Today's news

July 12, 2005

Police fund visit by academic who justifies suicide bombings
A victim support group has questioned why an Islamic academic who justifies suicide bombings has been invited to speak at a London conference paid for by the British taxpayer. Egyptian-born Tariq Ramadan, who is banned from entering the United States, is due to speak at The Middle Path conference on July 24, 17 days after the London bombings. He will address young Muslims at the Islamic Cultural Centre near Regent’s Park alongside other academics, with the £9,000- cost of his trip being partly paid by the Metropolitan Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers.
The Times

How a degree pays off when you start work
A typical graduate can earn a higher salary only a few months after leaving university than a non-graduate who has been working for several decades, according to a survey to be published today. People who have just left university will earn an average annual salary of £22,000 if they join a graduate trainee scheme this autumn, which exceeds the national average.
The Daily Telegraph , The Times , The Guardian , The Financial Times

Students assess their tutors
Universities in Scotland believe they can make dramatic strides in education — with the emphasis on dram — by getting students to mark tutors and then rewarding them with a miniature of whisky. The scheme allows students, together with academics, to help to assess the quality of teaching, with institutions handed responsibility for monitoring themselves.
The Times , The Times Higher (July 8)

Universities in dentist school bid
Government officials have drawn up a shortlist of universities bidding to run the first new dental school in the south east, outside London. The Department of Health and the funding council Hefce announced last year they were looking for institutions to run the new training centre, which is being set up in response to the current shortage of dentists.
The Guardian

Language cull at Oxford Brookes
Oxford Brookes is cutting more than half its language degrees because it cannot recruit enough students, the university confirmed yesterday. Voluntary redundancies are expected. University bosses have, however, promised that all students currently studying in the departments to be culled will be able to complete their degrees, as will those promised places in September.
The Guardian

Northampton college gains university status
The University College Northampton has become the latest institution to be awarded university status, it was announced yesterday. The college, which has also been granted full research degree-awarding powers, is now planning a year of celebration and is considering its new name, which is expected to be the University of Northampton. A new logo is expected to be unveiled in October.
The Guardian

UCL cleaner named among bus bomb victims
A cleaner at University College London has been named among those who died on board the bus that was bombed in Tavistock Square last Thursday. Gladys Wundowa, who worked at the department of civil and environmental engineering, was killed along with 12 other people when the number 30 bus exploded. UCL also confirmed that Phillip Patsalos, from the Institute of Neurology, was seriously injured in the bombings.
The Guardian

University honours golfing greats
Scotland's oldest university is set to honour four of the world's biggest names in golf. In a public ceremony in St Andrews, the home of golf, commentator Peter Alliss and playing greats Nick Faldo, Laura Davies and Peter Thomson will be conferred with honorary degrees recognising their contribution to the sport.
The Scotsman

Lord Puttnam's adopted daughter graduates
The Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, Lord Puttnam of Queensgate, congratulated one student in particular during the graduation ceremony - his adopted daughter Rina, who grew up in a remote leper colony in one of the poorest states in India. She has graduated with a 2:1 in pharmacy at the university's School of Health, Natural and Social Sciences. Lord Puttnam said he "couldn't be more proud".
The Daily Telegraph

Regarding the danger of making media studies courses too narrowly vocational.
The Guardian

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