Update: 12:30

April 16, 2002

No change in top student choices, survey reveals
High achieving students still tend to opt for medicine, dentistry and the classics rather than law or business studies, a survey reveals today. When the results of students were matched up to the courses they chose law ranked 45 while business studies languished at 85 out a possible 170 courses. The survey, carried out by economists at Manchester Metropolitan University, looked at 2 million entries to the University College Admissions Service over five years.
Derek Leslie said he believed his findings had implications for government policy. He said: “Some subjects, for example engineering and computer science, might be better able to deliver additional GNP than purely academic subjects.”

Top ten subjects:
1 Pre-clinical dentistry
2 Classics
3 Pre-clinical medicine
4 Other ancient languages
5 Other or unspecified modern languages
6 Latin
7 Veterinary science
8 Mathematics
9 Genetics
10 Pharmacy

Bottom ten subjects:
161 Other creative arts
162 Secondary education
163 Creative therapies
164 Building/construction
165 Unknown other general and combined studies
166 Computer systems engineering
167 Other topics in education
168 Ceramics and glass
169 Librarianship
170 Social work

Graduates have 'outdated' view of unions
Cash-strapped students who work in bars or fast food restaurants need union protection more than any other employees, a trade union leader told the annual conference of the National Union of Students today. But once graduates started work, an outdated view of unions kicked in and few joined up, said TUC president Tony Young.
“Young workers see unions as being for groups of blue-collar workers with problems, rather than white-collar workers with individual opportunities,” he told the Blackpool conference.

'Overcautious' teachers blamed for science downturn
Science’s falling popularity is due in part to overcautious school teachers shielding their pupils from practical work, MPs heard yesterday. A panel of academics giving evidence to the Commons science and technology select committee said pupils were being sheltered from practical work because of health and safety issues. Stuart Brown, of the University of Nottingham’s medical school, said: “The knowledge base has collapsed recently. We feel there is a decline. I think it dates from the changes at GCSE.” The panel expressed concern about the literacy and numeracy of university entrants.

Reading cyborg makes public appearance
Kevin Warwick, the Reading University professor who claims to be the world’s first cyborg, will tonight tell an audience of the possible benefits of connecting humans with machines. He is making his first public appearance - at the Edinburgh International Science Festival - since a microchip was implanted in his hand, an operation that allows his nervous system to be linked to a computer.

Teenager to read medicine at Cardiff
Teenager Sarah Branthwaite from Cheshire who gained a grade A in A-level chemistry in just 11 weeks has a place to study medicine at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff, from September.

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