Update 13:00

August 21, 2002

Ucas hit by power cut
A power failure this morning knocked out phonelines and computers at university admissions service Ucas during one of its busiest periods. The headquarters in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, were hit by the widespread power failure, meaning that students were unable to use the service’s phonelines or internet site to access information about finding a university place.

Rise predicted for number of top GCSE grades
GCSE results were today expected to show another increase in the number of entries awarded the top four grades. However, boys were believed to have failed to gain more ground on girls after last year, when they began to close the gap at A* to C-grade level. Students get their individual results on Thursday.

Biologists meet to discuss endangered turtles
Marine turtle specialists are to begin a seven-day research workshop in the Caribbean aimed at helping biologists investigate the endangered creatures. Experts from the University of Wales, Swansea, and the Marine Conservation Society will take part while researchers from Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands will attend the workshop.

Youngsters in care to receive HE funding
Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet has approved proposals to provide funding for young people leaving care to go into higher education. The National Union of Students estimates that the cost of studying outside London is almost £6,000 per year. The maximum student loan is £3,815, leaving a shortfall of more than £2,000.

Ulster investigates drug-free pain relief
Ulster University researchers have begun a major study into whether TENS drug-free pain relief devices can help people with multiple sclerosis. Team leader Andrea Lowe-Strong said: “We’re trying to find ways of enabling people with MS to have more control over their lives, and control over pain is a vital part of that.”    

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