Today's news

November 1, 2006

Oxbridge untouched by fees effect, figures show
Top-up fees have not deterred students from applying for a place at Oxbridge next year, with the first figures from the university admissions service indicating a 4.3 per cent increase on last year's figures. Early figures from Ucas show that 1,153 more students have applied to attend Oxford and Cambridge in September next year, an increase from 26,665 last year to ,818 this year. At other universities however, the numbers of UK students who applied by the early deadline of October 15 for courses starting in the autumn of 2007 decreased slightly by 0.6 per cent.
The Guardian

Millionaire donates €200m to German university
Klaus Jacobs, the Swiss billionaire, plans today to make a record-breaking donation of €200 million (£134 million) to a private university in Germany. The pledge, to the International University Bremen, is the largest single donation to date to a German education institution, an IUB spokesman said. Mr Jacobs, 69, chairman of the board of directors of Adecco, the world’s largest temporary employment group, said he wanted to set an example to the German business community to be more philanthropic. “Germany has had 50 years of peace, the country is rich, and there is no reason why German companies do not do more for education and science – it happens in many other countries.”
The Financial Times

Angry protests at St Andrews as former Iranian leader is honoured
Scotland's oldest university yesterday took the controversial step of honouring a former president of Iran, amid angry protests that he allowed students to be persecuted in his home country. Wearing the traditional grey robes of a senior Muslim cleric, Mohammad Khatami swept past demonstrators to be presented with an honorary degree in the university's Younger Hall. Exiles from Iran and student protesters branded the award "shameful" and claimed human rights abuses, including the stoning of women and persecution of students, had worsened while Mr Khatami was president, between 1997 and 2005.
The Scotsman

New degree reflects music's digital direction
Coventry University is to launch what is believed to be the first e-music course in Europe as webcasts, community networking sites and internet downloads take over from traditional distribution of music. A combination of music production and e-commerce, the BSc (Hons) in e-music will equip students with the skills and knowledge of music production as well as using digital distribution channels. The university said this year had been a pivotal year for the technologies and practices behind e-music. Gnarls Barkley became the first artist to reach No1 through downloads, the Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen used MySpace to build their following and Sandi Thom used webcasting to promote her rise up the charts.
The Guardian

Number of overseas graduates enrolled in US starts to recover
The number of foreign students enrolled at US graduate schools rose 1 per cent this year, after three consecutive years of decline, according to figures to be released today. The report, which was written by the Council of Graduate Schools, said that the rise was driven largely by an increase in first-year students from India and China - the countries that annually send the most students to the US. The number of first-year Indian students enrolled at US graduate schools rose 32 per cent while total enrolment of Indian students was up 8 per cent this year. Changes in total enrolment lag behind trends in first-time enrolment because graduate students may take several years to complete degree programmes.
The Financial Times

Scientists find the key to cot deaths
Scientists believe that they have found the underlying cause of cot death, a condition that claims the lives of hundreds of babies every year. Research into dozens of infant fatalities identified as the result of sudden infant death syndrome showed that the victims had a brain abnormality that prevents the detection of insufficient oxygen levels in the body. As a result, babies with the condition can be smothered in their bedclothes, especially if they are sleeping on their fronts. The researchers said yesterday that this was the strongest evidence yet of a common cause for cot death, and that it opened up the possibility of detecting those at risk and treating them.
The Times

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