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September 14, 2005

University sets up fund to exploit spin-out success
Queen's University Belfast, the first in Britain to start spinning out companies in the early 1970s, has set up a fund to enable it to participate in later stage equity fundraising. Queen's is anxious to reap more of the benefits of the corporate success stories among its spin-outs - those that eventually float on the stock exchange or are taken over in trade sales. Hitherto, the university has not had the funds to invest and as a result its equity position has been progressively diluted.
The Financial Times

University chiefs to debate sector challenges
More than 100 vice-chancellors arrived in London yesterday to attend the annual meeting of Universities UK. The event is the focal point of the organisation, which represents the interests of heads of universities. Members will be able to debate higher education issues and meet with the most powerful people in the university sector. It is the first meeting for Drummond Bone, the Liverpool vice-chancellor, as president of the organisation; his maiden speech on Thursday will be followed by an address by the Education Secretary Ruth Kelly, who will make her first appearance at the event.
The Guardian

UK universities offer places to Katrina students
More than 50 UK universities are offering discounts on fees and accommodation to students displaced from the 24 American universities affected by hurricane Katrina. The British Council in America is coordinating the offers to thousands of students who have lost their places at universities in the southern states affected by the storms earlier this month. Some UK institutions are offering reduced accommodation fees or additional scholarships. Others are relaxing their deadlines to allow more flexibility for students seeking admission.
The Guardian

End of racism is corporate mirage, argues professor
The singer Beyoncé Knowles is a "new type of white person" who sells the idea that racism is at an end in America, an academic has claimed. The Paisley conference on celebrity culture will tonight be told that the star is portrayed as "a 21st-century all-purpose celebrity who demonstrates that racism is no longer an impediment" to success. Ellis Cashmore of Staffordshire University, who has written books on David Beckham and Mike Tyson, will make the claim in his keynote paper, "Buying Beyoncé: The Deal that Ended Racism."
The Times

£20m dementia research project
Two universities have been chosen to lead a £20 million project to look for new treatments for dementia and other brain diseases. Scientists from University College London and Newcastle University have been appointed by the Department of Health to lead the dementias and neurodegenerative disease research network. The team will co-ordinate a network of NHS staff running clinical trials of medical treatments for diseases such as motor neurone disease, Parkinson's, Huntingdon's disease and Alzheimer's. The network is one of six across the UK, sharing £100 million, to lead research into new treatments for conditions such as stroke, diabetes, mental health and cancer.
The Daily Mail

Patients' notes 'spread MRSA'
Patients' notes, pens and computer keyboards may be helping to spread the MRSA superbug in hospitals, new research has shown. The study in an intensive care unit found evidence of MRSA contamination on a wide range of surfaces including hands and aprons, with notes and charts raising a particular problem because they are difficult to clean. The research from University College London Hospitals NHS Trust was presented to the Health Protection Agency annual conference at Warwick University yesterday.
The Daily Telegraph

Couch potatoes grow up to be fat
How much TV children watch is a more accurate predictor of whether they will go on to become overweight than their diet or level of exercise, a study suggests. Researchers at New Zealand's University of Otago looked at how much TV children aged five to 15 watched. The International Journal of Obesity study found the 41 per cent who were overweight or obese by the age of 26 were those who had watched most TV.
The Scotsman, The Times

Letter
Commenting on the university admissions system.
The Times

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