Today's news

February 21, 2005

CBI warning over pure science
Universities should not focus on pursuing "pure science", business leaders are set to say. Putting scientific discoveries into action is what makes "the real difference", Sir Digby Jones, director general of the Confederation of British Industry will say. New model contracts for collaboration between universities and businesses could help develop scientific innovation for commercial use, he will say.
Daily Mail, The Guardian

Kelly says A-levels and GCSEs will stay
A radical plan to replace A-level and GCSE exams with a secondary school diploma is set to be rejected by ministers this week, as they seek to avoid controversy in the run-up to a general election. Instead, the Government will announce plans for better vocational training to tackle the "historic weakness" of the English system and to make sure no pupil leaves school without acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills.
The Financial Times

Liverpool pilots plagiarism software
Internet essay cheats could be caught out by a piece of software being piloted by Liverpool University. Work emailed by students to the Plagiarism Advisory Service is then compared to essays and published material from around the world.
Daily Mirror

Auckland celebrates record donation
A New Zealand businessman has given the University of Auckland's business school the largest philanthropic donation to education in the country's history. Expatriate New Zealand entrepreneur, Owen G Glenn has donated NZ$7.5 million (£2.867 million), which will be spread over five years, and takes the total amount so far raised by the school to NZ$58 million.
The Guardian

Scientists face challenge assessing bird flu risks
The "very frightening" outbreak of virulent bird flu in Asia could lead to the most devastating human pandemic in history - or it could continue just to produce isolated deaths of people who are in close contact with poultry, the chief influenza scientist at the US Centers for Disease Control said yesterday.
Financial Times

‘Global warming real’, say new studies
A leading US team of climate researchers released “the most compelling evidence yet” that human activities are responsible for global warming. They said their analysis should “wipe out” claims by sceptics that recent warming is due to non-human factors such as natural fluctuations in climate or variations in solar or volcanic activity.
The Financial Times

Golden years
What kind of students do we want - those that buy the Beano or those that can read? Time to let in the over-50s.
The Guardian

Pay pals
University departments are under starters' orders for new pay structures.
The Guardian

Visa threat to university applications
The Guardian

From the weekend's papers:


  • Science books are vanishing from reach. The proportion of university budgets for libraries has fallen by a quarter since the 1970s. The Guardian
  • Graduates seeking a top-quality MBA are looking across the Atlantic. There are more than 8,400 UK students studying in the United States. A large percentage of those are seeking postgraduate degrees, and in particular, an MBA. The Guardian
  • Bradford University bounces back. A university whose reputation was badly dented after local rioting four years ago has seen a record rise in student applications this year. The Guardian


  • Edinburgh University has revealed a controversial plan to discriminate in favour of Scottish students in a bid to stem the tide of tuition-fee refugees from England. The Scotsman
  • The DNA survey of whale meat purchased in Japanese grocery stores reveals that the species has the most genetically diverse population of any whale, indicating the species historically had a population of between 500,000 and one million individuals. New Scientist

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