Update: 12:55

February 25, 2003

Explosions reported at Beijing universities
Chinese police are investiagting explosions at two of Beijing's leading universities. Nine people were hurt when the separate blasts occurred 90 minutes apart at lunchtime in cafeterias at Beijing University and Tsinghua University. Homemade explosives are believed to be involved.

£130m extends AimHigher programme to 2006
An extra £130 million to encourage school pupils to consider university as part of the AimHigher programme was announced by higher education minister Margaret Hodge today. The existing 91 AimHigher areas will receive £70 million to continue until 2006 and 86 new areas will receive around £60 million to join the programme over the same period.

Northern Irish are UK's least green drivers
As London introduces congestion charges to reduce traffic, a survey by Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University shows that Northern Ireland motorists are more unwilling than their British counterparts to cut back on driving to protect the environment. Only 11 per cent always or often reduce car use compared to 14 per cent in Britain, and 61 per cent never cut back on journeys to make the province greener.

Lecturers strike over pay at Dumfries and Galloway
Lecturers at Dumfries and Galloway College went on strike today following the breakdown of pay negotiations. The College Lecturers’ Association of the Educational Institute of Scotland says staff are the worst paid of any Scottish college and have not had a pay rise for three years. The college, which has had serious financial difficulties in recent years, says it has now offered a 3 per cent "no strings" offers. The EIS is seeking 16 per cent over three years.

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