Today's news

July 20, 2005

Minister urges action on campus extremism
University bosses were told last night that they will be expected to play their part in rooting out extremism in Britain by tackling the influence of Islamist groups on campus that justify terrorism. The higher education minister, Bill Rammell, told vice-chancellors attending a Universities UK reception in the Commons last night that there would have to be a debate on the part universities will play in what the prime minister yesterday called the confrontation of the "evil ideology" that brought about the London bombings.
The Guardian, The Financial Times

University applications hit record high as top-up fees loom
A record number of students applied to university this year prompting fears of a last minute scramble for places before top-up fees are introduced in September 2006. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service said it had received 30,000 more applications for full-time courses starting this autumn, up by 8.2 per cent on 2004. The government is adamant that the new funding arrangements, which include top-up fees of up to £3,000 a year, will not put candidates off. Ministers point to the reintroduction of a £2,700 grant for the poorest students and increased bursaries.
The Guardian

Tycoon's help for students
Young people from some of Scotland's most deprived areas are to get the chance of a university education thanks to a retail tycoon. Pupils from parts of Glasgow will have the opportunity to study law at Caledonian University with the help of a scholarship from businessman Paul Green. The scheme will see Mr Green donate five bursaries each of £1,000 annually for the four-year bachelor of law degree - a total of £20,000. If it proves successful, the scheme could be rolled out in other parts of the country.
The Scotsman

Finding jobs 'not easy' for Muslim graduates
Muslim students are finding it harder to break into the job market than other graduates, government figures revealed today. The minister for employment, Margaret Hodge, revealed that 76 per cent of Muslim graduates of a working age are in jobs compared with 87 per cent among all graduates. Ms Hodge, who chairs the cross-government ethnic minority employment taskforce, told a seminar in London today: "Ensuring everybody has equal access to work is not just morally right - it's good for business and the economy because it means we are making the most of our talents."
The Guardian

Bacteria exposed after ice collapse
A strange ecosystem has been discovered beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. But the collapse of the ice shelf that allowed researchers to find it also threatens the community's future. The Larsen ice shelf is on the Antarctic Peninsula, the northern tip of the continent, which reaches up towards South America. Possibly as a result of global warming, a 3,250-square-kilometre piece of ice, roughly the size of Long Island or Cornwall, broke away from the peninsula in 2002.
Nature

Power dressing boost for the old and frail
A robotic suit that gives wearers up to twice their normal strength has been developed by Japanese scientists. The suit, designed by Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai, of Tsukuba University, is aimed at enabling frail, elderly people get around or carers to lift them. Looking like a white suit of armour, Hybrid Assistive Limb 5 straps on to the wearer's body and is equipped with a computer and sensors that detect electric nerve signals transmitted from the brain when wearers try to move their limbs.
The Scotsman

Bizarre boulders litter Saturn moon's icy surface
The Cassini spacecraft has coasted to its closest encounter yet - skimming just 175 kilometres above Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. But astronomers are at a loss to explain its observations. On 14 July, Cassini swooped in for an unprecedented close-up view of the wrinkled moon. Its Imaging Science Subsystem camera has since returned pictures of a boulder-strewn landscape that is currently beyond explanation. “That’s a surface texture I have never seen anywhere else in the solar system,” says David Rothery, a planetary geologist at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK.
New Scientist

From Oxford to Oxford, in an Oxford
Most tourists visiting the Antipodes endure the misery of a 24-hour flight. But two graduates from Oxford who wanted to visit the city’s New Zealand namesake took discomfort to a whole new level by driving there in a 50-year-old car. The round trip in a Morris Oxford covered 25,000 miles and took 14 months. Joanne Bowlt, 36, and Tim Nicholson, 37, arrived back in Britain yesterday. They and the car, Florence, were in one piece after surviving scorching temperatures across 12 countries during their epic journey.
The Times

Letter
Regarding graduate physiotherapists, struggle to find work.
The Times

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