Today's news

July 3, 2006

Sixth-formers haunted by debt fears
Fears of debt are threatening to put off half of Britain’s sixth-formers from applying to university, according to a study. As students face £3,000-a-year top-up fees from this autumn, teenagers said that the high costs of living and univer-sity fees were “the main barriers” to studying for a degree. Only weeks after Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary and architect of top-up fees, claimed that the cost of fees would be no more than “the price of a pint” to graduates, school leavers disagree. In a national study commissioned by the Universities Marketing Forum, 48 per cent of teenagers considering going to university said that they were “very likely” or “quite likely” not to go because they could not afford the cost of living.
The Times

Students to apply for loans online
University students will be able to apply for student loans and grants online at the same time as applying for university, under new government plans revealed today. The higher education minister, Bill Rammell, said students in England would be able to obtain financial support through a single student finance service run by a national organisation. The service will allow students to investigate the financial support available for a range of courses and apply for government-backed loans and grants. Mr Rammell said: "I want students to understand that they don't have to worry about how they will pay their fees and living costs: they can take out loans or grants and only have to begin paying back their loans once they are earning more than £15,000."
The Guardian

Banks compete to win students who stay for life
Lloyds TSB will be handing out free Apple iPods to prospective university students from today as the annual battle to grab a share of the crucial student account market gets under way. HSBC is offering an "MP4" music and video player or 10 free CDs, while the leader in the student market, NatWest, is hoping to lure teenagers with a five-year railcard worth £100. Barclays, a one-time pariah on campuses because of its apartheid-era South Africa banking operations, is the only one of the big four to steer clear of freebies, focusing on an interest-free overdraft deal instead. The battle to obtain a share of the student market is vital for the banks because of the remarkable inertia among customers.
The Guardian

7/7 victims are bionic surgery pioneers
A team of British scientists has overcome one of the great challenges of modern medicine by developing technology that allows skin to bind with metal without causing infection, improving the prospect of bionic limbs. Early clinical trials on a group of patients who have lost limbs, fingers and thumbs, including two people injured in the July 7 bombings a year ago, are described as very promising. The technology, known as Intraosseous Transcutaneous Amputation Prosthesis, could lead to the use of fully functioning bionic limbs, linked up to a person’s nervous system and controlled by the patient, within five years.
The Times

Research bears fruit for beating cancer
Research into growing bigger peaches and nectarines has discovered a protein with "impressive anti-cancer potential", scientists said yesterday. Academics at an Israeli university have found that the substance, called "actibind", was a promising new way to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. It has the effect of blocking blood supply to tumours and was similar to a protein researched by a Hebrew University of Jerusalem team in its project to boost fruit size. "By blocking the blood supply to the tumours, actibind halted the ability of malignant cells to move through the bloodstream," the university said.
The Scotsman

Rich teens who love their drugs
Nearly a third of Edinburgh's 16-year-olds have taken drugs within the past year, according to a new study released today. Edinburgh University research has revealed there are more cannabis-using teenagers in the prosperous neighbourhoods of the city, such as Newington and Trinity, than in poorer areas. It found that 35 per cent of teenagers from affluent backgrounds, with parents working in non-manual jobs, had used cannabis in the past year, compared to 30 per cent of those whose parents were either in a manual occupation or were unemployed.
The Scotsman

From the weekend's papers:

Saturday

  • Lawrence Summers was named a university professor with offices both at the Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Business School. The Financial Times
  • The University of Warwick is launching a new post-graduate teaching certificate dedicated to the teaching of Shakespeare. The Guardian

Sunday

  • Studying while continuing to work is preferred option for MBA students aiming to stay ahead of the competition. The Independent On Sunday
  • Media studies loses its allure to more traditional subjects like maths. The Sunday Telegraph
  • Business schools and universities are turning away from the 'old school tie' system to recruit leaders. The Sunday Times

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