Dons urged to reject reforms
Desperate dons have issued a last-minute appeal to rebel academics at the University of Oxford to reject the proposal by John Hood, their Vice-Chancellor, to hand control of the executive to external members for the first time in 900 years. The university’s dons are due to vote today on Dr Hood’s proposal to create a board of directors with a majority of members from outside Oxford. In a statement, the dons said that they had to face up to the realisation that the newly proposed Council was a mechanism of control.
The Times, The Daily Telegraph
Too many graduates, too many universities?
They were told a university degree would act as a passport into a better career. But hundreds of young Scots are finding that the reality is very different, with many discovering the only work they can get is in bars or shops. Now a college principal has attacked the higher-education system, saying Scotland has too many universities and produces too many graduates who are destined for jobs "stacking supermarket shelves". Mick Roebuck, of Kilmarnock College, says that, as a result, the country has a shortage of people with skills such as plumbing, which is harming the economy.
US students start to shun British universities
Britain remains the most popular destination for US students studying abroad, but it is losing its stranglehold as Italy, France and Spain see numbers rise, it emerged yesterday. As part of its annual Open Doors study, the Institute of International Education found that more than 32,000 Americans had enrolled in UK universities this year. However, despite maintaining the top choice for US students, this year's enrolments were down 0.5 per cent, while enrolments at institutions in Italy were up 13.4 per cent and in Spain up 3.6 per cent. The study also found that for the first time since the September 11 terrorist attacks, enrolments by foreign students at US institutions have stabilised.
Academic set for Palestinian 'unity' leadership
A US-educated microbiologist who used to be president of Gaza's Islamic University is emerging as a possible candidate to head the "national unity" government that Palestinian leaders are predicting will replace the current Hamas-dominated cabinet. Mohammed Shabir, 60, is being promoted as a compromise "technocrat" who could replace the Hamas leader Ishmail Haniyeh as Palestinian Prime Minister. Mr Haniyeh announced on Friday that he was prepared to stand down if he was an obstacle to the lifting of the economic blockade of the Palestinian Authority.
£1m lost masterpiece found in pensioner's spare bedroom
Two small paintings in the spare room of a pensioner in Oxford have been identified as the missing pieces from a masterpiece of medieval art worth well over £1 million. The altarpiece of the church and convent of St Marco in Florence, painted in 1439 by the monk known as Fra Angelico, was one of the glories of the Italian Renaissance. It was broken up during the Napoleonic wars. Six of the eight small paintings that surrounded the main panel had been found and the location of the last two was described as one of art’s greatest mysteries.
The Times, The Daily Telegraph
Up to 150 kidnapped from Baghdad institute
Gunmen today kidnapped up to 150 scientists and staff members from a Baghdad research institute. The gunmen - wearing interior ministry commando uniforms - arrived at the institute, beneath the ministry of higher education in the religiously-mixed Karrada area, in a fleet of 20 vehicles at around 9.30am local time, authorities said. They forced their captives into the vehicles at gunpoint before driving off, and had sealed off roads leading to the institute during the 20-minute raid, police said. A police spokesman said around 20 people had been kidnapped.
The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent
Aid for 'phantom limb' amputees
Scientists have developed a computer system which allows amputees to see and move a 3D "phantom limb" in place of their lost one, it was revealed yesterday. In a small study, the system, created by scientists at the University of Manchester, has helped some patients suffering from a condition known as phantom limb pain - discomfort felt by a person in a limb that is missing due to amputation. Previous research has found that when a person's brain is tricked into believing they can see and move a "phantom limb", pain can decrease.