Today's news

March 30, 2006

Don't rely on foreign student fees, universities warned
Some of the country's leading universities will face serious financial problems if the downturn in the number of foreign students coming to study in the UK continues, according to research published today. The study from the Higher Education Policy Institute says universities such as the London School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies, which are heavily reliant on fees from non-EU students, will be worst affected. "It is clear that a sharp reversal in international student numbers would, in the most heavily exposed institutions, necessitate immediate action to offset the loss of revenue," the report states.
The Guardian, The Times, The Times Higher Education Supplement (Mar 30)

Weldon becomes Brunel creative writing professor
She has written award-winning novels, film scripts and short stories but the next career step for Fay Weldon is into the lecture theatre, as the chair of creative writing. The British author has been appointed professor of creative writing at Brunel University in one of seven new posts at the institution's school of arts. Appointed CBE for her services to literature in 2001, Professor Weldon has taught in schools, colleges and prisons as well as working with educational initiatives by Arts Council in the UK and the British Council abroad.
The Guardian

Exposé on Jewish role in US policy is disowned
Harvard University is distancing itself from a report by one of its senior academics that accuses the Jewish lobby in America of subverting US foreign policy in Israel’s interest. After a furious outcry from prominent American Jews, Harvard has removed its logo from the study and disowned any responsibility for the views put forward in the working paper, released two weeks ago. Yesterday it confirmed that Stephen Walt, the co-author of The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy , will be stepping down in June as academic dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government to become an ordinary professor.
The Times

Vase smasher barred from museum unveiling
The three valuable Chinese vases had been safely on display for 50 years before being smashed in a bizarre accident. And yesterday the museum which owns them opened its doors to show off the expert restoration work being done to put the 17th century Qing dynasty pieces back together. But when one keen museum-goer turned up to inspect them, he was barred from entering... because he was the man who had smashed them in the first place. Museum bosses said it would have been "inappropriate" for Nick Flynn to attend yesterday's press conference.
The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times

Teenage cancers linked to growth spurts
Growth spurts may trigger particular types of cancers in teenagers, a leading scientist claims. The researcher from Manchester University analysed more than 16million cancer cases. She found certain cancers peaked between the ages of 13 and 24. These include Hodgkin lymphoma, and two forms of bone cancer. Although teenager cancers are rare, they remain the leading cause of death after accidents. There are around 1,900 new cases each year.
The Daily Mail, The Scotsman

Shakespeare first folio to go under hammer
A first folio edition of Shakespeare's plays, described by auction house Sotheby's as "the most important book in English literature", is to go on sale this summer with an estimated price tag of £3.5 million. Printed in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death, the folio contains 36 plays, 18 of which - including Macbeth, Twelfth Night , The Tempest , The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It - had never been printed before and, were it not for their appearance in the folio, would most probably have been lost forever.
The Guardian

Late for work again? Just blame it on 'social' jet-lag, say researchers
Half the population are in a permanent state of jet-lag because their body clocks are so out of synch with the demands of modern life, sleep researchers claim. A study of 500 people found huge variations in people's natural sleeping patterns, with some early risers getting up at the same time night owls were going to bed. Professor Till Roenneberg, of Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, said this meant that at least one person in two was "in effect, socially jet-lagged all the time" because their body clock did not conform with their working hours.
The Scotsman

Steady pace is best for boat race, according to study
The standard strategy in Sunday's Oxford versus Cambridge grudge match is to go off hard and then drop to a sustainable pace, but new research suggests this might not be the best way to win. Dr Stephen Garland, of the English Institute of Sport, and Dr Harry Rossiter, of Leeds University, analysed "critical power", an athlete's fixed energy reserve, to calculate how long two evenly-matched eights could maintain their speed over the full Putney to Mortlake course. They confirmed that the optimal strategy was one which kept a steady pace throughout, a view supported by statistics of past close races.
The Daily Telegraph

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