Today's news

October 26, 2006

Fears for break-up of world-class British medical laboratory
A plan to relocate a medical lab that has produced five Nobel prize-winners has descended into financial chaos, realising the worst fears of scientists that it would mean cutting down or breaking up the world-class facility. Many scientists now fear for the future of the National Institute for Medical Research when it is moved from Mill Hill, the institution which last summer characterised the human strains of the bird flu virus. Today, the journal Research Fortnight reports that the Medical Research Council has now resigned itself to cutting down or breaking up the institute after it has found that it cannot afford a move to central London.
Daily Telegraph , The Guardian , The Times Highter Education Supplement

Students left to sell for themselves
Treasury minister John Healey has spoken out against the lack of formal sales training in business studies courses at colleges and universities after a survey found that 99 per cent of business graduates are coming to the world of work not knowing how to sell. Research by sales improvement consultancy Huthwaite International found that only three of Britain's 300 business degrees and HND courses have specific sales modules.
Daily Telegraph

V-c calls for cheap drinks ban
A university vice-chancellor has written to all clubs and pubs near his campus asking them not to offer cut-price drinks to his students in a bid to end binge drinking. Tony Downes, of Reading University, Berks, said that alcohol discounts and promotions encourage young people to drink more and that in turn affects attendance at lectures because students are suffering from hangovers. Professor Downes, the university's pro vice-chancellor, also believes the measure would reduce robberies and assaults on students who have drunk too much. He said: "We want to foster responsible attitudes towards drink in our students.
Daily Telegraph , The Independent , The Times

University honours man who backs Hezbollah
A university is to give an honorary degree to a former Iranian president who backs Hezbollah and supports the execution of homosexuals. Muhammad Khatami will receive his degree at St Andrews next week from Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell, who is the university's chancellor. The National Union of Students is threatening a mass protest while human rights campaigners have pointed to Iran's appalling record during Khatami's eight-year term in office which ended last year, claiming thousands were jailed and tortured for their political beliefs.
Daily Mail

Chinese students riot after diplomas branded useless
Riot police have been sent to a college campus in China after a protest by students led to looting and vandalism. The violence at the Clothing Vocational College in Jiangxi province was the second case of serious campus unrest in less than six months to be sparked by accusations that profit-orientated education authorities had deceived students about the value of their diplomas. No domestic news organisation reported the demonstration. Censors have previously blocked coverage of student protests, which have been considered politically sensitive since the Tiananmen Square massacre in response to protests in 1989.
The Guardian , The Times

Thomson set to sell education publishing business for $5bn
Thomson, the Canadian media giant, looks set to announce that its education business has been put up for sale, with a price tag of $5 billion (£3 billion). The development comes amid a shake-up of the educational publishing business, where London-listed Pearson and Reed Elsevier are big players. Houghton Mifflin, the fourth -largest US educational publisher, is reportedly about to be sold to Irish group Riverdeep, in a $3.5 billion deal. And Wolters Kluwer, a Dutch publisher, is reviewing its education business, which is reckoned to be worth some €600 million (£420 million). The Independent , The Times

Bee's genetic code could shed light on its busy social life
The genetic code of the honeybee is unveiled today to shed new light on its busy life, from how it navigates and remembers the location of landmarks to what controls the "waggle dances'' that tell its sisters the whereabouts of the finest flowers. The western honeybee ( Apis mellifera ) has become the third insect to have its entire DNA code, or genome, read from end to end. It is hoped that this feat will also shed new light on the profound biological changes that lifted the insect to an advanced state of social organisation. Scientists hope that the insect's genetic code will help reveal how bees contributed to the rapid diversification of flowering plants more than 100 million years ago.
Daily Telegraph , The Guardian , The Independent

 

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