Today's news

July 19, 2005

Foreign scientists barred amid terror fears
Security services have barred more than 200 foreign scientists from studying at British universities over the past four years, amid fears they could present a terrorist threat. The scientists were among more than 2,000 vetted after applying to universities to do postgraduate or post-doctoral research in fields such as chemistry, microbiology and biotechnology. The figures were released under the Freedom of Information Act as police continue to search for those linked to the London bombings.
The Guardian

First woman provost leaves King's after only two years
A high-flying city banker who become the first female provost of King’s College, Cambridge, is to leave after only two years in office. Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas told the 115 Fellows of the college last Friday that she was taking a year’s sabbatical with immediate effect and would step down next month. The highly unusual move comes after controversy over Dame Judith’s attempts to rescue the college’s finances. Dame Judith denied that she had been urged to leave. In a statement, Dame Judith - who was born in New Zealand and became the first non-Kingsman to lead the college - said that she had chosen to leave after successfully turning around King’s “strategic and managerial agenda”.
The Times

Liverpool appoints 40 new academics
Liverpool University has undertaken one of the biggest recruitment drives in the sector with the appointment of 40 new academics to help it cash in on the forthcoming research funding round. Newly appointed academics include world leaders in mathematical string theory, forest protection and archaeology. Universities are busy repositioning themselves ahead of the 2008 research assessment exercise to ensure they have the best academics in their fields to reap the rewards from the funding review.
The Guardian

Muslim scholar barred from US receives apology
A British Muslim leader who was denied entry to the US has been given an unreserved apology and assurances of a visa by the US Embassy in London. Zaki Badawi, head of the Muslim College and the Council of Mosques and Imams, said he had been invited to return to the US straight away. But officials could not explain why he was turned away from the country last week. "No one seemed to understand," he said. "But I fully accepted the apology. This was an error on behalf of junior customs officials, nothing else."
The Guardian

Staff question Oxford Brookes language cull
The decision by Oxford Brookes University to cut more than half its modern language degree courses because of poor student demand has been challenged by staff who say they have been meeting their recruitment targets. "For the last two years the department of modern languages has easily met its target and, in addition, was not allowed to go into Clearing," said a joint statement from languages staff. They said the university's decision had been taken for purely short-term financial reasons and said language teaching could be subsidised by the popular degree course in film studies, introduced last year by modern languages staff. Spanish was being phased out in spite of its growing popularity, they added.
The Guardian

Graduates attacked for 'bare midriff' interview technique
A leasing recruitment expert yesterday lambasted Scottish students for their lazy and half-hearted approach to securing a job after leaving university. Simon Warner, a manager with Thorpe Molloy Recruitment, which provides recruitment services in accountancy, finance and the oil and gas sectors, said he and his clients had been shocked by the "lackadaisical" attitude of many graduates trying to get on the first rung of the career ladder. Firms looking to recruit graduates complained about candidates turning up for interviews displaying facial piercings, tattoos and bare midriffs.
The Scotsman

Propped-up research base prevails
The British Antarctic Survey has announced the result of its competition to design a new research base on the frozen continent. The winning proposal offers researchers the opportunity to live in elevated modules perched on skis. The station, which will weigh less than 800 tonnes, will sit nearly 4 metres above the snow, and is aerodynamically designed so that winds accelerate under it, sweeping loose snow away. As the overall snow level steadily rises, the building will be raised on extendable legs by a metre every year.
Nature

New chocolate is a real gas
Bubbles of laughing gas could put a smile on the faces of chocolate lovers, it was claimed today. Scientists found that putting bubbles of nitrous oxide into chocolate produced a more intense, melt-in-the-mouth flavour. Aero chocolate bars are already marketed on the strength of their air bubbles. Researchers at the University of Reading have been trying to find out what bubbles work best by experimenting with four gases - nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide.
The Scotsman

Letter
Regarding graduates needing a better all-round education.
The Financial Times

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