Today's news

July 28, 2006

Skills are rusting away
Rolls-Royce warned yesterday that it is being forced to recruit overseas because Britain is failing to produce enough youngsters suitably qualified in science and technology subjects. The aero engine firm's chief executive Sir John Rose said he expects the problem to worsen as engineering graduates become harder to find in the UK, with British students increasingly choosing 'soft' subjects, such as media studies and hospitality. Rolls-Royce is already taking about a quarter of its annual intake of graduates from overseas, mainly America and Germany.
Daily Mail

SNP outline plan for 'free universities'
The Scottish Nationalists have made an audacious bid to entice the youth vote at next May's Holyrood election by promising a return to free university education. The party said yesterday that it if was elected it would scrap existing graduate debt from student loans in Scotland, which currently totals more than £ 1 billion. Grants would be reintroduced and the student loans and graduate endowment schemes abolished. The policy was outlined as polling indicated that May's election would be a two-horse race between SNP and Labour.
The Times , The Scotsman

Egg donors to be recruited by stem-cell research project
Stem-cell scientists are to recruit egg donors for therapeutic cloning research in Newcastle through an "egg sharing" scheme. The research team would pay about half the costs of a patient's IVF treatment in return for the donation of half the eggs she produced. The project, which allows UK researchers to buy eggs, was announced by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority yesterday. The scientists, based at the Centre for Life and Newcastle University, said they needed a reliable supply of quality eggs to create human embryos for research to "allow faster progress to be made towards stem-cell therapies for conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease".
Financial Times , Daily Telegraph , The Guardian , The Independent , The Times

Greenwich launches Chinese business masters
The University of Greenwich has launched a new masters degree in international business in China in a bid to prepare students for the UK's growing export links with China. The new course comes as business leaders in Britain this week called for Chinese to be taught in schools and universities, after a new report warned language and communication barriers were making it increasingly difficult to do business in China.
The Guardian

Chess champion may have been sleepwalking when she fell to her death
A British teenage chess champion has fallen to her death from an eighth-floor hotel room in what police believe may have been a sleepwalking accident. Jessie Gilbert, 19, who was competing in the Czech Open, was found dead outside her hotel on Wednesday morning. Although detectives initially suspected suicide, they are now investigating the theory that the doctor's daughter from Reigate, Surrey, who was about to begin studying at Oxford University, may have fallen by accident after her friends revealed that she had suffered from sleepwalking since childhood.
The Daily Telegraph

Naomi Sargant: professor of applied social research at the Open University and Channel 4's senior commissioning editor for education. Oliver Knowles: ecologist and conservator. The Guardian . Sir James Menter: physicist and Principal of Queen Mary College, London. The Independent

Oxford admissions
The Daily Telegraph , The Guardian


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