Reporter 415, 23 February 1998

News in brief

School ties

Leeds is among six civic universities discussing the possibility of particularly able pupils beginning degree-level study in their sixth forms at school. The proposal, made by Manchester Grammar School and the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle, would enable schools and their local universities to develop courses for sixth-formers which would receive accreditation towards their final degree in subjects such as engineering, maths, chemistry and physics.

Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham and Southampton universities discussed the proposals with head teachers from a number of independent schools earlier this month. Embryonic schemes are already operating in the north-east in which universities offer lectures to sixth-formers or allow them to use their facilities.

Egypt’s environment

The first in a series of workshops on environmental crises and economic reform in Egypt was held at the University in January. The African Studies Unit and the Department of Politics convened the workshop, which was funded by the Ford Foundation Middle East Office, Cairo. Participants looked at comparative African experiences of relationships between environmental degradation, economic liberalisation and international agency ideas for sustainable development.

Future workshops will be held in Minia and Cairo. Pictured with Director of African Studies Unit and Head of Politics Dr Ray Bush (centre, front row) are participants from Cairo and Minia University, the American University in Cairo, the Centre for Sociological and Criminological Research, Cairo, the Government of Egypt, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency and members of the Department of Politics.

In training

The UCS training unit is currently building up a resource library of training material. The collection has been started with the purchase of a set of videos covering popular Microsoft Office software such as Word, Excel, Access and Powerpoint. The videos will shortly be available to borrow. Full details of the videos available, and other useful information such as the opening hours of campus clusters, are included in the current issue of the UCS newsletter, available at

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Three days of lifelong learning

A seminar on lifelong learning and learning partnerships will be held at the Hotel Metropole in Leeds on March 18. The seminar, organised by the Workers’ Educational Association and the National Open College, will highlight how partnerships between education providers, local authorities, training organisers and funding bodies can be developed to meet the needs of learners within a national credit framework.

The keynote address will be given by Dr Kim Howells MP, Minister of State with overall responsibility for developing lifelong learning in the UK. Places are limited and the closing date for registration is February 27. For information contact Michael Freeston at the WEA, email

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CVCP is holding a conference to examine the role of universities in lifelong learning. To be held on March 5 at Grosvenor House in London, the conference will feature Baroness Blackstone, Minister of State, Department for Employment and Education and Diana Warwick, of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals. The cost is £152.75. For further information contact Neil Stewart Associates, 11 Dartmouth Street, London SW1H 9BL Tel: 0171 222 1280.

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Top scholarship win

Philosophy graduate Abigail O’Sullivan has been awarded a prestigious Kennedy Scholarship which will allow her to study the history of science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Competition was extremely fierce this year, with only eleven out of the 230 applicants from British universities being awarded the scholarship.

Research grants

The National Lottery Charities Board has launched a new grants programme aimed at charities and voluntary organisations who want grants for medical research and social research projects into health. The research can be undertaken in university departments and research institutes in collaboration with a charity or voluntary organisations. Further details about the Health and Social Research programme can be found at

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Management move

Andrew Coulson is the new operations manager in Central Teaching Space Services, a division of Media Services. His role will be to develop and manage the service, which includes audio-visual equipment loans and technical support in the central lecture theatres. He can be contacted on ext 2678.

Inclusive education

Higher education leaders met on February 13 for a brain-storming session on promoting racial equality within universities and colleges.

Education Minister Baroness Blackstone was the keynote speaker at the event, attended by representatives from staff unions, HE colleges and the NUS.

Commission for Racial Equality chairman Sir Herman Ouseley said: “Those people who lead the higher education sector can make a real difference to the life chances of ethnic minorities by making sure that universities offer equal opportunities to study and work, thereby contributing to the development of a more inclusive society.”

CD-ROM studies

A CD-ROM developed by the School of Textile Industries and featured in the Reporter last year is now being marketed by ULIS to educational institutions and industrial clients world-wide.

The package enables individuals to study whenever they have access to a computer or laptop. It covers 70 hours of structured tuition on 82 topics and the student controls the pace of study.

Current clients include Coats Viyella, Unilever Research and the national training organisation for the clothing sector, the CAPITB Group. Project manager of the training and development division of CAPITB Ruth Stevinson said: “The package really is terrific. It is so comprehensive we are currently working on creating a training and induction package around it for staff new to the sector.”

Textile triumph

A graduate of the School of Textile Industries has received an award that honours his outstanding achievements during his studies at the University.

Kirti Kumar Patodia, who now works for his family’s textile manufacturing business in Calcutta, attained a first class honours degree from the University last year. The award panel considered his final year dissertation on yarn production to be of significant interest. It concerned a study of establishing methods to increase yarn manufacturing efficiency in the textile industry.

Rieter Textile Systems, a leading supplier of yarn manufacturing machinery to the textile industry, presents the award every year to the world’s best textile students.

David Holdcroft

The full text of Senate’s resolutions marking the retirements of Emeritus Professor David Holdcroft and Professor John Morrison are available on the Reporter’s website.

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