Today's news

June 14, 2006

Big rise in student visas raises fear of scams
Labour's immigration policy was under fresh attack last night after the Government admitted that it had no firm data on how many foreign students left the UK after the completion of their courses. The admission came after Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Harwich, discovered a huge increase in the number of student visas issued to people from just five countries. Separately, the Foreign Office disclosed yesterday that as many as 180,000 people living in Pakistan and Bangladesh could be holding British passports and be able to live here - 135,000 more than official estimates.
The Daily Telegraph

Four more universities join 1994 group
Four institutions are to join the 1994 group of research-intensive universities, bringing its total membership to 19. They are Leicester, Loughborough, the School of Oriental and African Studies and Queen Mary, University of London. The 1994 group, including such universities as St Andrews and Sussex, represents smaller institutions than the Russell group, which lobbies for Oxbridge and the large civic "redbricks" such as Leeds and Bristol. The 1994 institutions stress their teaching as well as research prowess. The announcement is a sign of the increasing division of the higher education sector into competing factions that lobby for their interests in Westminster and to government funding bodies.
The Guardian

Blaze rips through Georgian landmark
A fire ripped through a historic building in Glasgow's West End yesterday, requiring 60 firefighters to bring it under control. The roof of the former Glasgow University student halls of residence in the conservation area of Park Terrace, which overlooks Kelvingrove Park, caught light just after midday. Smoke and flames could be seen for miles around the city as the blaze took hold in the ornate Georgian tenement, which was being converted into luxury flats. A Strathclyde Fire Brigade spokesman said all workers on site had been evacuated safely. It was not known what started the fire and an investigation has been launched.
The Scotsman

New student president vows to fight debt and tuition fees
New Edinburgh University student president Tim Goodwin has vowed to make the fight against high student debt and fees his priorities. The 22-year-old politics student from Tooting, London, said: "With the average student debt now well over £10,000 it's no great surprise that the issues of student debt and tuition fees are creeping up the political agenda once again and it's long overdue. I'll be spending my year building relationships with the local community, fighting to ensure that the Scottish Parliament scraps prescription charges for low earners and running a huge voter registration campaign."
The Scotsman

The granddaddy of all crocodiles shows age
Crocodiles are 20 million years older than thought, and garden spiders about 100 million years older. Scientists discovered in Australia the remains of a crocodile that lived up to 98 million years ago. The creature, which was about 1m (3ft) long, probably resembled the last common ancestor of modern crocodiles. Another research team, led by David Penney of Manchester University, has extended the evolutionary history of orb-weaving spiders, a group that includes common garden varieties. A fossilised spider that was found preserved in amber in Spain suggests that orb-weaving spiders arrived in the Jurassic period, not the Cretaceous.
The Times, Nature

Beer may help prevent prostate cancer
Beer may help prevent prostate cancer, according to new US research. But forget moderation, a man would have to drink 17 ales a day to get any benefit. Scientists at Oregon State University said the compound xanthohumol, found in hops, inhibits a protein found in the cells along the surface of the prostate gland. The protein acts like a switch that turns on a variety of cancers, including prostate cancer. Fred Stevens, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry at OSU's College of Pharmacy, said the findings were still useful, despite the problem with the amount of pints it would be necessary to sink.
The Daily Mail

Most students at St Hilda's College are against the admission of men.
The Evening Standard

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