Reporter 430, 1 February 1999

News in brief

Dearing patronage

Lord Dearing has been appointed as the Institute of Teaching and Learning's first patron. The Institute is scheduled for launch in the spring and has begun recruiting the first of its fifteen staff members. They will be based in York. The news coincides with the announcement that Blackwells publishers has agreed with the Institute to offer a £5,000 prize for teaching excellence starting this year, Blackwell's 120th anniversary. The Institute's prospectus is available on the CVCP website at under 'what's new'.

GPs run VT

GPs across the country are settling down in front of the television to let the Nuffield Institute's David Hunter help them get to grips with NHS modernisation. In a 25 minute video filmed at the Nuffield Centre, Professor Hunter explains health improvement plans (HIPs) - action strategies to assess and address health problems in local communities. The video has proved so popular that the original 1,000 copies were quickly snapped up. "I think some GPs are going to face a tremendous culture shock with HIPs," said Professor Hunter. "We made the video to help them, as not many have time to read the information the Government produces, and much of it can be difficult to understand anyway." The Institute is planning a sequel.

Fins finished finals

The first students on a distance learning MSc course in civil engineering for students in Finland have graduated. The school teamed up with Mikkeli Polytechic to offer students from Finnish industry its MSc in Building Services Management, with members of staff regularly flying out to teach modules over long weekends. The scheme was established to help Finnish industry become more competitive and is to be repeated in the Autumn.

Congo conga

A college-wide conga dance marked the start last week of the Trinity and All Saints Millennium Campaign - which aims to make blood transfusions in the Congo safer. The college plans to raise £100,000 with the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and the hundreds-strong conga dance was led by the CAFOD director of the project Maurice McPartin.

Clean pairs of wheels

Litterbug students and falling leaves have persuaded cleaning services to go mobile in their fight to keep the campus tidy. Low mileage, easy to park and about as friendly to the environment as you can get - no wonder Les Gunby seems happy behind the wheel

That's my sand

Egypt's recent land tenancy act, which has removed the legal right to inherit land, was included in a series of seminars in Leeds and the Egyptian cities of Cairo and Minia. The seminars were organised by Dr Ray Bush of the politics department and included debates on the relationship between environmental degradation and poverty and the role played by non-government organisations in protecting the environment. The widely-unpopular 1992 land reform became fully effective last October. Rents have soared for up to two million rural tenants and it is feared much of the land will be bought up by big business. Dr Bush believes that the new law will make people less willing to invest in their land - with inevitable consequences for the environment. The seminars were funded by the Ford Foundation Middle East Office and were attended by senior Egyptian researchers and policy makers.

Get together for five

New financial support for collaborative research is available from the European Union Fifth Framework Research Programme. The University has allocated a seedcorn fund to help colleagues draw up proposals. Departments are normally expected to provide matching funding. Grants can be used to support visits to meet potential partners/desk officers in Brussels or to help formulate proposals. The deadline for submission of proposals is at the end of May. The programme has a total budget of £10.5 billion. For more information contact Martin Hamilton in the European Office on ext 4090, email or see

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