Today's news

March 8, 2005

Universities to go for maximum £3,000 fees
Universities across England are set to charge students the maximum £3,000 a year in tuition fees. Details will be announced next week of the first wave of charges under the controversial new system, which comes into force for the first time in autumn 2006. Universities including Oxford and Bristol have gained permission from the education watchdog, the Office for Fair Access, to raise their fees to the maximum amount. This means that universities will charge £3,000 a year - £9,000 for a three-year course - for popular degree courses such as English, medicine, law, maths and economics.
The Evening Standard

Oxbridge woos poorer students with new bursaries
Oxford University has begun advertising its new bursary scheme, which it hopes will attract bright students from low-income families when higher education top-up fees are introduced next year. It is placing adverts in the national press and hiring billboards on school bus routes to promote the scheme under the slogan: "It's not what's in your pocket, it's what's in your head."
The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Financial Times

Universities get largest share of science cash rise
University-based researchers rather than colleagues at public sector laboratories will take the largest share of the Government's increased spending on science, announced yesterday. The extra money will be used mainly to pay more of the indirect costs of academic grants rather than to raise the volume of research. To show the Government's pro-research credentials, Tony Blair, visited Imperial College London with Patricia Hewitt, trade and industry secretary, to trumpet "£10 billion spending on UK science over the next three years . . . to make Britain the best place in the world for science".
The Financial Times, The Guardian

University given grant to train planners
The University of the West of England in Bristol has been awarded £250,000 in Government funding for a new course which will enable planners and anyone with an interest in sustainable communities to access up-to-date, high quality training. The Faculty of the Built Environment was awarded the funding to create a new course in spatial planning, aimed at bringing the skills and knowledge of planning practitioners in line with the Government’s new planning policy on sustainable development.
The Scotsman

Ensure learning goes the distance
These days, there are few subjects that can't be studied by distance learning. But with so many courses available, choosing the right one can be something of a minefield. There are a number of things to consider, including course content, level of study and type of tuition provided. Does the course use paper-based correspondence or online study, or a mixture? Some offer students unlimited access to tutors by telephone or e-mail, while others restrict contact to postal queries. Online courses may have interactive features instead of tutor support.
The Daily Express

Edinburgh experts begin two-year genes study of Orcadians
A two-year project into how genetics affect people suffering life-threatening diseases began its first full day of research yesterday. The study has recruited 1,000 residents from Orkney whose grandparents hailed from the northern isles. The candidates will undergo a variety of tests to establish the risk factors for heart diseases, strokes and diabetes. The Orkney Cardiovascular Disease Study is being conducted by experts from the University of Edinburgh and will cost around £500,000. It is hoped the results will assist medics in treating future cases and may lead to the discovery of new genes.
The Scotsman

Bristol University welcomes top US musicians
The president of one of America’s top universities, Professor Graham Spanier, from Penn State, will be leading a visit to Bristol University by his institution’s highly regarded Musical Theatre today. Sixteen performers will entertain an audience at the University’s Wickham Theatre. Their appearance in Bristol follows shows in New York and London. During the afternoon, members of the Musical Theatre will take part in a drama workshop with Bristol University students.
The Scotsman

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