Reporter 453, 5 June 2000


In the news

Education Secretary David Blunkett praised the Robert Ogden Trust in a speech to the AUT Council. He spoke about how he intended to provide new ‘opportunity bursaries’ to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds attend university. He hoped to build on the "excellent work already being done by the Robert Ogden Trust in South Yorkshire" and similar schemes at other universities.
The Robert Ogden scholarships help students from disadvantaged backgrounds move on to study at the University of Leeds. As well as financial support, the students are encouraged to visit the University to help familiarise themselves with higher education.
Mr Blunkett said he was committed to taking the lead from Leeds: "I am determined to build on this. It is the sort of scheme which helps provide financial stability for those who need extra support."
The full version of David Blunkett's speech is available on the AUT website: www.aut.org.uk/news/blunkett.htm

Sociologist Carol Smart has featured widely recently for her research into children’s experience of life after divorce. Professor Smart appeared on Edwina Currie’s show on Radio 5 Live with other social scientists. She spoke about findings that some children could be quite positive about their families after divorce, and the importance of listening to what the children say rather than assuming that they will be damaged by divorce. The findings were also featured in the Times Higher Education Supplement, the Observer and the Independent.

Professor Alan Watson featured this week in the Times Higher Education Supplement and the Yorkshire Evening Post for his election as Fellow of the Royal Society. The Royal Society, the oldest scientific organisation in the world, aims to promote excellence in science. Professor Watson was elected to the society for his work on cosmic rays.

FirstGroup’s investment of £1.2m in a bus scheduling software package based on Professor Tony Wren’s work in the School of Computer Studies earned coverage in the Guardian, the Yorkshire Evening Post and the Yorkshire Post Business Week.

Finally, the ‘Leeds 13’ fine art graduates have hit the headlines again, this time in France. A Paris restaurant, the Batofar, has hired the group to promote it. Director Julie de Muer said that Paris has found the work of the group a little confusing, but it has drawn great interest. The story appeared in Libération and the Yorkshire Evening Post.

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