Today's news

February 6, 2007

University to ban gay marriages on campus
The heads of a university closely aligned to the Church of England plan to ban civil partnership ceremonies on campus. The vice-chancellor, chair of governors and deputy pro-chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University argue that the church's position on homosexuality makes it wrong to conduct lesbian and gay "marriages" on the university's premises. They want governors of the university, whose chancellor is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to change the institution's policy at their meeting next month.
The Guardian

Go shopping to fund your degree
Universities used to wait for potential students to come to them. Times are changing, with a new initiative reaching out to shoppers in the supermarket to lure them into higher education. Tesco and the Open University have struck a deal which will offer Tesco customers the chance to put their Clubcard points towards an Open University course. OU undergraduate courses are to feature in the store's Tesco Deals scheme, which lets shoppers quadruple the value of their Clubcard vouchers and redeem them against items not normally available in the store.
The Independent, The Financial Times

Student jobs threatened in wage move
Government plans to tighten up the rules on when employers have to pay the national minimum wage to young people on work experience could sink innovative university career services. The Department of Trade and Industry is worried some sectors, such as film and media, exploit an over-supply of young people willing to take on unpaid work. But concerns have been raised that Government intervention will prompt HM Revenue inspectors to take a tougher line on university career schemes that aim to build up employment relationships with small local firms.
The Daily Telegraph

Dalai Lama accepts US university chair
Nobel peace laureate and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has accepted his first university appointment at the Emory University in the United States. The Dalai Lama will deliver his inaugural lecture at Emory in October as part of a conference on science and spirituality. The university's president, James Wagner, said: "To have a colleague of the Dalai Lama's stature in our community will be a constant source of inspiration and encouragement to our faculty, staff and students as we strive to realise the vision of educating both the heart and mind for the greater good of humanity."
The Guardian

Students return to Lebanese University
Classes resumed Monday at a university in the heart of Beirut where a cafeteria political spat mushroomed into street riots that killed four people in the worst sectarian violence since Lebanon's civil war. Hundreds of soldiers and police watched the students arrive at Beirut Arab University in a show of force meant to deter troublemakers. Campus security guards searched all students at the entrance and denied access to those without student IDs.
The Guardian

Rapist preyed on students after dark
A sex attacker who terrified students in two cities was jailed yesterday for a series of night-time rapes and assaults. Gary Howe, 44, a married father of two, preyed on young women who were walking alone near universities in Bristol and Sheffield. Over four months last year the delivery driver raped two women and sexually assaulted another three. Sheffield Crown Court was told that Howe had no history of offending before last June and was an apparently devoted husband and father. He was caught after the University of Sheffield gave police CCTV recordings of a man seen loitering near a student hall of residence. The images were published in newspapers and Howe was arrested.
The Times

French bank to fund academic chair
BNP Paribas is sponsoring the creation of a university chair in financial mathematics in a move that highlights the academic foundations of France's success in the derivatives industry. The French bank has signed an agreement with the Ecole Centrale Paris - one of the grandes ecoles that sit at the pinnacle of the French higher education system - under which it will pay €300,000 (£197,000) annually for an initial period of five years in order to support a new teaching and research team.
The Financial Times

Human skin is a zoo of bacteria, scientists say
The first detailed survey of the microbial "zoo" living on the human body has found far more species than expected, with a significant proportion being new to science. A molecular technique has been developed by scientists that can identify each individual bacteria living on the surface of the skin. They found that on average people have 182 species of bacteria living at any one time on their forearms, and about 8 per cent of these have never been formally described by scientists. The Independent

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