Today's news

November 10, 2005

Minister defends fall in student applications
The higher education minister, Bill Rammell, has admitted that the Government is anticipating a fall in the number of students applying to university this year because of the introduction of top-up fees. Applications for courses starting this September were boosted in what was widely interpreted as an attempt by students to beat the introduction of £3,000 fees from next year. Today, Bill Rammell, the higher education minister, suggested that this would result in a slight fall in applications this year.
The Guardian, The Times, The Financial Times, The Independent

New system holds up university applications
The university admissions service, Ucas, has admitted that its new online application system has suffered from a glitch this year which has caused delays in processing applications from prospective medics, teachers and Oxbridge students. This year Ucas introduced a more detailed online application form to provide institutions with more information about applicants. Institutions can access them online but the technology has so far prevented many from doing so.
The Guardian

Oxford and Cambridge applications up
Applications to Oxford and Cambridge for undergraduate degree courses next year increased by 0.3 per cent compared with the same time last year, according to figures out today. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service said by the initial October 15 closing date, 59,881 people had applied for courses starting in 2006, when colleges start charging top-up tuition fees.
The Guardian

Pope gives Scot top arts post
A Scottish academic has been appointed to a senior position in the Vatican by Pope Benedict XVI to help spread the Catholic Church's views on arts and culture. John Haldane, 51, who is a professor of philosophy at St Andrews University, will take on the prestigious role of Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Culture.
The Scotsman

Drugs firms bemoan decline of science in industry
Urgent action is needed to arrest the decline of British science in industry, drug companies said today. A report from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry highlighted skills shortages in chemistry, clinical pharmacology and biology. Companies surveyed also pointed to a decline in higher level mathematics skills among life scientists, and knowledge gaps in other areas needed by industry.
The Guardian

Chemical talks bound to get good reaction
The University of Edinburgh is to present a series of events this week on the subject of chemistry. The events are all part of The Royal Society of Chemistry's Chemistry Week 2005. A highlight of the week will be a lecture by Professor Peter J Sadler on Friday, entitled The Chemical Elements of Life and Medicines: a Web of Health? about mineral supplements available on the internet.
The Scotsman

Letter
Myth of free university education.
The Independent

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