Today's news

October 3, 2005

Brain drain as British students head west
American universities are launching their biggest recruitment drive after a record number of inquiries from British students facing top-up fees of up to £3,000 from next September. More than 100 universities will be hoping to pick up some of the brightest talent with offers of bursaries and scholarships at a fair in London. Britain was the only country to show an increase in the number of students enrolling at American universities last year: up two per cent. German students were six per cent down and French 5.6.
The Daily Telegraph

Students will shun university if funding campaign fails, concedes minister
The new system of variable tuition fees, loans and bursaries is highly complex, the higher education minister has conceded, and will put off prospective university students if a big public information campaign fails. Speaking before today's launch of Student Finance Week, Bill Rammell admitted would-be undergraduates were still perplexed by the new regime, due to come into effect from September next year. He said research conducted by the Department for Education and Skills found 40 per cent of would-be students still did not understand the most important changes to the system: that they would repay the bulk of the cost of their degree only after they had graduated and were earning more than £15,000 a year.
The Financial Times, The Evening Standard, The Independent

'We blundered' - minister admits that Labour made mistakes on tuition fees
Labour made two big mistakes over the introduction of student fees when it first swept into power, admits the Higher Education minister, Bill Rammell. "What we got wrong in 1998 was firstly asking students to pay tuition fees before they finished university and secondly scrapping student grants," he said. The decisions may have harmed the Government's drive to woo more students from poorer backgrounds into universities, he acknowledged.
The Independent

Campus protest students to challenge convictions
The criminal conviction of six Lancaster University students for aggravated trespass after a campus demonstration is to go to appeal amid concern it could become a legal precedent for other university clampdowns on protest. The human rights group Liberty and student and academic unions are backing the move, which will also be raised at the university's senate.
The Guardian , The Times Higher Education Supplement (Sept 2)

TV 'stunts' child brain development
Watching TV may damage children's brain development leading to increased anti-social behaviour, new research claims. There is also a correlation between the amount of television children watch and the degree of educational damage they suffer, according to the report by Dr Aric Sigman, who is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
The Scotsman

Pill-sized camera gets to grips with your gut
It sounds like the stuff of nightmares - a robot that crawls around inside your gut, anchoring itself by biting onto the walls of your intestine. But the researchers behind a new take on the camera-in-a-pill claim its ability to move and stop on command will give doctors greater control over the images it takes, allowing them to focus on particular areas of concern. Existing camera capsules designed to take images of the intestine cannot be controlled externally, so they simply drift through the gut along with everything else.
New Scientist

Letter
Should Oxford University allow academics to remain as partners.
The Times

From the weekend's papers:

Saturday

  • The London School of Economics heads up university entertainment league. The Guardian
  • A leading finance expert has joined Edinburgh University's Management School as its first investment professor. The Scotsman

Sunday

  • Durham University is voted university of the year. The Sunday Times
  • Oxbridge find themselves in the top 10 of The Times Higher 's world rankings. The Sunday Times
  • Top-up fees could turn part-timers away from university. The Mail On Sunday

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