Today's news

February 28, 2006

More money needed to stop university decline, argues Patten
Europe is condemning itself to decline by failing to spend enough on higher education, Lord Patten, the former European commissioner, said today. In a passionate attack on the "eunuchs" who are preventing reform of the common agricultural policy, the former Tory minister, who is now chancellor of Oxford and Newcastle universities, said more public and private funding is necessary. European universities were falling behind American institutions and would soon see their best researchers "going east as well as west" with the growth of China and India.
The Guardian, The Daily Mail

All-women Oxford college set to admit men
Students at Oxford University's last all-women college have voted to admit men for the first time. Some 55 per cent of undergraduates at St Hilda's College voted to allow male students in, and 77 per cent backed the introduction of male fellows. But the poll, held last week by members of the Junior Common Room, the college's undergraduate student body, is not binding. In a statement, principal Lady Judith English said the ballot followed a series of debates on the subject during the current term. "The outcome is important but will not in itself determine the future of the College," she said.
The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian

Students to demand MPs keep fees cap
English university students will this week lobby MPs to keep the cap on tuition fees amid concerns that students are being priced out of study. On Wednesday the National Union of Students will demand that MPs block a removal of the £3,000 cap on university fees during a forum with the higher education minister, Bill Rammell, and Liberal Democrats and Tory education spokesmen, Edward Davey and Boris Johnson. The Westminster forum is part of the union's national week of action, designed to lobby the Government to improve student funding and fight against course closures.
The Guardian

University to join debate on armed officers
The controversial issue of whether the police should be armed is the focus of the 2006 Multilingual Debate at Heriot-Watt University. The annual debate will this year feature Lothian and Borders chief constable Paddy Tomkins and around 450 school pupils from around Scotland. The event is run by the university's Languages and Intercultural Studies. Organiser Dr Maggie Sargeant said: "This event is a showcase for the interpreting skills of final-year undergraduate students on our languages degree programme, and also a hands-on opportunity to practice those skills.
The Scotsman

Research teams to home in on £35m animal bioscience centre
An animal bioscience research centre is to be built on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The £35 million complex will be at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Bush Estate, Penicuik, and it will also provide a new home for the Roslin Research Institute and the neuropathogenesis unit of the Institute for Animal Health. The Moredun Research Institute will share the premises and some Scottish Agricultural College researchers may work there.
The Scotsman

For a long life, drink cocoa and think positive
A cup of cocoa and a sunny outlook can help lengthen life, according to two studies of elderly Dutchmen. In a study of 470 men aged 65 to 84, those with the highest cocoa consumption were half as likely to die from cardiovascular disease as others. The research, in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine , suggests that the cocoa may be beneficial because it is a rich source of antioxidants, which mop up free radicals.
The Daily Telegraph, New Scientist

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