Universities urged to consider expanding bursary schemes
Universities should increase the number of bursaries they award to students wanting to enter law and medicine to ensure that top-up fees do not discourage poorer students from applying, a government-backed report found today. The Government originally argued that students would be willing to pay up to £3,000 a year in top-up fees because of the lifetime of extra earnings they would receive once they had a degree. But the suggestion that bursaries should instead be used as incentives to poorer students regardless of their future earnings raises new questions about the purpose of the new student funding system, which will be introduced along with higher fees next year.
The Guardian, The Observer, The Times Higher Education Supplement (Nov 4)
Minister denies complacency over science 'crisis'
Bill Rammell, the higher education minister, today denied the Government was complacent about what MPs called the "perceived crisis" of science and engineering in universities. Mr Rammell had been summoned back before the Commons science and technology committee to explain why he had rejected MPs' proposals on halting the decline of British science. Earlier this year the committee mounted an inquiry following the shock closure of Exeter University's chemistry department. It recommended a "hub and spokes" model for regional collaboration, based round a leading research university in each region - but this was rejected by ministers and by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
The Guardian, The Observer
Cardiff sweeps media awards
The University of Cardiff last night swept the board at the Guardian Student Media Awards, winning three of the most prestigious prizes, including newspaper of the year. Gair Rhydd finally broke the domineering run of the publication York Vision , from the University of York, which has won the award for three years. The judges, who included the Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow and Piers Morgan, described Gair Rhydd as "a very well executed broadsheet".
Art lectures lined up for university anniversary
The Watson Gordon Chair of Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh celebrates its 125th anniversary this year and will mark the occasion with a series of lectures starting tonight. Free public lectures will be given by four British art historians in the Hawthornden lecture theatre at the National Gallery of Scotland at 6pm on the first four Wednesdays in November.
'No hidden bird flu humans in Asia'
A fact-finding mission to Asia by British scientists has found no evidence of hidden cases of humans with deadly bird flu. The Medical Research Council team, led by Professor Andrew McMichael, from Oxford University, spent 10 days in China and North Vietnam where the H5N1 virus already has a foothold. A total of 122 people in south-east Asian countries, including Vietnam, are known to have caught the infection, and 62 have died, according to the World Health Organisation.
University to aid aquatic scheme
Fishermen and farmers in Malawi are get expert advice from a Scottish university, it has been announced. The Executive has awarded Stirling University nearly £250,000 to set up education and training schemes in the impoverished country. The money, spread over three years, will fund a project between Stirling's Institute of Aquaculture and Malawi's Mzuzu University.
Pros and cons of work placement during a degree. Bill Rammell.