Today's news

July 11, 2005

Al-Qaeda recruiting through British universities and colleges
Al-Qaeda is secretly recruiting affluent, middle-class Muslims in British universities and colleges to carry out terrorist attacks in this country, leaked Whitehall documents reveal. A network of “extremist recruiters” is circulating on campuses targeting people with “technical and professional qualifications”, particularly engineering and IT degrees. Yesterday it emerged that last week’s London bombings were a sophisticated attack with all the devices detonating on the Underground within 50 seconds of each other. The police believe those behind the outrage may be home-grown British terrorists with no criminal backgrounds and possessing technical expertise.
The Times

New universities starved of funds, claims principal
A leading academic has called for a major shake-up in the way Scotland's newest universities are funded. Professor Bernard King, the principal of Abertay University, said the contribution institutions such as his make to the country are not properly recognised in the public funding they receive. Speaking at a graduation ceremony, Professor King said Abertay and the four other institutions that received university status in the early 1990s also help the Executive achieve its aim of widening access to higher education by attracting more students from less traditional backgrounds, and so deserved more cash.
The Scotsman

University students told to get MMR jabs
About 90,000 new university students will be warned to have the MMR jab before starting their courses, in an unprecedented attempt to stem the mumps epidemic sweeping across campuses. Nearly a third of 0,000 young people starting courses this autumn have probably not been immunised against the illness, which has affected more than 42,700 people in England and Wales during the first six months of the year. All prospective students will be warned that they should arrive at university fully vaccinated against other serious diseases too when institutions confirm their places in August.
The Guardian

Girls take to breast surgery so they can face university
Students are resorting to breast surgery before starting university because they fear they will otherwise lack the confidence to meet new friends and succeed in their studies. They are also turning to plastic surgery to plump up their cheeks, enhance their lips and reshape their nose. Surgeons are reporting a booming demand from female students for the breast enlargement procedure, which costs about £3,000 - coincidentally the price of top-up fees from the start of the 2006 academic year.
The Times

Strawberry allergy is set off by red colour, study claims
Strawberries may be safer to eat for allergy sufferers if they were another colour, scientists have revealed. Researchers have pinpointed a protein thought to be responsible for strawberry allergies which is associated with the fruit's red colour. Vulnerable individuals can suffer itching and swelling in the mouth and throat when exposed to strawberries. But there have been reports that people with the allergy are able to eat white strawberry varieties with no ill-effects.
The Scotsman

From the weekend's papers:


  • Bombs close University College London buildings. The Guardian
  • Part-time students are half as likely to be unemployed after they have left university as full-time students. The Guardian


  • Boys from the most expensive public schools are most likely to under-perform at university. The Sunday Times
  • Foreign students may be denied right of appeal if visa application fails. The Mail On Sunday

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