Today's news

January 18, 2006

Oxford and Cambridge join elite research alliance
Oxford and Cambridge have joined a global group of 10 elite universities to collaborate in research and to exchange staff and students. Launched in Singapore, the International Alliance of Research Universities is a sign that even the most prestigious institutions are feeling the need to forge alliances in the global higher education market. The new group includes Yale and Berkeley in the US and rising stars in Beijing and Singapore. It follows the creation in 1997 of Universitas 21, an international group of 17 research-intensive universities including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham and Nottingham. Yesterday University College London announced it had been accepted as a member of the League of European Research Universities which includes Oxford and Cambridge.
The Guardian

City University honours memory of Sampson
City University is creating the UK's first ever professorship in reporting, in honour of the late journalist Anthony Sampson. Sampson, who died in December 2004 was the pioneering editor of South Africa's Drum Magazine in the 50s, who later became Nelson Mandela's official biographer. He played a crucial part in the success of The Observer under David Astor's editorship and was for some time a member of the Scott Trust. The Anthony Sampson Chair in Reporting has been designed to ensure that the principles of reporting and writing are continued and passed down to future generations of prospective journalists and is to be funded by a donation from The Gatsby Charitable Foundation.
The Guardian

Doctors 'involved in eight euthanasia deaths a day'
Doctors were involved in as many as eight deaths a day from voluntary or "non-voluntary" euthanasia in Britain in 2004, according to academic research. A report by Clive Seale, professor of sociology at Brunel University, said 1,930 deaths were as a result of a doctor ending a patient's life without the patient's consent, a practice known as "non-voluntary euthanasia" or "mercy killing". This involves the ending of the life of a person who does not have the faculty to make such a decision, for instance when they are in a coma. Some 936 deaths were by voluntary euthanasia. Put together, these figures amount to 2,866 deaths or eight a day.
The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail

Oxford to ditch academic dress
Students at Oxford University could soon be spared the ordeal of taking examinations in full academic dress. For centuries they have been forced to wear subfusc - defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “of dusky, dull or sombre hue - while taking exams. But senior university staff have said that if the student body says that it is against the wearing of subfusc during examinations, the dress code will be made voluntary, effectively abolishing it. A motion has been brought to this week’s meeting of the Student Union which proposes to poll students later this term.
The Times

Disabled 'struggling' to learn
Disabled people still face many barriers to studying at colleges or university, the National Union of Students has said. Kevin Morris, the disabled students officer for NUS Scotland, spoke out as a group of more than 20 disabled students met with MSPs to tell them about the struggles they had faced. Members of Holyrood's Equal Opportunities Committee invited the group to come and speak to them as part of their inquiry into the barriers disabled people face in society. Wheelchair users, dyslexia sufferers, visually impaired students and those with mental health difficulties were all invited to meet Committee members.
The Scotsman

Deal brings new college campus a step closer
A new campus for Queen Margaret University College came a step closer yesterday when a multi-million pound deal was signed to help fund the move. The higher education college is due to relocate from its three campuses in Edinburgh to a purpose-built facility at Craighall, near Musselburgh, next year.
The Scotsman

Students fined for sending hamster through the post
Two Cambridge University students "let their college down" by sending a hamster through the post, a court heard yesterday. David Jordan and James Cole, both 19 and second-year students at Churchill College, claimed to have undertaken the bizarre prank in revenge at a man who had threatened Jordan four months earlier. Magistrates sitting in Ely, Cambridgeshire, heard that the pair carried out the cruel joke after getting "plastered" at a college garden party. Appearing before magistrates yesterday, Jordan, of Columbine Road, Ely, and Cole, of Philpott Drive, Marchwood, Southampton, both admitted abandoning a hamster in circumstances likely to cause the animal unnecessary suffering.
The Scotsman, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian

Scientists trace Ireland's most fertile man
Scientists in Ireland may have found the country's most fertile male, with more than three million men worldwide among his offspring. The scientists, from Trinity College Dublin, have discovered that as many as one in 12 Irish men could be descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, a 5th century warlord who headed the most powerful dynasty in ancient Ireland. His genetic legacy is almost as impressive as that of Genghis Khan, the Mongol emperor who conquered most of Asia in the 13th century and has nearly 16 million descendants, Dan Bradley, who supervised the research, said.
The Guardian

Letter
Regarding Cambridge having benefited from investment advice.
The Financial Times

Letter
Graduates are still finding jobs with good salaries.
The Financial Times

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