Today's news

June 7, 2006

Students can graduate as lecturers agree pay deal
Lecturers' unions have suspended their industrial action after agreeing a pay deal with university employers last night. The three-year package, worth 13.1 per cent, ended an increasingly bitter dispute that had threatened to wreck the degree examinations of more than 300,000 students. The University and Colleges Union decided to call off its boycott after agreeing to ballot its members on the offer from the Universities and Colleges Employers Association. An agreement on an independent review of university finances and salaries, which will report back in autumn 2008, appeared to have broken the deadlock.
The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times

'West Lothian' move on top-up fees
Scotland's Labour MPs should not be allowed to vote on any proposals to increase university top-up fees because they would not apply to their own constituents, the Conservatives said last night. David Willetts, the Tory education spokesman, spoke out after Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, who is a Scot, hinted that top-up fees might have to rise after the next general election. Raising the ''West Lothian question'', Mr Willetts said it would be unfair if MPs from Scotland, where powers over education have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, were given a vote on the issue.
The Daily Telegraph

Harvard funds human cloning
America's richest university threw its reputation and financial resources behind efforts to clone human embryos for medical science yesterday. Scientists at Harvard University were awarded ethical approval and private funds to pursue therapeutic cloning experiments, which are strongly opposed by the Bush administration and the religious right. Researchers hope that they could lead to cures for conditions such as diabetes and motor neuron disease. The Harvard team will seek to clone embryos using cells from patients with these disorders, and then to create “disease-specific” colonies of embryonic stem cells that can be used to develop new treatments.
The Times

Students embark on Big Brother-style carbon experiment
Four physics students will spend the next few days trying to live as carbon neutrally as possible, as part of the Cheltenham Science festival. The students, from University College London and the University of Reading, will be taking part in Camp Energy - Survival of the Physicists, which is designed to show how physics can help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released in everyday activities, such as cooking, travelling and entertaining. In Big Brother style, the students will camp together and set daily tasks, all under the watchful eye of the Institute of Physics, which has organised the challenge.
The Guardian

Chester launches weighty course
The University of Chester is tackling the heavy issues with a new masters degree. The university will offer the UK's first postgraduate degree in weight management as the obesity crisis, especially in children, worsens across the developed world. Kevin Sykes, director of the university's centre for exercise and nutrition science and an expert on obesity, said: "The World Health Organisation reports that obesity is increasing worldwide, in both advanced and developing countries, and is contributing to the increasing levels of disorders such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, orthopaedic problems, obstructive sleep apnoea and certain cancers.
The Guardian

Bike ace helps college gear up for future
Olympic champion cyclist Chris Hoy helped launch the latest phase of Queen Margaret University College's new Craighall Campus. Hoy was guest of honour at an event to celebrate the construction of new £30 million student residences. Miller Construction is building eight accommodation blocks on the site, on behalf of developer Sanctuary Housing Group, which will provide 800 state-of-the-art bedrooms. Hoy laid the final section of concrete for the erection of the steel frame at the site. He praised the development for featuring cycle paths and bicycle parking. Part of the National Cycle Route One cuts through the campus, linking to other cycle routes in East Lothian.
The Scotsman

Larkin's lost notebook of love poems to go on sale for £20,000
A notebook containing drafts of love poems by Philip Larkin is due to go on sale at a book fair for £20,000. The poet kept the notebook on a bedside table in 1976 when he began an affair with Betty Mackereth, his secretary. It slid down the back of the table where it remained for a quarter of a century before being found by a junk dealer and eventually sold to a book seller who is putting it up for sale on Thursday.
The Daily Telegraph

University reforms do meet the concerns of critics.
The Financial Times

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