Google puts new slant on scholarship
Google has already transformed the way the web is used. Now the company behind the internet's leading search engine aims to change the academic world too, with a new search tool putting a treasure trove of scholarly writing within the reach of everyday users. Following moves to make scientific research freely available, Google Scholar allows any internet user to search for keywords in theses, books, technical reports, university websites and even traditional academic publications. The free system, which is being run initially in test form and can be seen at www.scholar.google.com , spans the academic disciplines from medicine and physics to economics and computer science. As well as improving access to research for students and professionals, Google Scholar offers a chance for the general public to get better access to scientific data.
Bigger promises to be better
Earlier this year John Arnold, long-time head of Manchester Business School, was on the verge of retirement. After a sometimes gruelling ten years running MBS and having turned 60, he looked set to pass up the challenge of making a success of the world's biggest business school merger. However, he has shelved his retirement plans for at least three years to oversee the creation of the new MBS, roughly four times the size of its predecessor. It is one of the most complex parts of the merger of the University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. The aim is to create a "super university" in the north of England that can rival institutions in London and the Southeast in terms of research excellence and funding. MBS will be one of the most visible indicators of the merger's success. It has set itself the goal of becoming one of the world's top 25 business schools by 2015 (it is currently 37th in the Financial Times MBA 2004 ranking of full-time global MBA programmes) and one of Europe's top five schools (it is currently number 11).
Toyota gives $1m to Stern
Toyota has given New York University's Stern School of Business $1 million (£538,000) to create the Toyota professorship of operations management and information systems. Sridhar Seshadri, Stern's associate professor of operations management, has been appointed the first Toyota professor. He will focus on supply chain management and business process improvement. www.stern.nyu.edu
ESCP-EAP moves to London
ESCP-EAP, the European school of management, will open its new London campus at the end of this month. ESCP-EAP is relocating its UK home from Oxford to Hampstead to be closer to the City, the UK and international companies based there and to allow its students to benefit from the capital's multicultural diversity. Paul Raimond, formerly of the department of strategy and international business at the Cass Business School, City University, London, will be the UK director of the school's London campus. ESCP-EAP has campuses in Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Turin. "What makes ESCP-EAP so unique is that it is one school in five countries having five nationalities working in five languages and endeavouring to learn how to transcend nationality and national culture," said Mr Raimond. www.escp-eap.net
BT boss: Give us quality - not quantity
The head of a leading employer has launched a biting attack on the Government's plans to boost the number of graduates. Ben Verwaayen, chief executive of BT, says the policy of "churning out far too many people whose skillsets are less than brilliant" is flawed. He claims that the aim of getting half of all school -leavers into higher education by 2010 threatens to destroy excellence. And his concerns have led to BT restricting its search for new recruits to the leading universities. Mr Verwaayen feels that political leaders are focusing too much on the number of graduates and not on whether supply matches demand. This year, BT recruited 260 graduates from the top 30 universities and a handful were selected from leading Continental institutions.
Mail on Sunday , Financial Mail
Oxford students rally to support deportation-threat Afgan refugee
Undergraduates at Oxford University have mounted a campaign in support of Azim Ansari, the Afghan refugee threatened with deportation whose story was told by The Observer newspaper in its Education Diaries series. Ansari was 14 in 2001 when he and his older brother Wali were smuggled into Britain fleeing the massacre in which 10,000 members of their tribe were killed. In three years, Ansari achieved two As and a B in his A levels. He is now studying engineering at St John's College, Oxford, and intends to go home once he has graduated to help rebuild his country. The Home Office has rejected the brothers' application to stay in the UK and they have one last chance to appeal. If they lose, Ansari will have to abandon his studies and return to Afghanistan.
Brainboxes are to study EastEnders at a major university conference. The University of Westminster in London is drawing together the country's finest minds to ponder characters such as Dot Cotton. The Communication and Media Research Institute has planned next February's event to coincide with the soap's 20th anniversary. It will "bring together practitioners and academics to assess the programme's past and continuing place at the centre of British broadcasting". Suggestions for panels on the day include EastEnders and the BBC as an institution, realism, audiences, taste and decency. Perhaps the academics could help by coming up with some decent storylines too...
The Sun (Saturday)