Today's news

September 15, 2005

100,000 students await college place
More than 100,000 would-be students are still without places at university, despite record acceptances and a faster clearing process. The latest figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service showed that out of 511,669 applying to join undergraduate courses this year 387,662 had their places officially confirmed by yesterday morning - 29,433 more than at the same point last year. But 107,652 of those who applied for a place are still without one, and the clearing process, which matches late applications to vacant places, ends tomorrow. Only 8,000 have pulled out of clearing this year, despite the fact that there are almost 38,000 more applications overall.
The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent

Universities told to crack down on extremism
Universities will be expected to crack down on extremists expressing unacceptable views, Ruth Kelly will tell vice-chancellors today. The Education Secretary will tell the annual conference of Universities UK, the umbrella body, that arguments defending free speech in all circumstances will not hold when society needs to defend itself against recruitment to radical anti-democratic causes. "We want to see universities taking responsibility for what is said in their premises," said a Department for Education and Skills official.
The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times Higher Education Supplement (Sept 16)

University accused of swallowing up town as it expands
St Andrews will become a ghost town unless urgent steps are taken to prevent more family homes being turned into student digs, according to worried residents. They claim several streets in the town centre are already “student ghettos”, occupied almost entirely by undergraduates living in rented property. The number of family homes being bought by investors - attracted by the prospect of letting rooms to students for up to £890 a month - has caused house prices to double in five years, pricing out local first-time buyers and young families.
The Times

STUC hopes for results with student help scheme
The Scottish TUC today launched a project to provide union support and advice for working students in Edinburgh. Research conducted among 400 working students at four Scottish universities found students are on average working 15.5 hours per week and 80 per cent are doing so just to pay the bills. Nearly 70 per cent reported a level of tiredness that affected their studies.
The Scotsman

Death gives life to academic research centre
The UK's first research centre devoted to the study of dying will open this week at the University of Bath. The Centre for Death and Society opens on Saturday and will focus on research into social attitudes to dying and grief. Through training and workshops, it will support businesses and other organisations such as local governments and charities that deal with death and bereavement.
The Guardian

Scots capital poised to become 'biotech hub'
Scotland's science offering is set to benefit from a unique collaboration between the world-renowned Kobe Institute in Japan, the Institute of Stem Cell Research at Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh's new Centre for Biomedical Research. Shin Ichi Nishikawa, the deputy director of the RIKEN Centre for Developmental Biology at the Kobe project, said he believes the new centre planned at Little France in Edinburgh could rival Kobe.
The Scotsman

A diet rich in beans may mean more protection against cancer
A natural compound that is found in everyday foods such as beans, nuts and cereals has been identified by scientists as a potent agent for fighting cancer. Research suggests that diets high in substances containing the compound, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumours, could help to prevent cancer, while the chemical offers a new weapon for treating the disease.
The Times

Enthusiast uses Google to reveal Roman ruins
An Italian computer programmer using satellite images from Google Maps and Google Earth has stumbled upon the remains of an ancient villa. Luca Mori was studying maps of the region around his town of Sorbolo, near Parma, when his eye was caught by unusual 'rectangular shadows'. An inspection of the site turned up ceramic pieces that indicated it was a Roman villa.

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