Today's news

April 6, 2005

Chinese yen for universities
Nearly one in six overseas students at university in Britain is from China as universities turn to overseas students to remain solvent, the Higher Education Statistics Agency revealed yesterday. Business studies was the most popular course in 2003-04 with 12.5 per cent of the student population choosing this subject, followed by biological and social sciences with 9.2 per cent. Since 2002-03, numbers of Chinese students rose by more than a third from 35,155 to 47,740 last year - with another 10,575 coming from Hong Kong.
The Times

Brunel lecturers vote to strike over redundancies
Lecturers at Brunel University have voted in favour of industrial action, including a one-day strike, over plans to make 50 members of staff redundant in its bid to become a research-led institution. Members of the Association of University Teachers are expected to strike some time over the next month after 71 per cent of members voted on Friday to do so. Some 77 per cent voted for action short of a strike in a ballot with a turnout of 52 per cent.
The Guardian

Scotland considers raising costs for students fleeing top-up fees
Students from England who choose to study at a university in Scotland are facing steep rises in tuition fees in a move designed to prevent a flood of applicants trying to avoid top-up fees south of the border. Under plans being considered by the Scottish Executive, medical students from England could be charged up to £15,000 over five years to study in Scotland - the same as they will face in England from next year.
The Times, The Guardian, The Scotsman

Students can swing seats say NUS
Students could sway the results in key constituencies, the president of the National Union of Students, Kat Fletcher, said today at the start of the union's annual conference. The annual NUS meeting kicked off in Blackpool today as the prime minister Tony Blair formally announced that the general election will take place on May 5.
The Guardian

'Network' to save university science say MPs
Key subjects like chemistry and physics can only be saved if universities collaborate in regional networks to maintain teaching and research, MPs will urge this week. The Commons science and technology committee is rushing out its report into strategic subjects in English universities before parliament is dissolved for the general election. It gives the conclusions of their inquiry prompted by the surprise closure of Exeter University's chemistry department last year.
The Guardian

Brown has put spin on figures, says academic
Gordon Brown's boast that "Britain is enjoying the longest period of sustained growth for 300 years" was yesterday ridiculed by the academic whose work forms the basis of the claim as "spin", "imperfect", "not helpful or meaningful" and "based on comparing chalk and cheese". The news is a setback for Mr Brown, who has just won an internal battle in the Labour Party to put his handling of the economy at the forefront of the election campaign.
The Daily Telegraph

Students fuel Newcastle’s creativity
Newcastle's good fortune in having not one, but two, big universities in the city centre is an important factor in generating an air of youthfulness and providing new lifeblood for the area's population and businesses. For a small city, the student numbers are very large; Newcastle University has nearly 17,300 students while Northumbria University, a former polytechnic, has 28,500, of whom 22,000 are based in Newcastle. By providing knowledgeable graduates, spin-out businesses and high-calibre research, these institutions are hugely important to the city.
The Financial Times

Mankind will beat cancer by 2015, says WHO scientist
A golden age of cancer treatment, which should finally overcome the killer disease, is just a decade away, according to leading experts in the field. Scientists believe current research will lead to new drugs that will turn cancer from a fatal condition into one which people can live with for most of their lives. Professor Karol Sikora, a special advisor to the World Health Organisation, said: "At the moment, most people will die from it once the disease spreads. That will stop in about 2015.
The Scotsman

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