Live Q&A: building confidence and resilience while at university

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 16:17

Staying confident at uni can be tricky. Join our experts from 2-4pm Tuesday 31 May to get advice on making decisions and building resilience

Student life can knock your confidence – whether you’ve got exams on the horizon, are feeling stressed about paying rent, or are prepping for graduate job interviews.

However, there are ways to boost how you feel about yourself, including sharing your problems with others and doing activities that make you happy. You can also fake it if you’re not yet there.

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Adoption reform 'to hasten placements'

BBC - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 15:04
A shake-up of adoption rules in England that aims to move more children more quickly from the care system to family life is unveiled in the Queen's Speech.
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Everyone is born creative, but it is educated out of us at school

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 14:12

Businesses urgently need innovative people, so we must dispel the myth that creativity is something mysterious that cannot be encouraged

Whenever I hear the phrase “creative industries” I’m always surprised. I ask myself, are there any uncreative industries? If so, how do they survive? Why aren’t they in a museum, next to the dodo? The world is changing at such a blistering pace that businesses without creativity at their core are doomed.

Innovate or die is not just a slogan, it’s a vital truth. Creativity is the most powerful competitive advantage a business can have. Companies need to fizz with new ideas and fresh thinking. But there’s a problem – there just aren’t enough fizzy people around.

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Boris's remarks on 'buried' air pollution report leave unanswered questions

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 12:45

London’s former mayor says he knew about the report showing deprived schools were disproportionately affected by air pollution, so why wasn’t it made public?

The former mayor of London’s response to claims he buried a report on how toxic air disproportionately affects deprived schools was trademark Boris Johnson bluster. To allege there was a cover-up was “absurd” and “risible”, he said. Of course he hadn’t hid the impact of dirty air.

But in defending his record on air pollution, he also seemed to make things worse. On Monday we didn’t know if Johnson himself was personally aware of the findings of the unpublished report that the new mayor Sadiq Khan accuses him of suppressing.

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The knowledge economy is a myth. We don’t need more universities to feed it | Andre Spicer

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 12:18
Most new jobs now do not require degree-level qualifications. Encouraging more young people to graduate will create only debt and disappointment

Governments around the world believe that to remain competitive in a global economy they must become smarter. In an attempt to boost its knowledge intensiveness, the UK government has just launched a plan to overhaul the university sector. It aims to transform universities by creating many more of them. The hope is that this will increase the number of people with degrees, and the UK will be a more competitive economy.

The idea of the knowledge economy is appealing. The only problem is it is largely a myth. Developed western economies such as the UK and the US are not brimming with jobs that require degree-level qualifications. For every job as a skilled computer programmer, there are three jobs flipping burgers. The fastest-growing jobs are low-skilled repetitive ones in the service sector. One-third of the US labour market is made up of three types of work: office and administrative support, sales and food preparation.

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Iraq shuts down the internet to stop pupils cheating in exams

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 11:43

The Iraqi government cuts off fixed-line and mobile broadband services to discourage children from smuggling mobile phones into state tests

Iraq has been turning off the internet across the country to stop children cheating in exams.

Three separate three-hour disruptions to Iraqi internet services, were spotted by content delivery network Akamai and internet performance analysts Dyn Research, which coincided with the country’s school exam periods. The blockade, which affected fixed-line and mobile broadband, was mandated by the Iraqi ministry of communication.

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Not feeling confident? Here are six ways to fake it

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 11:20

From adjusting your body language, to dressing in a way that makes you feel good, here’s our guide to projecting the best version of yourself

“Fake it til you make it” – the concept that if you act more confident than you feel, it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy – is widely proposed as a way to boost self-esteem.

Rachel Davis, a 21-year-old linguistics student at University College London, has tried this technique in new situations with unfamiliar people. “I try and become a cool, cynical, full-of-quips persona – an extra lively can-do exaggerated caricature of myself,” she says. But Davis feels this behaviour can be problematic as when she confides in new friends about social anxiety, they don’t believe her.

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Working smart: the lasting legacy of the Public Service Awards | Anna Bawden

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 11:00
As entries open for our 2016 public service awards, winners will build on its legacy – pioneering new approaches amid massive cuts, increased demand for services and changing social needs

The Guardian’s awards were launched to showcase the improvements and innovation under way across UK public services after seven years of a Labour government that had invested billions in new hospitals, schools and Sure Start centres, and boosted the workforce, increasing the number of doctors and nurses and police officers. With hospital waiting times falling and local authority services fast improving, the first year’s winner in 2004, from more than 300 entries, was Blackburn with Darwen council for its trailblazing role in children’s services. The council was one of the first advocates of early intervention and collaborative working. Its early years excellence service brought together drop-in health and child development clinics, childcare, an under-fives library and job advice services under one roof.

Over the years the Guardian’s awards have picked winners that have reflected changing social needs and services to match. In 2008, in the wake of the financial crash, Scotcash, a scheme backed by Glasgow city council to tackle loan sharks, was named overall winner. In 2010, the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS foundation trust took the top accolade for its efforts to become Britain’s greenest hospital, introducing a raft of measures to help patients, staff and the local community reduce their carbon footprint.

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EU students: how would Brexit affect you studying in the UK?

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 10:45

We’d like to hear from EU students about whether they’d still come to UK universities if Britain leaves the EU. Share your views below

If you are a non-UK university student from the EU, we would like to know your views on what impact the EU referendum will have for you and your education.

There are roughly 125000 non-UK, EU students enrolled on degree courses in the UK, paying domestic fees and eligible for student loans. There’s been a debate about whether Brexit would discourage European students from studying in UK in the future, or indeed impact those here already.

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Careers talks 'boost future earnings'

BBC - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 09:58
Careers education given to pupils in secondary school can be linked to higher earnings in adult life, according to researchers.
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Financial incentives could well make teaching sexy again | Jenny Rohn

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 08:31

Has teaching has been the poor cousin of research for too long? asks Jenny Rohn

There’s an old adage: ‘those who can’t do, teach’.

But this doesn’t really apply to taught science subjects at the university level, at least in my experience over a few decades in university settings around the world. If anything, it’s the opposite: stressed-out scientists, who do very well by the all-powerful yardstick of research excellence, have to be dragged from their labs to the podium to transmit their wisdom to the younger generation. As you might expect from a random sample of the population, the majority of whom have no actual pedagogical training, some are better at this task than others.

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'Hidden army' of carers in their 80s

BBC - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 00:40
The number of people in their 80s or older who are relied on as carers has rocketed in the last seven years, according to the charity Age UK.
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University ban on mortarboard throwing: 'We'll Photoshop them in'

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 18/05/2016 - 00:17

Health and safety initiative at University of East Anglia apparently triggered by spate of injuries caused by falling hats

It’s a much-loved academic tradition that has fallen foul of health and safety concerns of late, as universities strive to prevent graduates flinging their mortarboards in the air. Yet at one UK campus, a very 21st-century solution might now be at hand after students were told that images of the headwear will be digitally added afterwards if they simply mime the act when photographs are being taken.

The instructions were sent out to students at the University of East Anglia (UEA) after the institution in Norwich reportedly said that a number of graduates had been hurt by falling hats in recent years.

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Skype, iPads and in-cell education at heart of major prisons shakeup

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/05/2016 - 21:55

Prisons education review to be published alongside Queen’s speech that is designed to improve life chances of most disadvantaged in UK

Prisoners should be able to use iPads in their cells and stay in touch with friends and family via Skype, a major study commissioned by the justice secretary, Michael Gove, is expected to conclude.

The review into prison education by Dame Sally Coates advocates the increased use of “in-cell technology, such as iPads, so prisoners can learn independently”, according to extracts from a draft of the report seen by the Guardian.

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GCSE exam pupils baffled by 'business studies' question in biology paper

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/05/2016 - 20:19

AQA Biology exam reportedly asked pupils to define ‘independent company’, prompting complaints from children on social media

Pupils sitting a GCSE exam were left baffled after what appeared to be a business studies question featured in a biology paper.

A question in the AQA Biology exam reportedly asked pupils to define an “independent company”, prompting streams of children to complain about the exam on social media.

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George Osborne pledge to scrap 'very unfair' tuition fees comes to light

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/05/2016 - 19:56

Letter written by MP for Tatton in 2003 promises that education ‘will once again be free for students’ under a Tory government

A letter by a young Conservative MP called George Osborne, in which the writer criticises the introduction of university tuition fees, describing them as very unfair and a “tax on learning”, has been discovered by a former constituent. Violinist Rosy Williams was looking through a box of old papers on Monday when she came across the letter, written in 2003 on House of Commons-headed notepaper.

In it the up-and-coming MP for Tatton - now chancellor of the exchequer – thanks her for responding to an earlier letter seeking her views, and those of other young people in Cheshire, on national issues. He writes: “It is clear from the hundreds of replies I had that one of the issues that most concerns people your age is university tuition fees. It is hardly surprising.

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Sue Bowers obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/05/2016 - 18:03

My mother, Sue Bowers, who has died at the age of 82, was at the forefront of bringing conflict resolution work into UK schools in the 1980s. Many of the techniques she pioneered through her work in Kingston upon Thames are standard practice these days, but she had to negotiate a delicate balancing act, given that her work risked being dismissed as covert “peace education”.

Speaking in 2005, Sue recalled: “Kingston was an extremely right-wing council, but we got into the schools thanks to one of the educational inspectors, who called himself ‘a turbulent priest’. Because Kingston was very geared to academic achievement, he put us into the schools as ‘oral workshops’ – we called them ‘problem-solving in personal relationships’. The schools thought they were great, but politically, peace education was thought to be subversive. We hit trouble when the chair of the local education committee heard about our workshops and was outraged.”

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Surge in teenagers self-poisoning renews mental health concerns

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/05/2016 - 17:26

Almost two in three poisonings are intentional – up 50% in past 20 years – with young women most affected, data shows

Growing numbers of teenagers are deliberately poisoning themselves with alcohol, painkillers and antidepressants, renewing fears about young people’s mental health.

Related: Social media is harming the mental health of teenagers. The state has to act | June Eric Udorie

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Letter: Sir Harry Kroto obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/05/2016 - 16:57

Harry Kroto made a number of profound discoveries – most notably fullerenes – that marked a watershed for the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology. But his were not simply a consequence of his individual brilliance or that of his team. They were in large part due to the extraordinary intellectual environment of the Sussex University chemistry department, in which he worked for 37 years.

Harry’s wit, energy and humanity contributed to its collegial spirit: its members encouraged a pioneering attitude to teaching and research in molecular sciences – and a passion to explore the periodic table. This led to many advances in organic and inorganic synthesis, polymer and materials science and chemical biology. Harry loved Sussex and I suspect it helped to make him such a successful scholar and educator.

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Raising the cap on tuition fees will fund innovative teaching | AC Grayling

The Guardian Unlimited - Tue, 17/05/2016 - 16:31

One of the conditions for good teaching and learning is smaller classes, for improved staff-student ratios. Better education for all doesn’t come free

The kinds of initiative you must love if you are a policy maker are those where there is a happy coincidence between what is right for the strategic and economic interest of a country and what is right for the development of its citizens, providing people with the wherewithal to lead rich and fulfilled lives.

Related: Education is our right – we should be cutting tuition fees, not raising them | Malia Bouattia

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