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Leeds & Yorkshire

Issue 482, 20 May 2002

In the news

In the THES, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Alan Wilson focused on approaches for assessing widening access schemes. He suggests that "social class is still a barrier to entry. The problem is not just the universities' responsibilities but extends to schools and families and beyond connecting to all the problems of deprived neighbourhoods". He said there were no easy solutions but that it was important to 'disentangle what is reasonably the responsibility of universities', and called for a national research programme to fully inform the debate on widening access, and for properly integrated support to deprived areas. Widening participation would then be 'as much a test of joined-up government as of university performance', he concluded.

Head of civil engineering Professor Ed Stentiford, (see Reporter 481) defended composting in the Yorkshire Evening Post following reports of the Environment Agency's concerns that animal by-products in kitchen waste could spread disease. "There's no problem at all with garden compost," said Professor Stentiford. He also explained that the laws for large-scale composting should not affect ordinary gardeners.

The Independent and Yorkshire Evening Post covered research into housing patterns in Leeds and Bradford by the school of geography's Dr Deborah Phillips and Dr Rachael Unsworth (see Reporter 481). Their research, to be concluded in the autumn, is the 'first to analyse the mobility of middle-class Asians in Britain', according to the Independent.

Leeds textiles researchers helped business woman and owner of Second Nature UK Limited Christine Armstrong win Country Living magazine's small business award. Talking to the Guardian about the wool-based insulation, Thermafleece (see Reporter 468), she praised the University's help in developing her product: "Leeds is the heart of the textile industry so they had the knowledge and the expertise."

The Times league tables demonstrated Leeds' strength across a range of subjects, placed in the top 20 universities in the UK for areas including languages, food sciences, agriculture, physics, maths, geology, dentistry, psychology and chemistry. This range contributes to Leeds' popularity with applicants, reasoned education correspondent John O'Leary. Leeds remains one of the country's most popular universities. The full tables are available at

The Financial Times also published league tables and alternatives suggested by Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Alan Wilson. See Reporter article for more details.

The Guardian's northern editor Martin Wainwright quizzed staff at Blackwell's university bookshop on works by the University Chancellor Lord Bragg: "I've stupidly forgotten his name but I know he's written a few books." His enquiry was initially greeted with 'friendly bafflement', but the staff eventually found some of the books he was seeking.

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