Genes influence academic ability across all subjects, latest study shows

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 20:05

Around 60% of differences in GCSE results can be explained by genetic factors, with the same genes responsible for maths, science and the humanities

You may feel you are just not a maths person, or that you have a special gift for languages, but scientists have shown that the genes influencing numerical skills are the same ones that determine abilities in reading, arts and humanities.

The study suggests that if you have an academic Achilles heel, environmental factors such as a teaching are more likely to be to blame.

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Female graduates find more jobs, while men win higher pay

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 17:03

Nearly 75% of women are in work after university, compared with 71% of males, but four times as many men earn more than £40,000, says survey

Female graduates are more likely to find jobs after they leave university than their male peers, but those men who do find work enjoy higher starting salaries, the latest statistics on graduate employment show.

While nearly three-quarters of women who graduated last summer had found full- or part-time jobs within six months of leaving university, just 71% of men had done the same. Some 8% of male graduates said they were unemployed at the time of the survey, compared with just 6% of women.

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Live Q&A: What will it take to get better higher education in Africa?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 16:42

As part of a new series, a panel experts will discuss the future of universities on the continent. Join us on Thursday 30 July, 1-3pm BST

Africa will forever be dependent on international donors unless its universities can stand shoulder to shoulder with the Harvards, Oxfords and MITs of this world. If that happens, the continent can educate its own politicians, lawyers and engineers. But even the most optimistic of the “Africa rising” narrators would say that there’s a long way to go.

Related: Higher Education in Africa: Our continent needs science, not aid

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Roger Federer travels to Malawi to see progress of the preschool built through his charity foundation

The Independent - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 16:37

To the rest of the world, he’s known as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. To the children in ‘the warm heart of Africa’, Malawi, he’s known simply as the man who helps to build preschools across the country.

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Failed your GCSEs? You should blame your genes

Telegraph - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 16:10
Exam success in English, Maths, arts and humanities is largely genetic, scientists at Kings College London have found

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The airlift education scholarship that changed the world

BBC - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 14:50
The scholarship that brought Obama's father to the US
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Sexism in the workplace is used by men to bond, says academic

Telegraph - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 14:47
Sexism in the workplace is used by men "as a bonding experience", an academic and expert on gender at work has said.

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Beyond the Women's World Cup: 8 ways to get female students into football

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 11:53

The heroics of England’s lionesses this year got millions excited about the beautiful game. Here’s how to use this interest to inspire girls in your school

The heroics of our English Lionesses in Canada during the Women’s World Cup inspired me and millions of others to get excited about the beautiful game. The team’s courageous performances and their success in taking home the bronze medal were amazing to watch.

But, as a physical education (PE) teacher, the best part was seeing my female students get excited too. I had girls outside my door asking when the next school match was and if they could borrow a ball at break time. There were also numerous discussions, from Laura Bassett’s own goal to how the women’s game is different to the one played by men.

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More pupils try 'vaping' than smoking

BBC - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 10:19
More pupils in England aged between 11 and 15 have tried electronic cigarettes than have smoked a cigarette, according to official figures.
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A-levels, BTecs or an IB: which is right for you?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 09:35

There is a range of routes available to sixth-formers and college students – choosing which to take comes down to your personal priorities

Jordan Harry, 18, left school with eight GCSEs. He could have stayed on to take A-levels, but instead opted to take a BTec level 3 extended diploma in sports science at West Suffolk college. Two years later, armed with a triple distinction* – equivalent to three A* A-levels – he’s preparing to study sport and social sciences at the University of Bath.

For Harry, it was an easy choice: he knew he wanted a career in sports marketing or sports management, and this was the best route to get there. The level 3 extended diploma, offered by BTec and other awarding bodies such as City and Guilds, is a vocational qualification, equivalent to three A-levels. With a strong emphasis on acquiring practical skills, the diploma offers a chance to study subjects as varied as performing arts, animal management and engineering in depth.

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Soaring birth rate adds pressure on secondary school places

Telegraph - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 08:36
The overall number of pupils in state-funded schools in England is also projected to rise, jumping by 13 per cent to about 8.2 million, mainly due to a baby boom

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Family of Jessica Lawson travel to French activity centre where she died

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 08:22

Tributes paid to ‘beautiful and outgoing’ 12-year-old girl, who fell into lake on school adventure holiday in Massif Central region on Tuesday

The family of 12-year-old Jessica Lawson, who drowned while on a school adventure holiday in France, have travelled to the activity centre in Massif Central region ahead of a postmortem examination.

Jessica Lawson, from Wolfreton school, Hull, fell into a lake near Meymac in the Massif Central region on Tuesday.

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Students should apply to university once they've received their grades, not before

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 07:30

If the sector wants a fairer, less stressful university admissions process, it should consider switching to a post-qualification applications system

It’s absurd that students still apply to university and receive initial offers based on their predicted A-level grades, rather than their actual results. This situation causes uncertainty and stress for applicants, families and universities alike. With students applying well before they sit their exams, they potentially aim their pitch at the wrong universities, while admissions officers are realising they could be missing out on students with the best grades.

The chancellor George Osborne and universities minister Jo Johnson talk of fairness within admissions – universities are now able to recruit freely with the cap on student numbers removed, and this year, for the first time, clearing opened early to attract students on International Baccalearate results day. Over half of Russell Group universities entered the annual university sales earlier this month.

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Top 10 universities for physics and astronomy

Telegraph - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 07:00
If you're thinking of applying to study physics and astronomy, check out which UK universities offer the best degrees

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How to get a graduate job in market research

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 07:00

The good news for recent graduates is a career as a market researcher means using many of the skills already learned at university

If you thought a job in market research meant spending all day in a call centre working through a list numbers in the phone directory, you might be surprised to learn that there is a lot more to it than cold calling.

So what do market researchers actually do? They collect data about specific markets for clients; data about what people like, dislike, want and don’t want – even how people behave. They often have an area of specialism, so they might work in fashion or banking, advertising or public policy, and they work in project teams, liaising with suppliers and clients.

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The world’s most charismatic mathematician | Siobhan Roberts

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 06:00

John Horton Conway is a cross between Archimedes, Mick Jagger and Salvador Dalí. For many years, he worried that his obsession with playing silly games was ruining his career – until he realised that it could lead to extraordinary discoveries

On a late September day in 1956, John Horton Conway left home with a trunk on his back. He was a skinny 18-year-old, with long, unkempt hair – a sort of proto-hippie – and although he generally preferred to go barefoot, on this occasion he wore strappy Jesus sandals. He travelled by steam train from Liverpool to Cambridge, where he was to start life as an undergraduate. During the five-hour journey, via Crewe with a connection in Bletchley, something dawned on him: this was a chance to reinvent himself.

In junior school, one of Conway’s teachers had nicknamed him “Mary”. He was a delicate, effeminate creature. Being Mary made his life absolute hell until he moved on to secondary school, at Liverpool’s Holt High School for Boys. Soon after term began, the headmaster called each boy into his office and asked what he planned to do with his life. John said he wanted to read mathematics at Cambridge. Instead of “Mary” he became known as “The Prof”. These nicknames confirmed Conway as a terribly introverted adolescent, painfully aware of his own suffering.

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Birmingham reacts to 'oldest' Koran

BBC - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 04:53
What does it mean for the city where it was discovered?
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University access work 'fragmented'

BBC - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 01:31
Universities in England are urged to work together to ensure young people from less advantaged homes succeed in their degree studies.
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Universities wasting public money on 'pointless' research, says think tank

Telegraph - Thu, 23/07/2015 - 00:01
The way government research funding is allocated to universities may be distorting academic priorities, one think tank has said

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