Today's news

July 5, 2006

MPs probe loss of Chinese courses
Plans by Liverpool John Moores University to drop Chinese courses as part of a reorganisation of one of its faculties will be investigated by MPs. Despite growing public awareness of China's future economic clout, university managers have decided to drop the courses to concentrate on those with higher demand and greater growth prospects. German courses will also be abandoned as part of the restructuring of the Faculty of Business and Law. French, Spanish and Japanese will remain only as an element of other courses, such as tourism and business studies.
The Financial Times

Universities 'must maintain record of scientific discovery'
Academics are citing key British scientific discoveries, from test-tube babies to the contraceptive pill, as the basis for a renewed plea for more vital research funding. Universities UK, the umbrella group representing universities, is today launching EurekaUK, a publication which celebrates 50 years of life-changing research to come out of universities in this country. EurekaUK sets out some of the most inspiring and dramatic breakthroughs in academic research, from unlocking DNA to the discovery of pulsars, from the first programmable computer to the artificial cows combating disease in Africa.
The Guardian

Mothers set up swap scheme to give students home from home
Two mothers believe they have found a way for students to save on accommodation costs. Parents with children going away to university are being invited to house the son or daughter of another family in a swap system. The founders of the scheme say it offers cost savings plus a better standard of living and increased security for students. Kate Barnham, 42, of Hove, East Sussex, whose son Tom is going to study fine art at University of Wales, Newport, in October, said: "I told a friend I was thinking of letting his room and taking in a lodger and we hit on the idea of setting up a swap service."
The Daily Telegraph

Graduate salaries creep upwards
Salaries for graduates obtaining qualifications in the last academic year crept up by £1,000 to an average of £18,000, according to the latest data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency. The salary figures include all jobs reported by full-time first-degree higher education graduates, of which 49 per cent of the 189,000 whose career history was known to Hesa were willing to disclose their salaries. Of those students, 29 per cent - up 1 per cent on the previous year - were in associate professional posts or technical occupations and a consistent 25 per cent were in professional occupations.
The Guardian, The Evening Standard

Two-degrees Connolly laughs his way to top of the class
Billy Connolly, who left school at 15 to work in a shipyard, donned an academic gown yesterday to accept an honorary degree. The comedian joked that his doctorate from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, in Glasgow, for services to the performing arts, was "like getting your picture on the wall in art class". He added: "If you don't go through higher education in the first place, you go through life thinking you're not that bright. I read that David Attenborough has 29 honorary degrees, but I think two will do me." Connolly, 63, who also has a doctorate from Glasgow University, said such honours used to go to classical musicians or Shakespearean actors.
The Daily Telegraph, The Times

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