Reporter 424, 5 October 1998

In the news

First-class support for new students

A group of 30 first year students staying at a plush city-centre hotel, as renovation work on their halls of residence was not completed on time, generated both national and local media attention this week.

The University decided to put the students into one hotel rather than in bed and breakfasts to keep the group together in a safe environment. The Independent, Daily Telegraph and Guardian all reported on the students’ alternative start to University life, staying in en-suite rooms with free in-house movies and access to unlimited stationery for lecture notes.

The students enjoyed their hotel experience; one said “I could stay here all the time”. YTV’s Calendar and BBC’s Look North also covered the story. Interviewed on Radio 5 Live, David Irving, Director of Residential and Commercial Services, said that the bill will be paid by the building company who have failed to complete the renovations to Springfield Mount.

The higher education publication Research Fortnight this week focused on a controversial report by the University’s Centre for Policy Studies in Education, written by the Dean for Strategic Development, Dr Jonathan Adams.

The report, commissioned by HEFCE to develop indicators of the international research strengths of different subject areas, found that the impact of English research is strong in the pre-clinical and biological sciences but is ranked well below the world average in Engineering

The Guardian Higher Education Supplement and THES stated that, in light of the report, universities are faced with a tough choice, whether to use scarce funds to build on international research success, or to divert it to ailing disciplines. The THES reports that it is the first time that England’s international standing in scientific research has been analysed using RAE-defined categories.

A new alarm which helps firefighters to reach colleagues in trouble in half the time has been developed by Sound Alert Ltd. An article in the Yorkshire Evening Post states that the alarm, which has been tested by West Yorkshire fire service, is now set to go to the Home Office for approval.

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