Update: 12:40

September 10, 2002

TUC conference calls for abolition of tuition fees
Universities are in crisis, the TUC conference heard yesterday as it called on the government to abolish tuition fees, restore student grants, and fully-fund a higher education expansion that is in danger of seriously damaging the student experience. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the Association of University Teachers, told the TUC in Blackpool that while thousands of young people prepare this week to take up university places, 2,000 redundant AUT members are clearing their desks, "because the money is not in the system to pay them to do their jobs". She said the government's laudable plan to increase participation to 50 per cent of the under 30s by 2010, "cannot happen, as things stand".

High hopes for harmless version of Aids virus
Scientists are domesticating the Aids virus and giving it the potential to save countless lives by fixing faulty genes, it was revealed today. In future a harmless version of HIV could be used to deliver corrective genes into numerous parts of the body, Andrew Lever, from Cambridge University, told the British Association Festival of Science.

Toddlers prefer fast and loud music
Toddlers playing with a toy keyboard have shown researchers they have a well-defined appreciation of music, it was revealed at the British Association Festival of Science today. Alexandra Lamont, a psychology lecturer from Keele University who is exploring children's early responses to music, said toddlers preferred fast and loud music to slow and quiet music.

Dietary impact of supermarkets revealed
A University of Southampton study has found that opening large new supermarkets in areas with poor access to food shops can boost the diet of local residents. Experts in geography, nutrition and planning were involved in the project, which was completed in tandem with the universities of Leeds and Cardiff.

Bangladeshi student groups call general strike
Student groups in Bangladesh have called a country-wide general strike today after clashes with police over the government-enforced closure of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) after a week of demonstrations turned violent.

Kenyan academic's student son shot dead
A Kenyan student has been shot dead by killers apparently seeking his university professor father. Josiah Mugalo, a student at Catholic University of East Africa, died from a single shot. His father, Inonda Mwanje, a university lecturer at Kenyatta University, suspects killers were politically motivated and seeking him because of his links with a pro-Uhuru Kenyatta-for-president lobby group of academics from local universities.

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