Today's news

September 13, 2005

Overseas students shun British and US universities
The market share of lucrative international students enjoyed by British and US universities has dropped sharply as Australia, Japan and New Zealand become increasingly popular destinations, according to an international comparison of education systems published today. The latest edition of Education at a Glance , an annual audit published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, showed that although foreign students continue to be attracted to the two countries because of the English-language teaching and perceived quality of education, in relative terms their position is weakening.
The Financial Times

University to wield axe on jobs, says e-mail
Glasgow University officials admitted for the first time yesterday that they were planning a series of compulsory redundancies in an attempt to address a £10 million budget deficit. An e-mail was sent to all members of staff warning them that sackings were in the pipeline unless more people signed up to a voluntary severance scheme. The deadline for the voluntary redundancy package is Friday, but only about half of the university's target of 280 members of staff have accepted it. In the e-mail, Ian Black, the university's director of human resources, said: "The university must achieve its savings plan and - depending on the outcome of the voluntary scheme - it may quickly submit compulsory redundancy plans to court."
The Scotsman

Theft of 400-year-old maps adds to British Library's catalogue of woes
Three historically important maps printed more than 400 years ago have been stolen from the British Library. In latest in an increasing number of thefts from libraries worldwide, the maps were removed from three bound volumes, cut out with a blade in two cases and pulled out from the third. Police are investigating the thefts, which are believed to have taken place earlier this year. The loss comes six months after damning figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that an estimated 7,000 books had disappeared from the British Library since it moved to new £511 million headquarters on London’s Euston Road in 1998.
The Times

Fresh hope of vaccines for killer diseases
Vaccines to combat major killers such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV might be available in just a few years. Scientists are developing ways of offering protection against these infections - massive killers in Third World countries - and prototypes have been tested in human trials. Adrian Hill of Oxford University yesterday outlined the developments at the Health Protection Agency's conference at the University of Warwick. His team is carrying out trials of a malaria vaccine in Kenya, while TB trials are being conducted in The Gambia and South Africa.
The Scotsman

Clarkson hit by pie at degree ceremony
The controversial BBC motoring presenter Jeremy Clarkson yesterday received an honorary degree from Oxford Brookes University - and a banana meringue pie in the face from an environmental protester. Mr Clarkson was met by a peaceful demonstration of about 20 activists who objected to his being awarded the degree. During a photocall following the ceremony one campaigner threw the pie, which protesters later claimed was organic, in his face. Dee Lock, a student of social policy at Oxford Brookes who has helped coordinate a "loose coalition" of environmental activists and a petition signed by 2,700 people against the awarding of the degree, said: "The problem with Mr Clarkson is that he's a bit of a joke and a bit of a buffoon."
The Guardian

One in 10 students likely to be burgled
Ten per cent of students are likely to be burgled while they are at university, collectively having £34.65 million-worth of possessions stolen, research claimed today. The British Insurance Brokers' Association said that as many as 38,500 people who are starting university this September could have their accommodation broken into during the course of their studies, with items worth an average of £900 taken in each burglary. It warned that despite the high risk students faced of falling victim to the crime, only about four out of 10 bothered to insure their possessions.
The Guardian

Building more homes may change weather, Prescott told
Extensive housebuilding projects demanded by the Government could lead to changes in the weather, a leading meteorologist warned yesterday. John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, has approved huge development plans across the relatively densely populated southern England, and yet no studies have been conducted into their impact. Cities are potentially as big an influence on local rainfall and temperatures as more general large-scale changes in the climate, Chris Collier of the University of Salford will tell the Royal Meteorological Society biennial conference at Exeter University on Thursday.
The Daily Telegraph

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