London Met students still waiting for degree results
The lecturers' union Natfhe will this week start balloting its members at London Metropolitan University about a peace deal on contracts after a dispute lasting 16 months. But up to 2,000 angry students are still waiting to hear their degree results because marking of exams was disrupted by industrial action. Although the university has tried to reassure them that the situation will be sorted out quickly, many of the academic staff are now on holiday and some are making little effort to speed the marking process after being threatened with large pay deductions for their industrial action by the management.
Shortage of languages teachers looming
Scotland is facing a severe shortage of modern languages teachers because not enough students are signing up to train in the subject. With just three weeks to go until the deadline for applications, fewer than two-thirds of the places at the country's teacher training colleges have been filled. At Strathclyde University, less than half of the places have been taken - and officials admit they have little chance of recruiting enough students in time for next term.
Students urged to have mumps jab
Students leaving school and heading to university next month are being urged to make sure they are fully immunised against mumps as a major outbreak continues to blight the UK. There are currently around 1,800 to 2,000 suspected cases of mumps reported by doctors in the UK each week, with rates well up on previous years. And students are particularly at risk, as the infection spreads easily in environments such as colleges and universities. The Health Protection Agency is now appealing to school leavers who had not previously had two doses of MMR to ensure they are immunised before entering further education.
Colleges to focus on firms' needs
A plan to make colleges in England more business-focused has been outlined by the organisation that funds the further education sector. The Learning and Skills Council's prospectus for change includes asking businesses to "quality mark" colleges.
Optimism over new avian flu vaccine
The US government is optimistic about a new vaccine to protect against an outbreak of potentially deadly avian flu, and distribution could start as soon as mid-September, a senior federal health official said. The government is ready to move ahead with ordering significantly more than the two million doses it acquired from French vaccine maker Sanofi-Pasteur before testing began earlier this year to jump-start the US vaccine stockpile in case the tests were successful, said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci.
University hosts gifted children
Some of England's brainiest pupils will make the University of Leeds their home for the next two weeks at the city's first summer school for gifted youth. The 135 pupils are from schools across England and represent the country's top 5% of gifted pupils aged 11 to 16. The event runs from 7 to 20 August in collaboration with the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth.
What price academic economists?
America is full of economic "personalities" these days. But on this side of the pond, economists, particularly academic economists, remain hidden in their ivory towers. They are neither household names nor a significant presence in newspaper commentary pages. The problem goes beyond economic superstars and bestsellers. Few academic economists are writing comment pieces or even being quoted in news stories.
The sound of silence
Musicologists are being penalised by record companies who refuse to allow them permission to transcribe songs from their artists. It's unfair and it's got to stop, says Sheila Whiteley, from the University of Salford.
From the weekend's papers
- Students who plan to pursue a future career as an Army officer can receive financial assistance by applying for an Army Undergraduate Award. The Daily Telegraph
- New course set up to help students survive in the kitchen while at university. The Times
- New wave of university courses on international security and intelligence. The Guardian
- Oxford-bound boy genius is 'nothing special' in homeland. Sunday Telegraph
- Summer schools could become a way of boosting a gifted child's chances of getting to a top university. Sunday Times
- A record number of sixth-formers have opted to study degree-level courses to help them win university places in the face of increasing competition. Sunday Telegraph