Today's news

September 8, 2006

University offers discount on fees for up-front payments
The Government's pledge to ensure fair access to universities for students from low-income families in the new world of top-up fees was challenged last night as a controversial discount scheme emerged. Under the scheme at Gloucestershire University, 20 per cent will be knocked off the tuition bill for people who pay the entire £9,000 for a three-year degree course up front. But the offer is not available to those needing state help.
The Guardian , The Times

NUS resumes battle against tuition fees
Student leaders have refused to give up their fight for free university education in England, vowing to continue protests until the Government backs down and abolishes tuition fees. Launching its new campaign last night, the National Union of Students said its renewed push to scrap the recently introduced top-up fees would begin on October 29, when thousands of students will take to the streets to again protest against the new fees.
The Guardian

US colleges 'starting to lag'
The US higher education system - often considered the best in the world - is starting to lag behind other countries', according to a report released yesterday. The report, produced by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, an independent research group based in California, highlights the need for the US to improve college participation rates among young adults and support degree completion, the report's authors said. "The rest of the world has a much stronger sense of the relationship between having a college-educated society and being economically competitive," said Patrick Callan, president of the centre.
Financial Times

Suspended sentence for student voyeur
A student who concealed a tiny video camera in a shower gel bottle to secretly film women bathing in his hall of residence was yesterday given a two-year suspended sentence. Charles Greaves, 19, considered a "loner" by fellow students at the University of Wales, Bangor, admitted to police that he had secretly filmed women using a shared bathroom. The student, from Telford, Shropshire, pleaded guilty last month to six counts of voyeurism and installing equipment for the purpose of sexual gratification.
The Guardian , The Times

Teenagers' tantrums: it's all in the brain
Sulky teenagers cannot help being rude or having tantrums because their brains have not yet fully developed, a leading neuroscientist said yesterday. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London, said that they could not help being sullen because they were still developing social skills and did not yet have the full mental hardware to see the world from someone else's point of view or predict the consequences of their actions.
The Guardian , The Independent

Bronze Age pyramid found in Ukraine
Archaeologists in Ukraine have unearthed the remains of an ancient pyramidal structure that pre-dates those in Egypt by at least 300 years. The stone foundations of the structure, which probably resembled Aztec and Mayan ziggurats in South America, were discovered near the eastern city of Lugansk. It is thought they were laid about five millennia ago during the early Bronze Age by animists who worshipped a sun god. The "pyramid" is in fact a complex of temples and sacrificial altars topping a sculpted hillside with steps on its sides.
The Guardian

British wildlife moving to the north as temperatures rise
Eight out of 10 animal species in Britain have expanded their range to the north in response to a warmer climate over the past 40 years, scientists said yesterday. They include mammals, birds, butterflies, beetles and spiders, said Chris Thomas of York University. "Eighty per cent of species are moving in the directions that are predicted for them, in other words moving north, moving up mountains, retreating at their southern boundaries," Professor Thomas told the British Association.
The Independent


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