Today's news

January 17, 2007

City names new vice-chancellor
City University yesterday announced that Malcolm Gillies, from the Australian National University, will become its next vice-chancellor. Professor Gillies, currently vice-president (development) at ANU, will take up his post at City on August 1, succeeding David Rhind, who will retire after almost nine years as vice-chancellor. Professor Gillies said: "I've long been aware of City's reputation as a trend-setter in higher education, and I am delighted to be taking the helm at such a progressive institution." He praised Professor Rhind for leaving a "proud legacy of reformed governance, strong growth and sound administration".
The Guardian

UK science 'could go way of car industry'
Research in Britain is in danger of being overtaken by the efforts of scientists from countries such as China, South Korea and India, many of whom were educated in UK universities, a report says. Unless collaboration with these "innovation hotspots" is increased, Britain will be sidelined, according to The Atlas of Ideas report produced by Demos, a think-tank. The report says Britain must "wake up" to developments in Asian innovation and promote global, collaborative approaches. "UK higher education has survived on a diet of China, India and other countries supplying undergraduates for degree courses, but we have not looked seriously at those countries as collaborators," said James Wilsdon, a co-author.
The Daily Telegraph, The Times

College is granted full university status
Officials at Queen Margaret University College were celebrating yesterday after their institution was formally awarded a full university title. The decision by the Privy Council comes nine years after it was granted full degree-awarding powers. The institution was founded in 1875 as the Edinburgh School of Cookery in an attempt to improve career opportunities for women and improve the diets of working-class families. The institution is building a new £105 million campus, near Musselburgh, in East Lothian.
The Scotsman

65 students die in university blasts
Dozens of university students - most of them women - were slaughtered as they emerged from classes in a Shia district of Baghdad yesterday, in the bloodiest attack since Saddam Hussein’s execution. Police said that at least 65 people were killed and 100 injured by two bombs designed to cause maximum damage when students left college for the day.
The Times, The Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian

Procrastinating over a study in procrastination
A Canadian university has produced the definitive study of procrastination. Piers Steel a psychologist at the University of Calgary, has drawn up an equation to explain why and how long we put off tasks. The desire to compete the task (U) is equal to the expectation of success (E) multiplied by the value of completion (V), divided by the immediacy of task (I) times the personal sensitivity of delay (D); thus, U=ExV/IxD. Procrastination is getting worse in today’s “motivationally toxic” workplace, says Steel, which means there are far too many distractions such as eBay, YouTube, the coffee machine, and so on.
The Times

Winning Nobel prize increases lifespan by two years
Winning a Nobel prize quite literally gives scientists a new lease of life. New research at the University of Warwick shows that scientists who have won the prize for their work in chemistry and physics not only get cash and kudos but they live two years longer than colleagues who have only been nominated. "Status seems to work a kind of health-giving magic. Once we do the statistical corrections, walking across that platform in Stockholm apparently adds about two years to a scientist's lifespan," Andrew Oswald said. "How status does this, we just don't know."
The Scotsman

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