Today's news

October 17, 2005

Asian students flocking to Australia
Australia is growing in popularity among Asian students, while the UK and the US are losing ground as the place to study for a degree, claims an international survey. Three quarters of Asian students polled in Australia said it was their first choice, compared with less than half when the same survey was carried out by JWT Education in 2000. The UK and American parts of the survey, covering students from the main higher education markets in Asia, have yet to be carried out, but JWT partner Allison Doorbar expects them to show that the UK is no longer the preferred destination it was, despite still being seen as offering the best education in the world.
The Guardian

Student found dead with meningitis at Liverpool University
University students were being issued with antibiotics after a teenager died of suspected meningitis. The 19-year-old man, a second-year student at Liverpool University, was found dead in his room on Saturday. Health Protection Agency chiefs believe meningococcal disease was to blame, but stressed that the risk to other students was low.
The Daily Mail

Space experts plan Venus mission
Scientists are getting ready for Europe's next great adventure in space - a five-month journey to Venus. The European Space Agency spacecraft Venus Express will be launched by a Russian rocket in Kazakhstan on October 26. It will scan the planet from space, investigating the make-up of its atmosphere and looking for signs of volcanic activity. At a pre-launch briefing in London today British experts will talk about their hopes for the £150 million mission, the first to Venus in 15 years.
The Daily Telegraph

For global cooling, just spray
First he tried giant whisks. Now he is proposing a fleet of yachts that sprays water droplets into the clouds as the way to damp down global warming. The droplets, says engineer Stephen Salter of Edinburgh University, will boost the whiteness of low-altitude clouds so that they reflect more sunlight back into space. In a paper presented at a climate-change conference in Edinburgh last week, Salter says that chimneys mounted on a fleet of 500 £1 million sprayer yachts would cancel a year's worth of global warming from carbon dioxide emissions over their 20-year lifetime.
New Scientist

Handful of seeds defy extinction
A species of grass thought to have been extinct for more than 70 years has been revived by scientists after a handful of seeds was discovered. Botanists from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, and their counterparts from the National Botanic Garden of Belgium, propagated the Brome of the Ardennes, which had disappeared from its native Belgium. The salvage operation was carried out as part of the Millennium Seed Bank project, which aims to prevent species dying out.
The Times

MTEM wins its first oil prospecting contract in the US
MTEM, the Edinburgh University spin-out formed last year that claims its hydrocarbon survey technology could radically reduce drilling risk and save the oil industry billions of dollars per year, has won its first order. Houston-based Natural Gas Systems has commissioned the Scottish company to carry out an electromagnetic survey of the various reservoirs in the company's Delhi Field, a large oil and gas field in Louisiana first discovered in the 1940s and acquired by NGS two years ago.
The Financial Times

New campus design gets the go-ahead
The go-ahead has been given to plans to build a new campus for Queen Margaret University College. The £50 million campus will be created at Craighall, near Musselburgh. It will see more than 4,000 staff and students move from QMUC's existing bases at Corstorphine and Leith. The move is expected to be completed by autumn 2007. The design, which has been lauded as environmentally friendly, includes wooded areas, tree-lined boulevards and low-energy buildings.
The Scotsman

From the weekend's papers:


  • Warwick University will not be opening a campus in Singapore after lecturers voted against the move. The Financial Times
  • Works of art, obscure scientific instruments and paintings has been unearthed in a year-long search of Edinburgh University departments. The Scotsman
  • With employers moaning about a lack of core skills, universities have set about repairing their poor reputation for preparing graduates. The Guardian
  • Family of the Oxford rower who died on a training trip say they have been let down by the university. The Times


  • Bright A-level students could soon be taught by dons in Britain’s first university boarding school. The Sunday Times
  • An Islamist terror group has been recruiting students at UCL. The Sunday Times

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