Today's news

July 6, 2005

Triple whammy of changes to visas 'will deter students'
Universities condemned as wholly unjust yesterday government plans to deny the right of appeal to foreign students whose visa applications have been rejected. Vice-chancellors at 120 universities gave warning that thousands of overseas students would be deterred from applying to study in Britain, at a cost of millions of pounds in lost income from tuition fees. The proposal to remove appeal rights from foreign students forms part of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill, which received its second reading in the Commons yesterday. Universities UK, representing vice-chancellors and principals, said that government figures showed that one in four visa appeals were successful.
The Times

Brother's exam boob for sister
Moscow State University rejected the application of a young woman after her brother, masquerading as a woman, was caught trying to take an entrance exam for her Monday. The brother was caught as he tried to join other hopeful applicants in taking the psychology exam. But Yassen Zasursky, the dean of the journalism department, said that the brother's "especially protruding female features" aroused the suspicion of university security guards, who were on the lookout for cheaters. He said the brother's disproportionately large breasts were particularly suspicious. "The guards at first thought the student might have stashed cheat sheets there. However, it turned out that they were just fake breasts," Zasursky said.
The St Petersburg Times

Historic Scotland calls a halt to £8m university extension
An £8 million redevelopment of Edinburgh University's famous medical school has been put at risk by an objection from Scotland's heritage watchdog. The university wants to revamp the building, which stands behind the McEwan Hall and next to the A-listed terraces of George Square, and build a modern three-storey extension. But Historic Scotland has lodged a formal objection to its plans, claiming they will spoil the appearance of the historic neighbourhood. The objection means the Scottish Executive will have to "call in" the plans and decide whether or not they should be allowed to go ahead.
The Scotsman

Napier University names new vice principals
Two new vice principals have been appointed at Napier University. Professor Peter Strike has been appointed vice principal for research, commercialisation and knowledge transfer, while Professor Clive Mulholland is vice principal for academic development. Professor Strike has been Napier's dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences since 2002. And Professor Mulholland is currently professor of technology-enhanced learning and dean of the Institute of Lifelong Learning at the University of Ulster.
The Scotsman

Graduates taking less traditional first-time jobs, survey finds
More than one in four new graduates is starting their working life as a secretary or salesperson, according to figures published today. Only 7 per cent of those who graduated from British universities last year were unemployed six months later and women did better - at 4 per cent - the same as the previous year, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency. The figures showing that the rising number of graduates are finding work were welcomed by university heads. But graduates are not necessarily moving into traditional graduate jobs and the introduction of higher fees next year may prompt students to think harder about the type of course they follow.
The Guardian

Researchers identify new dolphin species
Researchers have identified an unknown species of dolphin living in the waters of northern Australia. The Australian Snubfin dolphin, related to the Irrawaddy dolphin found in Asia and Australia, was formally identified as a newly discovered species thanks to research studies in Queensland and California. Isabel Beasley, a doctoral student at James Cook University’s School of Tropical Environmental Studies and Geography in Queensland, gave a warning that the dolphins are under threat from human beings because they live in shallow coastal waters. The dolphin’s scientific name is Orcaella heinsohni in honour of George Heinsohn, a researcher from the university who examined carcasses found stranded or caught in shark nets in the 1960s and 1970s, so helping to identify the separate species.
The Times

Does one not first require a discipline?
The Financial Times

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