Today's news

October 5, 2005

Tories urged to block plans for increase in student visa fees
University heads will today urge the Conservatives to vote against the government's proposals to increase the fees charged for overseas students to renew their visas. The government is proposing the rise in its immigration, asylum and nationality bill, which is due before parliament this autumn. Vice-chancellors claim it will put overseas students off coming to the UK to study and are accusing the government of going against its own efforts to increase the number of overseas students studying in Britain.
The Guardian

Brunel seeks returns on student housing investment
Brunel University students will be paying comparatively cheaper rent in 40 years' time because of an innovative £100 million deal to build halls of residence at its west London campus, according to the university. Tony Holloway, the university's finance director, said that a complex series of negotiations with banks and the investment managers Merrill Lynch had secured a low rate of interest fixed over four decades. Brunel is going to the money markets this month with the aim of raising £100 million through a bond guaranteed by the university. This should raise money for 4,500 student rooms in what Mr Holloway is convinced is the way forward for universities because it can guarantee a long-term supply of rent-paying students to provide income.
The Guardian

Durham college opens doors to male undergraduates
The last women-only college at Durham University is admitting men for the first time in 106 years. This freshers' week, 92 men will enter St Mary's College as the first ever male undergraduates, making up over 40 per cent of the college's new intake. The decision for St Mary's to go mixed was taken by the university two years ago in response to overwhelming demand for mixed sex colleges, but it will retain single sex areas.
The Guardian

We need new benefactor, says Scots university chief
The head of the body responsible for funding Scotland's universities yesterday called for a "latter-day Andrew Carnegie" in order to help them compete on the international stage. Roger McClure, chief executive of the new Scottish Funding Council, spoke out after learning the higher education sector in Ireland had benefited from millions of pounds from an American philanthropist. An education symposium at yesterday's event heard how The Atlantic Philanthropies, a body set up by Charles Feeney, an Irish-American, has become the largest private funder of higher education in the Irish Republic.
The Scotsman

Rowing coach had 'no idea of safety role'
The head coach of an Oxford University rowing team had no idea that she was legally responsible for their safety, an inquest was told yesterday. Leila Hudson, 34, a former varsity boat race cox, saw herself as "a figurehead" responsible solely for coaching and training. She admitted that she could not remember reading the safety code drawn up by the Amateur Rowing Association and was unaware of its stipulation that every head coach should be responsible for crew safety "at all times".
The Daily Telegraph

Three physicists make light work of Nobel prize
Two Americans and a German won the Nobel physics prize yesterday for their research on light. Their work has applications in satellite navigation, telecommunications and time-keeping. The oldest scientist thus honoured, Roy Glauber of Harvard University, received the prize for his work on the theoretical basis of quantum optics in the 1960s.
The Financial Times, Nature, New Scientist, The Guardian

Students to study Diana death conspiracy theory
The death of Diana, Princess of Wales is to be studied in a university course on conspiracy theories. Derby University's course will also cover theories about the September 11 terrorist attacks and Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code. Called Apocalyptic and Paranoid Cultures, it will be taught as a module in sociology degrees. The university said that a profusion of conspiracy theories have emerged because of a loss of faith in traditional religion and a growing scepticism about politicians.
The Daily Telegraph, The Times

Ways to pay for a university education.
The Independent

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