Academics fearful of “brain drain” call for fee hike

first_imgSenior academics have been calling for a rise in tuition fees to counter-act the academic “brain drain” in the wake of the government’s announcement of a Higher Education funding review.The senior academics from a wide range of British universities claim that higher wages in countries such as the USA are causing many top academics to move abroad, leading to a lower standard of education in the UK. A study last year from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that Britain was suffering the worst “brain drain” of any developed country. The academics believe the only way of stemming the flow of the best and the brightest is to up fees in order to improve standards.Andrew Oswald, Professor of Economics at Warwick University, argued the tuition fee cap should be removed altogether, allowing universities to charge their own fees. He said ministers would have to be much stronger to stop a “systematic move” of top scholars from the UK.Dr Anna Vignoles, senior lecturer at the Institute for Education, part of the University of London, agreed, “The United States operates on a completely different system. Tuition fees are higher and academic pay is higher. We need to increase tuition fees.”The academics’ arguments will frustrate those campaigning against a hike in fees, including Oxford’s Student Union and other student activists who swung into action after the announcement last week.Stefan Baskerville, OUSU president, who advocates a graduate tax pointed out, “Increased funding is not the same as increased fees: there are other ways to get more money into higher education that don’t involve burdening students with debt. No evidence has been presented that increased funding has to take the form of higher fees.”He added, “Funding is one of a range of factors that influence where academics choose to work.”Richard Holland, St Anne’s JCR rep for academic affairs, also opposed the academics. “I would prefer to see the extra money required to keep top academics in Britain raised through Government support and a greater emphasis on the University seeking the financial support of Alumni and other private donors rather than current students. Raising tuition fees by large amounts or leaving them uncapped will only deter those highly intelligent candidates who simply can’t afford to come to University – as in the situation amongst many American Institutions.”Many students are concerned of the effect a fee rise would have on access. Oliver Richards, St Anne’s 2nd year said, “I can’t understand how universities can justify considering this as a policy. they repeatedly espouse the opinion that they need more state school and lower income students, yet they propose raising tuition fees to a level that would leave many students with debts of over £30,000 on graduation and those studying medicine with around £70,000.”Last week, delegates from OUSU, including president Stefan Baskerville, lobbied Westminster as part of their campaign to raise awareness of the government’s review of the Higher Education funding. This campaign is a part of the wider NUS “funding for our future” campaign.Commenting on the campaign Baskerville said, “Last week was great. There was loads of energy at Westminster as students lobbied their MPs. After meetings with students from Oxford, both of Oxford’s local MPs committed to voting against increased fees in the next parliament. At the same time, more than thirty students spent several hours in Oxford talking to students about the issue and handing out flyers, and the response to them was very positive.”However, he appreciates that this is merely the beginning, and that there is a long way to go. “We need to increase the profile of alternatives to fees such as a graduate tax, which would see graduates paying back into higher education according to what they earn. Clearly higher education needs to be funded adequately to maintain standards, and the question is how to achieve that. We think fees are not the way forward – there are fairer and more sustainable alternatives available.”last_img read more

Fukushima radiation detected in Oxford

first_imgIn response to comparisons being drawn between Fukushima and Chernobyl, Allison added that \”no worker at Chernobyl who received such a dose is known to have had any lasting health problems.\”Although experts have emphasized a tendency to overreact when faced with the threat of a nuclear disaster, the death toll in Japan caused by the recent catastrophe continues to rise.The Japanese National Police Agency has officially confirmed 11,362 deaths, 2,872 injured, and 16,290 people missing across eighteen prefectures, as well as over 125,000 buildings damaged or destroyed.A source in Japan told Cherwell, \”my family is living in Tokyo and because they are in a TEPCO service area, they are directly hit by a power shortage\”.TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) own the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini powerplants and have had to introduce rolling blackouts due to power shortages after the initial failures at the Daiichi plant.Our source commented that \”people are in a sense panicking but still in order and their spirit is still very high\”.In a recent press release, Oxford University Japan Society (OUJC) described their fundraising campaign for the British Red Cross\’s Japan Tsunami Appeal.\”Our fundraising effort, which started on Tuesday the 15th of March, was conducted at the Carfax Crossroads in Oxford City Centre, just outside of the HSBC Bank.\”Around 20 people helped with the fundraising which lasted for a week, and we were able to raise a sum of £13,582.32\”.Ronan Sato, president of OUJC said \”fortunately we have not received any notices of members being personally affected but should there be anyone OUSU have told us that they are prepared to give such individuals all the necessary support.\” Radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan may have reached Oxford\’s dreaming spires, according to recent findings.The Fukushima plant, which manages six boiling water reactors, was hit by a 14-metre high tsunami generated by the Tohoku earthquake on Friday 11th March, knocking out the emergency generators which sparked the ongoing nuclear crisis.The news came shortly after The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) announced that an air sampler in Glasgow recorded traces of the radioactive isotope iodine roughly 6,000 miles from the site of the Fukushima disaster.Shortly afterwards a statement from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) confirmed that \”measurements taken at HPA\’s monitoring station in Oxfordshire… found trace levels of iodine-131 in the air.\”Despite fears that the Fukushima nuclear disaster could have ramifications in Oxford, Professor Paul Ewart, Head of Atomic and Laser Physics at Oxford University\’s Clarendon Laboratory, says that in Britain \”there is absolutely nothing for anyone to worry about\”.According to Ewart, \”there is far more radiation around us from natural sources than that from this particular source.\”\”The fact that it has been detected tells us just how sensitive is the apparatus that has been developed to measure radiation.\”There are roughly 20 million million million atoms in a cube of air about the size of your finer tip. At the radiation level detected here in Oxford (300 microBecquerels) you would have to wait over 100 years for one of these (iodine) atoms to decay.\”Ewart added, \”anyone who flies in an airplane will get vastly more radiation from cosmic rays in the atmosphere than from the radiation from Fukushima.\”Wade Allison, MA DPhil and Senior College Lecturer in Physics at Oxford University, told Cherwell that \”radiation safety is about 1000 times too cautious.\”\”There have been no radiation fatalities in Japan. A few workers have received intermediate doses but it is very unlikely that they will suffer any long term effects at all.\”last_img read more

Ebola treatment begins trials in Liberia

first_imgA team led by Oxford researchers has begun a trial of the latest potential treatment for the on-going Ebola epidemic.The team is investigating a drug called brincidofovir, which has already been used to treat Ebola patients around the world. Ebola, which has claimed over 8,300 lives, still has no definitive cure.Brincidofovir is an experimental oral treatment developed by private Americanhealthcare company Chimerix. Run by volunteers from Doctors Without Borders and the University of Oxford and funded by the Wellcome Trust, the cooperative trial will test the effectiveness of the drug.Up to 140 adult Ebola patients in Liberia’s capital Monrovia, one of the cities hardest hit by the West African outbreak, are undergoing two weeks of brincidofovir treatment. To determine the drug’s impact, researchers willcompare the fatality rate of these patients with previous death rates in the hospital.Professor Peter Horby of Oxford’s Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, the trial’s chief investigator, said, “The Ebola epidemic is causing an unprecedented health and socioeconomic crisis in West Africa. There are many things that need to be done.’’“Amongst them is a proper evaluation of experimental treatments that have been developed for Ebola virus disease. The only time we can fully evaluate these potential therapies is during an Ebola epidemic.”Typically, clinical trials of treatments for deadly viruses like Ebola take over a year to organise. However, the scale and urgency of the epidemic means that this Oxford-led trial has come together in less than four months.Since the epidemic’s outbreak in late 2013, Oxford has been a leading figure in Ebola research. Over the past few months, Oxford has hosted several trials of mass-produced preventive vaccines that may be used to protect healthcare workers in affected countries.Oxford’s efforts to develop a treatment, which include an upcoming study of another drug in Sierra Leone, are part of a wider global rush to develop therapies, vaccines, and even a cure for Ebola.Professor Trudie Lang, another member of the Oxford research team, emphasised the value of thorough, well-funded scientific trials like the one run by the University of Oxford and Médecins Sans Frontières. “It is important to do a trial because you cannot learn about a drug from treating individuals,” she told Cherwell.“We are setting out to evaluate several potential therapies within the rigour and formal protocol of a clinical trial, with the aim of identifying an effective and safe treatment that is oing to be available for African communitiesat scale.”The first Ebola patient received the study drug on January 2nd 2015. If this ongoing trial is successful, Lang explained, there will be a second, larger trial in one of the three countries most affected by the epidemic – Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone. If that too had positive results, brincidofovir would be released on a wide scale.last_img read more

Freedom Heritage Museum Of Evansville Presents the Movie “E”

first_imgPremiere of the Movie “E”Evansville, IN April 27, 2016, Wednesday, from 6:00 – 7:00 pm the Freedom Heritage Museum is sponsoring the showing of the original short film “E” for the first time. The public is invited to attend at Showplace Cinemas East on Morgan Center Drive (use the IMAX entrance) for the premiere. The suggested entrance/donation fee is $10 (all proceeds will go to the Freedom Heritage Museum). Reservations can be made at 812-759-8186.The first Cinematography “Evansville Oscar Awards” will be given for “Best Cinematographer,” “Best Director,” “Best Narration,” and “Best Action Hero.” Celebrate the winners and meet those who made the movie.The June 28, 2015 “1943 Sicily Invasion Reenactment” was one of the most talked about and successful programs of last year’s Shrinersfest Air Show on the Ohio River. This event recreated the 1943 Sicily Invasion by having (1.) Naval support: WWII LST-325 and their two Higgins boats, (2.) Air support: WWII warbirds, a P-51 Mustang, a C-47 Skytrain, and three SNJ-5 Pilot Makers, and (3.) Ground support: American GIs landing on Dress Plaza to capture the Nazi positions. Reenactors from several states participated and were lead by field commander General Patton aka James Goodall. Professional cinematographers and photographers were imbedded in the action to produce this short film. The “E” Cinematographer and Editor is Steve Oglesby of Oglesby Digital.All ages are invited to attend this movie premiere and awards program to see how Evansville contributed to WWII as the Arsenal of Democracy and influenced key campaigns such as the1943 Sicily Invasion. “Word War II transformed Evansville, then Evansville changed the world.” Come support the mission of the Freedom Heritage Museum!The Sicily Invasion in 1943, also know as “Operation Husky,” was the first landing of the Allies in Europe to win WWII against the Axis. It was the precursor to D-Day in Normandy a year later. Besides getting a foothold in Europe, it resulted in the Axis country of Italy switching sides to the Allies.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

News story: Afghan security and stability remains top of UK agenda

first_imgIn his meeting with Minister of Defence Bahrami, the Defence Secretary reaffirmed the UK commitment to Afghanistan, citing the continued funding for the Afghanistan National Security Forces, our support for the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) and the recent uplift of UK troops to around 650.Mr Williamson also met with UK personnel who discussed their role at ANAOA, helping to train the next generation of Afghanistan’s military leaders through mentoring training staff and instilling the Sandhurst ethos at the academy.More than 3,000 officers have passed out of the academy since 2013, and, this year, ANAOA has nearly as many female cadets in training as have graduated in total since the academy opened.The Defence Secretary also met UK troops who lead the Kabul Security Force (KSF), which provides force protection for NATO staff in Kabul. In last five weeks alone, the KSF have undertaken over 2,800 protection journeys and Mr Williamson experienced first-hand the vital role they play, travelling with UK personnel in a Foxhound armoured vehicle.He also commended their efforts in responding to some of the recent terrorist attacks in Kabul, in which the KSF supported Afghan Security Forces by evacuating guests to safety extracted of guests following the Intercontinental Hotel terrorist attack and provided first aid to Afghan soldiers following an attack on an Afghan Army compound in January.The UK has played an important role in supporting Afghanistan over the last 16 years and is committed to continuing this in the future. Through the NATO Resolute Support Mission, the support the UK provides on issues such as security, development and governance is crucial to building a stable state and reducing the terrorist threat to the UK. A secure Afghanistan will help keep the streets of Britain safe. Building the security services that will be the foundation of stability and peace in Afghanistan remains top of our agenda and I have seen first-hand the crucial role our brave Armed Forces are playing in realising that vision. The security, development and governance of Afghanistan remains crucial to reducing the terrorist threat to the UK, the Defence Secretary reaffirmed in his first visit to Afghanistan.Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:last_img read more

The ways Boston changed

first_imgThe iconic photograph, which came to symbolize the racial strife that gripped Boston during the school-busing crisis of the 1970s, speaks for itself. Against the backdrop of City Hall Plaza, a white teenager carrying a flagpole bearing the American flag looks like he is about to spear an African-American man. Dubbed “The Soiling of Old Glory,” the image won Boston Herald American photographer Stanley Forman a Pulitzer Prize in 1977.The victim, Theodore Landsmark, suffered a broken nose in the assault, and was suddenly cast as a spokesman on issues of social justice, a role he hadn’t envisioned for himself. When the picture was taken, Landsmark, a Yale-educated attorney, was on his way to City Hall. He hadn’t been paying attention to the protests against court-ordered busing aimed at ending segregation in Boston schools.In October, Landsmark discussed the incident with students enrolled in “Reinventing (and Reimagining) Boston: The Changing American City.” But rather than lingering on what he called “ancient history,” he pressed his audience to play a part in addressing income inequality in Boston. A recent study ranked the city first in the United States in income inequality.“It’s much more important to talk about this time and what’s going on now,” Landsmark told the students. “Is it OK to be part of an elite that doesn’t address the needs of those who are less privileged? Is there something we ought to be doing? My question to you is: What do we need to do to begin to address the inequalities that, in some respect, help us to be in this room?”That kind of interaction is what students have come to expect from the class, which is taught by Robert Sampson, the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences and co-director of the Boston Area Research Initiative, and David Luberoff, a lecturer on sociology and senior associate director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard.Avila Reynolds ’20 welcomed Landsmark’s challenge.“He was more interested in hearing what we had to say,” she said. “Speakers are not what you expect. They want our input. They’re always asking what we can do.”Landsmark talked to students after a screening of excerpts from “Eyes on the Prize,” a PBS documentary on the Civil Rights Movement that first aired between 1987 and 1990. The scenes were powerful. In one, white residents took to the streets to march against the court mandate to end school segregation. In another, white students threw rocks at buses filled with black students while jeering at them. In a third, a white mob pulled a black motorist from his car and beat him up until police came to his rescue.Jackson Allen ’18 tallies trash and refuse on the streets of the South End. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff PhotographerSampson and Luberoff’s course uses Boston as a case study of urban change, examining economic inequality, political governance, crime, and race, but its lessons are just as relevant to other cities in the United States, and around the world, that have become models of urban renaissance.“A lot of people don’t realize that Boston in the 1970s really looked like Cleveland, or even Detroit and St. Louis,” he said in an interview at his office in Williams James Hall. “There was de-industrialization and a huge population drop. It was a mess. And yet today it’s pretty much a reinvented city.”To illustrate how that reinvention unfolded in Boston, the teachers invite a range of urban leaders to the classroom — from planning directors to housing administrators to community workers. Their presentations give students a basic understanding of how things work on the ground, Sampson said.The course includes a bit of Boston history, beginning with the 19th century, when the Brahmins were in charge. But it focuses on the 20th century, a time of de-industrialization, poverty, segregation, and racial tension, and the 21st, an era in which urban renewal co-exists with some gun violence, racial tension over gentrification, and the opioid crisis.As part of the General Education curriculum, the course also encourages students to connect what they learn in class with real life. Requirements include visits to three neighborhoods and conversations with city leaders and community members.When she visited Charlestown, Reynolds was struck by her findings. Walking the narrow streets, she noticed how the neighborhood, with both upscale mansions and public housing, mirrors the socio-economic divide the statistics show.“The neighborhoods are so different and they’re so close to each other,” she said. “They’re reflective of the income differences.”Having students visit different neighborhoods helps instill a sense of civic duty, said Sampson. “We’re not training students to be researchers,” he said. “We’re trying to give tools to students to be better citizens.”Speakers such as Landsmark, now a board member of the Boston Planning and Development Agency, have bolstered the case.“After I was attacked at City Hall Plaza, I was facing television cameras and reporters asking me how I felt about busing, which I hadn’t been involved with, and how I felt about racial differences in America, which I hadn’t thought about,” he told the students. “Suddenly I was a spokesperson for a cause I had not been involved with, and that will happen to you, too. At some point in your life, every one of you will be called upon to do something fundamentally important. You have to be prepared.”SaveSaveSaveSavelast_img read more

Shumlin applauds Walmart decision to abandon Civil War site for store

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin today applauded a decision by Wal-Mart to abandon plans to build a new store in Virginia on the site of a Civil War battlefield where there were more than 1,200 Vermont casualties and nearly 400 lost their lives in one of the bloodiest battles of that war. Walmart said today that it would abandon that location 60 miles from Washington, DC, and seek another location. A civil case on the matter was scheduled to go to court Thursday.‘Vermont paid a terrible toll on that site on May 5 and 6, 1864, losing so many of our young men in the Battle of the Wilderness,’ the Governor said. ‘Our brave soldiers gave their lives to keep the country together and end slavery. It would have been an awful loss to have that battlefield covered in the shadow of a Walmart store.’The store would have been located near a monument donated by the state and the land on which the 1st Vermont Brigade fought. Remnants of their entrenchment can still be seen at the site.‘There are almost certainly Vermonters buried there,’ the Governor said. That two-day battle is now viewed as the beginning of the end for the Confederate Army.Former US Senator James Jeffords secured an appropriation from Congress to buy the land on which the Vermonters fought ‘ near the site of the proposed Walmart. The 2009 Legislature passed a joint resolution calling for Walmart to relocate the planned store to a more appropriate site.last_img read more

Report: NY State Pension Fund Lost $5.3 Billion by Hanging Onto Coal, Oil and Gas Stocks

first_imgReport: NY State Pension Fund Lost $5.3 Billion by Hanging Onto Coal, Oil and Gas Stocks FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享New York State’s pension fund would have an additional $5.3bn to give to its retired employees if it had divested from fossil fuel companies and put that money into clean energy, according to a new report.The analysis, compiled by research firm Corporate Knights, assessed the fund’s top 100 domestic and international equity holdings, and calculated how much it would have earned over the past three years if it had got rid of its investments in coal, oil and gas companies.The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest pension fund in the country, behind California’s CalPERS and CalSTRS, with $184.5bn held in trust for retirement benefits. According to the report, released this week, a move away from fossil fuels would have made each of the fund’s 1.1 million members more than $4,500 richer, and helped the state cover nearly 12% of the costs following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.Toby Heaps, CEO and co-founder of Corporate Knights, said the numbers show that divestment makes prudent financial sense.“Divestment is good for reducing portfolio risk,” he said. “It’s also a powerful way of sending a message about the expectations investors have of companies and governments to be rational about accelerating the energy transition in a timely manner so that we avoid scenarios of climate chaos, which would make it difficult for anybody to earn returns.”“Government policy, which we think will only strengthen, is beginning to capture the societal costs of burning fossil fuels, enhancing the competitive position of investments in energy efficiency and renewables,” said Stu Dalheim, vice president of shareholder advocacy for Calvert Investments, which invests in socially and environmentally responsible businesses. “The Paris Agreement sent a clear and important signal to the market that we are moving toward a low carbon energy system.”The report comes as New York State Senator Liz Krueger is pushing to pass a bill that would require the state’s pension fund to divest from fossil fuels. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Act would require the fund to sell off its stocks in the top 200 largest fossil fuel companies by 2020.“By divesting from fossil fuels, the [Common Retirement Fund] will send a message that it is unacceptable for any institution to profit from activities that threaten the future of society, and will begin the process of delegitimizing a business model that, while financially profitable in the short run, is socially and morally bankrupt,” wrote Krueger in her announcement of the bill.Full article: New York pension fund could have made billions by divesting from fossil fuels – reportlast_img read more

At credit unions, focus on customer experience

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Ashley BinderConsider your worst customer service experience. Perhaps it began by waiting in a needlessly long line, leaving you aggravated before you reach the front. Then a seemingly simple request to make an exchange devolves into a customer service representative’s dramatic change in demeanor because they, too, have just had enough of this never-ending line. Tempers flare and you are seeing red.Once you’ve shaken yourself out of that unpleasant memory, consider your best customer service experience. You approach the rep with a request and they are genuinely happy to help you solve the issue. They thank you for your business. You comment on their kindness and thank them for helping you. Gold star earned.Great customer service is not to be underestimated, particularly at a financial institution. It instills loyalty in current clients, spreads word of mouth to attract new ones, and eases the transition for those newly acquired. As a consumer, there’s some degree of anxiety to be faced when trusting your hard-earned money to various entities, and that anxiety only grows as the number does. A credit union with an excellent reputation for customer service can bridge the gap and ease the worries that come along with having to entrust your money to an outside party. continue reading »last_img read more

PREMIUMInvestment priority a threat to civil liberties: Experts

first_imgGoogle Jokowi-second-term Joko-Widodo human-rights civil-liberties infrastructure investment Speakers at an Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) seminar on Monday warned that free speech may be in peril as the government pushed for more foreign and domestic investment in its pursuit of high growth – which Jokowi says is necessary to create jobs and increase incomes.“Freedom of expression is essential, as it is key for us to achieve our other rights,” said YLBHI chair Asfinawati at the seminar.But the writing was already on the wall that civil liberties were under threat when two violent protests erupted just weeks before the end of Jokowi’s first term.Tens of thousands of people took to Jakarta’s streets in September to protest the government and the House of Representatives’ move to pass two controversial bills: One deemed to “muzzle” the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the other on… LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : Forgot Password ? Linkedin Facebook Log in with your social accountlast_img read more