Update: 12:45

January 30, 2003

Graduate jobs slump  
Figures published today show a sharp drop in the demand for graduate employees. A survey by independent research company Incomes Data Services shows that employers cut graduate recruitment by 3.4 per cent overall in 2002. They are expected to cut graduate intakes by a further 1.2 per cent this year. Cuts have been particularly severe in the manufacturing, finance and information technology sectors. The slow-down was reflected in median graduate starting salaries, which stood at £19,000 last year, the same as 2001. The National Union of Students said that a tougher jobs market, coupled with the large levels of graduate debt, would lead to graduates shelving career ambitions and takingany job to make ends meet.
Details: www.incomesdata.co.uk/index.html

Baroness raises research funding concerns

Research funding must support up-and-coming university departments as well as established centres of excellence, the House of Lords heard yesterday. Welcoming the government's commitment to establishing an Arts and Humanities Research Council, Baroness Warwick, chief executive of Universities UK, told peers that she was worried by the concentration of research funding in top departments signalled in last week's higher education white paper.

DTI to carry out review of innovation
David Hughes, the new head of innovation at the Department for Trade and Industry, has denied that the gap between the UK's excellent record for scientific research and the weaker one for innovation was due to a rift between the department and the Office of Science and Technology. He told the House of Commons Science and Technology Select committee yesterday that he is carrying out a review of innovation that would help Britain better exploit its scientific research to increase productivity. The review is due to be completed in 9 months' time.

Ulster spin-off has tumours in its sights
Ulster University spin-off company Gendel has developed a pioneering laboratory technique that uses ultrasound to destroy tumour cells in mice. It hopes this will result in a non-invasive means of targeting large tumours that are difficult to treat with current therapies, especially those of the head, neck and oesophagus. It plans human clinical trials in two years.

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