Today's news

November 18, 2004

Professors 'forced to pass failing students'
Widespread dumbing down of university academic standards has been exposed by a Times Higher survey.
Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Times Higher

University education at 14
Children as young as 14 could be encouraged to study part time at university under the Government's reform of secondary education, due to be unveiled in the new year. Education Minister Ivan Lewis said yesterday that encouraging children to engage in higher education would raise "aspirations and expectations" of youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as challenging the most able.

Visa curbs costs £30 million in fees
British universities have lost up to £30 million in tuition fees because foreign students are facing increasing difficulties in obtaining entry visas, the Conservatives said yesterday. Chris Grayling, Shadow Higher Education Minister, said that nearly two thirds of universities were having problems with visa applications from overseas students.
Times, Times Higher

Scientific excellence plan greeted with caution
Businesses gave a guarded welcome to the Government's launch of a "new industrial policy" designed to make Britain the best place in the world for science, questioning whether it could be achieved. Initiatives to foster innovation include relaxing visa requirements for foreign students doing PhDs in "shortage subjects" so that they can stay in Britian.
Financial Times

US university tie-up irks small firms
Government plans to boost start-ups by sending business owners to study in America came under fire from business groups and MPs yesterday. It also drew the wrath of academics who said it would undermine British business schools.

Pentagon drafts in Oxford butterfly man
Andrew Parker, an Oxford University zoologist, is working with the US military on a radical attempt to use the theory of evolution to create a computer program that monitors developments in the world and spots new threats before it is too late. The Pentagon asked Dr Parker for help after the publication of his book, In the Blink of an Eye , which describes what biologists believe to be the most important period of the Earth's history.

Colleges demand tough line on training
Support for a more radical approach to training, backed by penalties, is reflected in a survey published this week by the Association of Colleges. The results show little confidence in the ability of employers to produce comprehensive training programmes and suggest the Government should take a firmer line and introduce legislation.
Daily Telegraph

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