Today's news

September 23, 2005

LSE request for more 'home' students refused
The London School of Economics has had a request for help to increase the number of British students on its campus turned down despite having been criticised in the past for a policy of giving half its places to higher fee-paying foreign students. Although the university had asked for support for 120 students, the Higher Education Funding Council of England said it would provide funds for only 50. Sir Howard Davies, the director of the LSE, said that he was "baffled" by the decision.
The Financial Times

Cambridge university aims to raise £1bn to reduce dependence on Government funding
Cambridge University will attempt to raise £1 billion by 2012 to "diversify" its income streams and reduce its heavy dependence on funding from the Government. The university described the "ambitious" target as the largest attempted by a UK university but insisted it could not afford to continue to rely on state funding that was "vulnerable to shifts in political priorities" and regulatory intrusion. Launching the Cambridge 800th anniversary campaign, Alison Richard, the university's vice-chancellor, said the funds would be used to attract distinguished academics, support research and the institution's "architectural heritage". Some £300 million would go towards "investing" in students, including more needs-based financial support for undergraduates.
The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Independent , The Times Higher Education Supplement (sept 23)

Use top-up fees to widen access, say doctors
The extra funding that English medical schools will receive from top-up fees from 2006 should be used to widen access to the profession, the British Medical Association says today as figures show the proportion of medical students from state schools is lower than the national average. Statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that only 67.3 per cent of UK entrants to degrees in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science in 2003 came from state schools. There is an average of 86.8 per cent for all subjects. Medical schools will charge students in England £3,000 a year to study medicine.
The Guardian

Bursaries on offer to students choosing physics
Students in the UK and Ireland who opt to study physics will be eligible for bursaries of up to £1,000 a year in a scheme aimed at stopping the decline in numbers taking the subject. The programme was launched today by the Institute of Physics as a survey showed students taking physical sciences are the third most satisfied group with their subjects. But in recent years physics and chemistry have been losing out to biology in popularity. Figures published today by the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that the drop-out rate for physical sciences is among the highest of any group of subjects.
The Guardian, The Times Higher Education Supplement (sept 23)

University steps up security as crime soars
Security at Edinburgh University's city-centre campus has been stepped up after £50,000 worth of property was stolen in the past year. The upgrade of CCTV cameras also comes after the number of attacks on students around the campus doubled in a year. The extra coverage will provide better security for students returning to lectures at George Square and High School Yards, just off the Cowgate, from this week.
The Scotsman

Scientists recreate Down's syndrome in mice
British scientists have recreated Down's syndrome in mice in order to study the disease and develop new treatment for people who have the genetic disorder. The Medical Research Council hopes it will help research into that and other chromosomal conditions. The mice, who carry 92 per cent of a copy of human chromosome 21, display the characteristic symptoms of Down's syndrome: problems with memory, brain function and the formation of the heart. The research, published in the magazine Science , is a significant technical development in the study of the disease and other diseases that stem from chromosomal abnormality. Down's syndrome affects almost one in 750 babies.
The Independent, The Guardian, The Times

Red tape is 'blocking' green micro-generation, say academics
The Government's plans to encourage millions of UK households to generate their own electricity must be backed up with effective policy, energy experts said today. New research released today by a group of academics shows that consumers wishing to generate their own energy face a number of cost-prohibitive obstacles. In a response to a government consultation, the researchers, from SouthamptonUniversity, the Sussex University and Imperial College, say that switching to household power generation - known as micro-generation - will be attractive only if the cost to consumers is reduced significantly.
The Guardian

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