than females because of their evolution from hunter-gatherers, according to psychologist Peter Marsh of the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford.
Scotsman, Daily Mail

Obese victims at greater risk in accidents
Obese people who are the victims of car crashes or other accidents are significantly more likely to die of their injuries than other patients, research published in The Archives of Surgery claims. The study at the Los Angeles County and the University of Southern California Medical Centre reveals a nearly six-fold increase in mortality rate.

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