Fees mean fewer will try for university place, careers advisers say
Careers advisers are predicting a drop in the number of people applying to university this year as poorer students are put off higher education ahead of the introduction of £3,000 tuition fees. The new funding regime will damage the government's attempts to attract more students from disadvantaged backgrounds to universities, according to three quarters of school and college career advisers questioned in a study passed to ministers last month
Naturalist criticises closure of eco labs
The television naturalist Sir David Attenborough has joined in a backlash against plans by a research council to close several ecological laboratories, one of which was featured in his Life in the Undergrowth series on BBC. The laboratories at Monks Wood in Cambridgeshire, Winfrith in Dorset, Banchory in Aberdeenshire and at Oxford are being closed, together with a site at Swindon, by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology as part of a £45 million restructuring plan. The centre has decided, with the approval of its parent body, the Natural Environment Research Council, to reduce its sites from nine to four, over four years, and to cut 200 of its 600 staff. Its plans are expected to save £5 million a year.
American student dies in cliff fall in Scotland
An American student fell to his death from a cliff in Scotland early yesterday in what police described as a tragic accident. Matthew Madison, 20, from Montana, who was studying engineering at an Italian university, fell 18 metres (60ft) from The Scores, in St Andrews, Fife. He had been taking a break in Scotland over the new year.
Students get the chance to mark college
Edinburgh University is to become the first in Scotland to take part in a nationwide survey of final-year students. The poll, organised by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and backed by the National Union of Students, asks students for their views on the quality of their degree programmes and universities. The results are available online to help future students choose what and where they would like to study. This information is also fed back to institutions so that they can improve what they offer.
Heart drugs 'do not cut risk of cancer'
Drugs used widely to reduce cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease do not cut the risk of cancer despite earlier claims, according to scientists. They re-analysed data from previous studies involving more than 86,000 people and found that taking statins did not reduce their chances of either developing or dying from any type of cancer.
Mystery of Mozart's skull nears solution
The century-old mystery as to whether a skull found in an Austrian basement is that of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be solved over the weekend when experts reveal the results of DNA tests. Researchers said yesterday they would broadcast their findings on Sunday as part of a year of celebratory events marking the composer's 250th birthday
Treasure ship to reveal its secrets after 800 years
Stormy waves cut short the voyage of the Chinese merchant vessel as it left a southern port laden with exquisite porcelain 800 years ago to sell its wares along the ancient trade route known as the Marine Silk Road. Now Chinese scientists want to awaken the ship from its slumber in the silt 20 nautical miles off the coast of Guangdong, which British sailors have long known as Canton. The treasure on board is truly amazing and impossible to value.