University data plan irks private schools
Pupils applying for places at university could have their school's exam performance taken into account by admissions tutors under plans being considered by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, it emerged yesterday. The plans sparked criticism from private schools which, fear they would be used to discriminate against candidates from academically successful schools. Last week Ucas announced that it would ask applicants to declare whether either of their parents had a university qualification and the information would be passed on to admissions tutors.
The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph
CBI calls for youth training funds
The CBI yesterday delivered an eve-of-budget warning to the Chancellor that the Government must back up its pledge to force all 16 to 18-year-olds into education or training with money to develop qualifications and high-quality careers advice. The director-general of the employers' organisation, Richard Lambert, said it would support the moves but added: "Some young people develop skills that make them more employable by being in a job, although they may not be training for a formal qualification."
Dean at top Chinese university fired
A dean at one of China's most prestigious universities has been fired after criticising the school's administration on his blog. Zhang Ming, dean of political sciences at Renmin University in Beijing, was removed from his position but will remain a professor, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported. Li Jingzhi, head of the School of International Relations, which oversees Zhang's department, confirmed that Zhang was no longer dean in a letter posted Tuesday on the school's web site. He said what Zhang wrote in his blog was untrue and that he should "reflect on the lies he told."
Ready meals increase cancer risk in women
Women who eat a lot of high-fat ready meals and fast food are at substantially greater risk of developing cancers, scientists have found. Research involving 64,500 men and women showed a link between high blood sugar levels and breast, pancreas, skin, womb and urinary tract cancers. Women in the top 25 per cent for blood sugar levels after fasting were 26 per cent more likely to develop a cancer than those in the bottom 25 per cent. In women under 49, there was an increased risk of breast cancer for those with high sugar levels. The scientists behind the work found there was a significant heightened risk only among female participants.
The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail
The dinosaurs that dug when the asteroid hit
A new kind of dinosaur that burrowed into the ground to build a protective den has been discovered in the United States. The fossil remains of an adult and two young have provided the first evidence of burrowing behaviour among dinosaurs. The discovery in Montana raises the prospect that some dinosaurs may have initially survived the catastrophic event — widely thought to have been an asteroid impact — that led to the group’s extinction 65 million years ago. Small mammals are thought to have sheltered from the “nuclear winter” that would have come after an asteroid impact by burrowing underground.
The Times, New Scientist