Today's news

September 22, 2004

English fees add to pressure on Scots
Scotland's ministers were last night under increasing pressure to come up with more money for Scottish universities, after a Guardian survey revealed yesterday that two-thirds of English institutions intend to charge the maximum top-up tuition fees. With the outcome of the Scottish Executive's spending review due to be announced at the end of the month, yesterday's survey brought fresh calls for ministers to find extra money for Scottish universities.

Think-tank says single degrees will be useless
A university education is becoming so devalued that students will be forced to take multiple degrees to prove their worth to employers, a report by the centre-right think-tank The Bow Group claimed yesterday. It claims that future students will have to take further degrees such as masters and doctorates to mark themselves out as the best candidates.
Daily Mail

Students spooked by campus haunting
Students at a Delhi university have been given an unexpected week off thanks to a ghost on the campus. There have been no classes at the Indian Statistical Institute's Delhi branch since Friday. Students have become convinced the institute is being haunted by a fellow student who died during a class at the institute only a month ago.

Student crushed by lift at university
A student was crushed to death when he tried to leap from an overcrowded lift at his Reading University hall of residence, an inquest was told yesterday. Andrew Tucker, 19, panicked when the lift began to fall and leapt through the open door but was caught with his head and shoulders on the floor above and his body in the lift. The hearing continues.
Times, Daily Express

US runaway flies to Britain to seek a place at Oxford
A teenage runaway, who fled her home in America and used her mother's credit card to book a flight to Britain convinced immigration officials at Gatwick airport that she was visiting Britain to seek a place at Oxford University. Jing Wen Chen, 15, left her home in Missouri on Sunday . On arrival on Monday she caught a train to London and stayed in a hotel overnight. Police have no trace of her movements since then. The teenager's father, a lecturer in civil engineering at the University of Missouri, said he was worried for her safety.
Daily Telegraph

CCTV tries to read the mind of a terrorist
A new generation of closed-circuit television cameras that can also automatically identify street crime such as vandalism and theft even before it is committed, is expected to be introduced in parts of the country in the next 12 months. Secret trials are under way of several systems, including one developed at Kingston University in South London and marketed by Ipsotek (Intelligent Pedestrian Surveillance and Observation Technologies), a spin-off from the research project. A 12-month trial at Liverpool Street Underground Station ended last December.

British girls lead the world in behaving badly
Today's 15-year-old girls are becoming fat, lazy, hard-drinking, pot-smoking television addicts. The unenviable picture of the modern young woman is drawn from statistics collated from official sources in 192 countries published in the latest edition of Pocket World in Figures , the statisticians "bible". The findings are broadly similar to those revealed by an earlier study led by Candace Currie, director of the Child and Adolescent Research Unit at the University of Edinburgh.
Scotsman, Daily Telegraph

More risk of brain damage from migraines
Frequent sufferers of migraine have an increased risk of brain damage, researchers said yesterday. Speaking at a symposium in London yesterday, Richard Lipton, from New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said his research had shown that over the course of just one year, 3 per cent of headache sufferers progressed to a point where they had headaches most days. One in eight people in the UK suffers from migraine. It affects over twice as many women as men and is estimated to cost Britain around £1 billion a year in lost working days.
Scotsman, Guardian

Sea levels could rise faster than expected
The collapse of an Antarctic ice-shelf that is the size of Cambridgeshire has caused a surge in the flow of the region's glaciers, with potentially grave consequences for global sea levels. Research by Nasa scientists has revealed that nearby glaciers began to flow up to eight times more quickly after the break-up of the Larsen B ice-shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula two years ago. The discovery suggests that global warming could bring significant rises in sea levels much more quickly than was generally thought. Details are published in the journal Geophysical Review Letters.

The science behind Blue Monday
According to professors at Rice University in Texas, bad attitudes may stimulate creativity in the workplace in a way that good moods don't. In "Understanding When Bad Moods Foster Creativity and Good Ones Don't", published in the Journal of Applied Psychology , the professors polled 67 helicopter workers and their supervisors and found that positive moods may lead to overconfidence and thus laziness.
Financial Times

I owe it all to Mma Ramotswe
Author Alexander McCall Smith talks about his life before and after writing the best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books; setting up a law department at the University of Botswana; his work with the International Bioethics Commission of UNESCO, on which he served for five years, and the Human Genetics Commission, that was set up by the UK government to look at all the implications of the new genetics.

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