Today's news

March 1, 2005

Keystroke strategy for open access
The movement to increase free online access to scientific research will receive a boost today as academics, publishers and librarians thrash out a new plan for open access. The movement to persuade academics to place their research online has been gaining momentum over recent years, presenting a headache for traditional publishers who make their money selling subscriptions to their journals. The rising price of these magazines has put a strain on library budgets and created an information bottleneck.
The Guardian

Staff given just 11 minutes to check visa applications
Proper scrutiny of visa applications is being sacrificed to meet a Government target that officials must process one case every 11 minutes, according to a watchdog report published today. There is also no way of the Government knowing whether those given visas comply with entry requirements. In an attempt to curb people coming to “study” at bogus colleges, ministers are considering forcing universities and colleges to report students who fail to regularly attend classes.
The Times

Edinburgh University criticised for keeping looted manuscripts
A decision by the University of Edinburgh court not to return looted manuscripts to Ethiopia was yesterday condemned as a "retrograde step" by a lobby group. The university, which holds a number of sacred Ethiopian manuscripts stolen by British soldiers following a battle in Maqdala 150 years ago, set up a panel of experts to advise on a request to return them. It accepted that the manuscripts were looted, but argued that the university had acquired them in "good faith". The panel said that, while the manuscripts were of "some importance" to Ethiopia, they were not of "major importance".
The Scotsman

Getting a head start on further education
Giving gifted secondary school students an early experience of university study is part of the Government's 14-19 Education and Skills White Paper released last week. This is an area where The Open University has already taken a leading role. The Open University is currently providing higher education programmes to more than 1,000 of these clever students in some 80 schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland through the Young Applicants in Schools Scheme.
The Independent

Bournemouth hosts artificial investigations
Bournemouth University has created two artificial mass graves to help train Iraqi investigators looking at crimes from the Saddam Hussein era. The graves in the English countryside, each containing about 30 resin anatomical teaching skeletons of adults, children and infants, were created by the university's Inforce Foundation to train a multidisciplinary team investigating mass graves for both judicial and humanitarian reasons.
The Guardian

Degree of Recognition for College
Falmouth College of Arts today becomes Cornwall’s first higher education institution with the power to award degrees in its own name. The college, part of the Combined Universities Cornwall (CUC) initiative, is also changing its name to become University College Falmouth. University College Falmouth, which offers courses in everything from journalism to garden design, was granted the right to award its own degrees by order of the Privy Council.
The Scotsman

Inventor capitalists
Academics are increasingly willing to get their hands dirty in the commercial world. But now the chancellor is being asked to do more to encourage the private sector to invest in university 'spin-outs'.
The Guardian

Regarding Oxford University governance.
The Times

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Recent controversy over the future directions of both Stanford and Melbourne university presses have raised questions about the role of in-house publishing arms in a world of commercialisation, impact agendas, alternative facts – and ever-diminishing monograph sales. Anna McKie reports

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