Today's news

August 11, 2005

College cuts ties with Islamic institute
A university has severed its ties with an Islamic college alleged to have links with a radical cleric who is likely to be banned from entering Britain. The University of Wales said yesterday that it would no longer validate courses at the European Institute of Human Sciences, which trains imams and conducts its teaching almost entirely in Arabic.
The Times

Teaching downgrade mooted
Academics should be allowed to devote more time to research and spend less on teaching and administration to improve recruitment and retention in higher education, ministers have been warned. A government-commissioned study concludes that academic workloads should be cut and warns that fewer than one in three research students is drawn to the profession by a desire to teach. 
The Times Higher , The Guardian

Top-up fees fuel rise in university applications
Up to 100,000 young people are likely to be left without a university place as a result of a surge in applications this year. Latest figures show an 8.2 per cent rise in applications, with student leaders claiming many are aiming to avoid top-up fees of £3,000 a year, which will be introduced in September 2006.
The Independent

Scottish universities target 'fees refugees'
Scottish universities, faced with a falling population at home, are to target students in England in the hope of picking up "fees refugees" when top-up fees are introduced south of the border next year. Although politicians in the Scottish Parliament have been quick to raise the spectre of universities being swamped by English students seeking to avoid top-up fees of up to £3,000 a year, some universities are seeing this as good way to preserve numbers and standards.
The Guardian

Cambridge 'will not cut British student numbers'
Cambridge has "no appetite" for boosting revenues by reducing the number of British undergraduates and taking a higher proportion of overseas students, the university's managers have decided. Alison Richard, the vice-chancellor, said a document on the university's strategy, due to be published next month, would make it clear that Cambridge would not follow Oxford in its intention to cut the number of British and European students in favour of international students who pay much higher, uncapped fees.
Financial Times
Graduates plan career change within a decade
Nearly three quarters of graduates plan to change careers by the time they reach 35 in search of better pay or new challenges, it was revealed today. A study by the Teacher Training Agency found that 73 per cent of workers who graduated in the past two years expect to spend ten years or less in their first job. The most popular career change, cited by a fifth of the 1,778 workers polled, was to train as a teacher and do a job that could make a difference to people’s lives.
The Times , The Independent
Scientists dispute traffic link to childhood cancers
A claim that childhood cancer is strongly linked to traffic pollution has been contested by research groups. George Knox, a retired Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Birmingham, reports today in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that a range of air pollutants caused by burning oil or petrol increase the risk of childhood cancer. But other experts, including the Leukaemia Research Fund and Cancer Research UK, said that Professor Knox’s evidence did not justify such a conclusion.
The Times

Scientists unravel the genetic code of rice
The genetic code of rice, the world's most important crop, has been unravelled in detail by an international team in a project that will also transform research on British crops. The first genetic code of a food crop to be read in detail, the DNA of rice has 400 million genetic letters holding 37,544 genes in all - about 12,000 more genes than humans - and is unveiled today.
Daily Telegraph , The Independent , The Times

Melting ice raises fears of an 'ecological landslide'
Europe's vanishing glaciers and melting permafrost in Siberia prompted scientists to raise new fears over global warming yesterday. The dual concerns came as a high-altitude Alpine ski run closed yesterday for the first time because of a lack of snow. Walter Maggi, a geologist at Milan University, said that the closures had come after low rainfall in the spring and very high temperatures in June and July. “But there are deeper causes. The finger of suspicion points at global warming,” he said.
The Times  

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