Reporter 434, 29 March 1999

In the news

The University's School of Medicine was featured nationally and locally for its bid with the Open University for extra student places. The Times, Independent, Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post, Telegraph & Argus, Halifax Courier, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, General Practitioner, BMA News and Health Service Journal all featured the bid, the first of its kind to allow part-time and distance learning in the early years. School of Medicine Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor David Cottrell, was quoted in the YEP as saying "We want to widen the social and ethnic diversity of the medical undergraduates."

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Wilson's views on the revolution in A-levels, and their effect on university admissions were included in the Independent. Professor Wilson said he was sure universities would use AS grades when making offers of places in the future.

The visit of Education Secretary David Blunkett was recently featured in the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post. Mr Blunkett received a mixed reception including loud applause but also jeers from students who were protesting against tuition fees and the abolition of grants and children about the closure of their school. The Education Secretary was presenting a speech on lifelong learning and called on employers to "embrace a learning culture which will be the key to developing human capital".

The White Rose Consortium (comprising the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York) were among the highest winners from the University Challenge Fund, featured in Reporter 433. The Times Higher Education Supplement, Yorkshire Evening Post and Yorkshire Post all reported on the £4.5m share of the fund. Dr Ederyn Williams, managing director of ULIS, said "The fund will be of enormous benefit to early-stage technology and innovative companies."

The Computer Based Learning Unit were featured in the Guardian with their new software which will help interpret the complex modelling programs used by many businesses.

Dude (Decision-support User Documentation) gives other applications a user-friendly interface and allows the user to ask questions of the programs to see how results vary. Ben Whitaker, researcher, will present Dude at a Dynamic Documents conference in Jena, Germany.

And finally, a media-harassed week in the life of phonetics lecturer Paul Foulkes was featured in the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Dr Foulkes spent the week trying to persuade newspapers and radio stations that claims in the Northern Echo that his research found Tyneside kids were speaking 'cockney' because of watching Eastenders were false.

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