Update: 12:50

January 21, 2003

Wales to have power to scrap tuition fees
The Welsh Assembly is to receive the power to scrap university tuition fees from tommorow. The assembly will be handed complete responsibility for student finance in Wales in the government's higher education strategy document. It means students in Wales will not have to pay the top-up fees likely to be introduced at universities in England. The changes have been brokered by secretary of state for Wales Peter Hain.

Working party to consider baccalaureate viability
The government has announced a working party to consider the viability of an English baccalaureate, incorporating A-levels and GCSEs, that could be in place by 2010. This was one of a raft of measures unveiled today in a shake-up of the 14 to 19 curriculum. The working party will be led by former chief inspector of schools Mike Tomlinson. Ministers have abandoned the idea of a new distinction grade at A-level to mark out the highest fliers, as there are already "world-class tests" for top performers.
Diabetes treatment revolution coming
Research by British scientists could offer millions of people with diabetes worldwide the chance to treat the condition with just one injection, it is revealed today. Scientists at the University of Bath have converted liver cells into pancreas cells in a pioneering study.

£5m Belfast virtual engineering centre opens
Queen's University Belfast today opens a £5 million virtual engineering centre that will allow researchers to study complex technological systems not only with their eyes and ears but also through touch and smell. Researchers will be able to carry out trials of products with much greater accuracy and realism, minimising the need to test prototypes.

Nearly half of S.A. deaths Aids related
HIV prevalence in South Africa will average between 25-30 per cent by 2008, the University of South Africa's bureau of market research predicted. A bureau study found that 40 per cent of adult deaths in 2000/01 were Aids-related, compared to 9 per cent in 1995/96.

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