Today's news

September 14, 2006

Female students outnumber men across the board
Female university students now outnumber men across all subject areas, from engineering to medicine and law to physical sciences. New figures from Universities UK showing that 57 per cent of all students are women demonstrate the remarkable progress that girls and women have made in the education system since campaigners against female entry to universities in the late 19th century argued that the “overeducation” of women could lead to sterility, brain damage and nervous collapse. The figures raise serious concerns that many boys and young men are being left behind by an education system that plays to the strengths of girls and undervalues the achievements of boys.
The Times

Overseas student intake doubles in ten years
The enlargement of the European Union has triggered an increase in the number of students from those countries choosing to study at a UK university, according to latest figures published today. The biggest influx is from Greece, which accounted for nearly 20,000 of the EU students who enrolled during 2004-05, the report, Patterns of Higher Education Institutions in the UK, compiled by Universities UK revealed. The number of EU students who came to the UK to study in 2004-05 was 100,000 - making up a third of the total of all overseas students who enrolled that year. Students from Asia made up the biggest group of international students recruited to UK universities during the same year, with a total of 132,000. Most of these students (52,000) came from China.
The Guardian

Our lesson in failure
Schools are failing to equip enough teenagers for university, sending Britain plummeting in the league table of educated nations. The country has slipped in global tables for the number of students leaving school and university with valuable qualifications. Britain has fewer graduates than most of its overseas competitors, an analysis found. The problem is thought to lie mainly with secondary schools that fail to produce enough students ready to cope with university. The warning came in a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which studied education across 30 developed countries.
The Daily Mail

It's arrivederci to Fibonacci, professor claims
A leading academic claimed yesterday to have debunked a key guiding principle widely used to try to gauge future movements of stock markets. Roy Batchelor, professor of banking and finance at City University's Cass Business School in London, said analysis of the daily behaviour of the US Dow Jones index between 1914 and 2002 found no correlation with rules based on Fibonacci numbers. He and the Cass researcher, Richard Ramyar, concluded that, contrary to beliefs held by many technical analysts, markets do not reverse at levels indicated by Fibonacci ratios.
The Independent

Schools recruiting younger candidates for MBAs
Top US business schools are recruiting younger, less experienced candidates in an attempt to get more students and stop other graduate programmes, such as law and public policy, from luring away the best ones. Leading schools have moved away from their unofficial prerequisite of four years of work experience and have sought college graduates and young professionals with only a couple of years of work under their belt. "There has been an assumption that to apply to an MBA programme with less than five years' work experience was a waste of time, and that's not true any more," said Rosemaria Martinelli, associate dean of student recruitment at University of Chicago School of Business. "Schools want to attract the right students when they're ready."
The Financial Times

Men more intelligent than women, says study (but then it was carried out by a man)
Controversial research on intelligence is guaranteed to delight men - and infuriate the women in their lives. A recent study claims that men really are cleverer than women. The research - carried out by a man - concludes that men's IQs are almost four points higher than women's. British-born researcher John Philippe Rushton, who was previously criticised for suggesting intelligence is influenced by race, says the finding could explain why so few women make it to the top in the workplace. He claims the 'glass ceiling' phenomenon is probably due to inferior intelligence rather than discrimination or lack of opportunity.
The Daily Mail

Gibraltar, the last resort of Neanderthal man
Scientists have found the last refuge of the Neanderthals, revealing how they eked out an existence for thousands of years longer than had been thought, according to research published today. The evidence from a cave in Gibraltar that they were much more tenacious than previously believed adds some support to a controversial claim that this earlier kind of human may have interbred with our ancestors. Neanderthals ( Homo neanderthalensis ) once inhabited a zone stretching from Asia to Western Europe from as much as 300,000 years ago, thriving on the cold of ice ages in forests where they hunted with heavy spears.
The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent

Academic freed in abuse case
A British academic accused of sexually abusing under-age girls in the Philippines has been freed after the case against him collapsed because three key witnesses apparently disappeared. Barry Edwards, 59, of Essex, was released by a court in Angeles, north of Manila, after the three young girls whom he was accused of raping were said to have vanished from the government shelter where they were staying and could not be found. Mr Edwards, a former maths lecturer at Middlesex University, was arrested in the Philippines in 2003 when police found him in a hotel room with a 14-year-old girl.
The Times

Quiz junkie hits £1m jackpot
A TV quiz show regular has become the fifth contestant to win the top prize on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Oxford graduate Ingram Wilcox won on his second appearance, two years after failing to get through the Fastest Finger First qualifying round. Celador, the TV company behind the show, yesterday refused to reveal the questions that won the 62-year-old father-of-five £1million.
The Daily Mail

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