Today's news

August 30, 2006

Tories aim to boost links with India
Moves to encourage more Indian students to come to UK universities, including greater funding for scholarships, were called for by the Conservative party as part of a package of measures to increase business links with India. David Cameron, the Tory leader, will visit India next week. In a policy paper issued ahead of the trip, the Tories yesterday argued that British business had been "slow to embrace the vast opportunities" offered by India and accused the government of complacency in addressing the issue. The policy paper warns that US universities have become the preferred choice for Indian students who opt to study overseas. To counter this trend, higher education bodies should offer more scholarships to high quality Indian students.
The Financial Times

Bute voted top of the form
The Bute Medical School at St Andrews University has been voted as the best in the country. The school, one of the smallest in the UK, was named top in the 2006 National Student Survey and praised for the commitment and enthusiasm of its staff, and the intellectual stimulus of its courses, by medical students. Professor Hugh MacDougall, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and head of the Bute Medical School, said: "St Andrews University has one of the smallest medical schools in the United Kingdom, yet it has been rated number one in this important national survey of students' appreciation of the quality of teaching and training. This is a remarkable achievement."
The Scotsman

'Green opium' wins over the comrades as China embraces golf
It may once have been seen as a decadent distraction for capitalists, but these days golf is the sport of choice for even the most ideologically driven of cadres. Now, a prestigious Chinese university is planning to put golf on the curriculum. Golfers can tee off as part of their physical education programme at Peking University, one of China's leading academic addresses where Chairman Mao Zedong once worked in the library, according to the Beijing News. The college is looking for permission to build a driving range on campus in the north-western part of the city.
The Independent

Top-up fees could signal end of campus revelry
Students, brace yourselves. The days of partying your way through a degree could be numbered as new research reveals campus life will be a sobering experience once top-up fees are introduced next month. In their final report, published today, researchers at the University of Southampton and the Knowledge Partnership warn that charging higher fees is likely to change the whole campus experience for English students. Their study included interviews with students from Australia and New Zealand, where fees can be as much as AU$8,000 (£3,200) a year. The interviews revealed that the economics of campus life have turned students away from heavy partying and driven them to take study more seriously, supported by part-time jobs.
The Guardian

Students' tuition fees to 'double within four years'
University students will be forced to pay £5,000-a-year tuition fees by the end of the decade, it was warned yesterday. Academics believe that top-up fees - which are being introduced this September - will almost double within the next four years. The government faced a backbench rebellion over its drive to introduce these £3,000-a-year charges, with Labour MPs claiming that poor students - already facing the prospect of heavy debts - would be deterred from going to university.
The Daily Mail

NUS concern over overseas attractions
A rise in the numbers of UK masters students seeking cheaper courses in Sweden and the Netherlands has prompted the National Union of Students to call for more affordable courses at British universities. So far, the numbers involved are a trickle compared to the nearly 367,000 British postgraduates in UK universities and the 45,800 European Union students who come to the UK for masters and other postgraduate courses. But the competition could spell trouble for UK universities, which have come to rely heavily on postgraduate fees from overseas students.
The Guardian

Penguin takes its 'black classics' into China
It has taken more than 70 years, but Penguin has finally arrived in China. The British publisher announced yesterday that classics such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Oliver Twist, Crime and Punishment and Moby Dick would be translated into Mandarin and sold under its logo in the world's fastest growing book market. The first 10 novels will go on sale in November under a licensing deal with a local partner that could eventually see the UK firm marketing Chinese literature and the works of Marx and Engels to a population of 1.3 billion people.
The Guardian

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