Today's news

November 23, 2005

Dons clash with Cambridge over intellectual rights
Cambridge University is bracing itself for a battle over the right of its academics to own their inventions, in what is being seen by some as a test of the leadership of vice-chancellor Alison Richards. The university is planning to reform the ancient system of intellectual property rights, which it says will clarify who owns researchers' inventions. The plan involves controversial stipulations that mean the university would play a part in every application for a patent. Rebel academics are claiming that the wording of the plans is an attack on Cambridge's uniquely liberal system, which currently allows them to own their discoveries and control how and for what purposes they are patented.
The Guardian, The Times

Chief executive to steer Suffolk HE plans
A £150 million initiative to bring higher education to Suffolk took a further step forward today with the appointment of a chief executive. Bob Anderson, pro-vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, will head University Campus Suffolk, the project developed by two neighbouring institutions, the University of East Anglia and Essex University, and Suffolk further education college. The Ipswich campus will take its first students in September 2007. An investment of £106 million in the first phase includes a countywide learning network and a landmark development on the Ipswich waterfront that will provide university facilities in Suffolk for the first time.
The Guardian

Students 'buy' their way from A levels to degrees
Students are working their way up from A levels to first-class degrees by buying coursework on the internet, the UK's biggest essaywriting service claimed yesterday. Anti-plagiarism software for exam boards announced by the Government's curriculum advisers will be powerless to detect "bespoke" one-off essays written for individual assignments, it said. "All our essays are original work, checked by the latest plagiarism-tracking software used by the top universities so the exam boards and universities won't detect anything wrong," said Matthew Wilson, the managing director of Essaywriter.co.uk.
The Daily Telegraph

Imperial bans hoodies on campus
Imperial College London has issued a ban on its staff and students wearing hijabs or hoodies in its buildings as part of an effort to improve campus security. The college's management board approved the new dress code at the beginning of the month. "Clothing that obscures an individual's face is not allowed on any of the college's campuses," it reads. "Employees and students should refrain from wearing clothing which obscures the face, such as a full or half veil, or hooded tops or scarves worn across the face." College officials said the move was part of renewed efforts to improve security on campus after the summer bombings in London. It was also an attempt to combat theft and deter animal rights activists on campus. Security staff should be able to match a person's face to their security card, the regulations read.
The Guardian, The Independent

Report reveals economic divide among students
University life is increasingly becoming a two-tier experience, with wealthier students studying hard and taking CV-enhancing work experience while their poorer classmates work long hours in low-paid jobs, which means their grades suffer as a result, new research showed today. The three-year study on the impact of debt and term-time working on students' lives paints an intimate portrait of student life, which reveals that undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds do less well at university as they struggle to pay the bills.
The Guardian

Students to protest at age bar on bus passes
Campaigners are set to demonstrate on Princes Street this week to demand that Lothian Buses offers concessionary travel to mature students. The Edinburgh University Students' Association is furious that discounted Ridacards are not available to students over the age of 25. The student organisation has encouraged people to send campaign postcards to Transport Minister Tavish Scott, and is set to stage a demonstration in Edinburgh on Thursday. The Every Penny Counts campaign has attracted the support of local politicians, including MSPs Sarah Boyack, Mark Ballard and Mike Pringle.
The Scotsman

Ultimate paper plane takes to skies
A team of young scientists have created what they believe to be the perfect paper plane. It can fly more than 100ft (30m) and remain aloft for about 20 seconds. Most importantly, it is easy to make. The plane, named Avenger , has been judged by academics to contain the ideal balance between complex aerodynamic principles and simplicity of design. Its looks may also have helped: the delta wing is reminiscent of Concorde . It is being flight-tested today along with dozens of other models in a competition in Leeds University’s Great Hall organised by the budget airline Jet2.com. Adjudicators from the Guinness Book of World Records will be present but none of the models is likely to beat the world record for the longest time aloft of .6 seconds.The Great Hall in Leeds is only about 160ft long and 60ft high, meaning that any paper plane would hit the walls or ceiling long before breaking the record.
The Times

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