Imperial College sets fees at £9,000

first_imgDespite claims that the top level of fees would only be charged in “exceptional circumstances”, Aaron Porter, President of the National Union of Students, has warned that virtually all London universities will charge the highest rate of fees because they do not fear losing students.Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Porter said, “Prices are set on things like perceived prestige and the desirability of location, so the demand for London universities will hold up well despite the increase in fees.”He also stressed fears that higher fees might mean students at more costly universities will be more “middle class, privately educated”, while poorer students will be “driven out”.Porter’s comments come in the wake of London’s Imperial College becoming the first university in England to formally announce that it wants to charge the maximum level of tuition fees.Imperial plans to charge £9,000 for all of its subjects from 2012 onwards. The decision has been made to “maintain the excellence of the education we provide to students.”Cambridge University is yet to complete its decision-making process but has already proposed fees of the full £9, 000, with the recommendation backed by its Council.Cambridge’s independent review warned that charging less than the top rate would raise questions about the university’s commitment to quality.Imperial College’s Rector, Keith O’Nions, commented, “Our message to the outside world is that for those who can manage Imperial’s courses, the college will work to ensure they can manage its costs.”Porter said, “It wouldn’t surprise me if universities like London South Bank and the University of East London chose to put themselves in the same price category as Imperial College by virtue of where they are, even though they don’t have the same reputation or history.”He added, “It’s right to say the reasons the market will not be a reflection of quality is because in London demand outstrips supply.”David Barclay, OUSU President, said, “OUSU is fighting against the proposal to go straight to £9,000 because we think this University has the resources to make a stand against an unprecedented change in the system which has not, and will not, be explained to prospective applicants.“At the same time we’re working to secure the most generous student support package in the country, which would include substantial fee waivers for students from the poorest backgrounds and a central bursary system which would allow all students to be able to live comfortably in Oxford without having to find a job during term.”Oxford has yet to decide its policy on tuition fee increases, but many anticipate the same decision as Imperial College.“There have been suggestions that if universities such as Cambridge and Imperial opt for the higher level of fees, it will make it harder for other leading universities, such as Oxford, to charge less.One student at Ruskin College, and member of the Oxford University Labour Club, commented, “What’s happening is an overt marketisation of education. This is a suicidal move.”Kevin Feeney, a student at Trinity College, was also against the proposals, arguing that “this reckless proposal would mortgage away students’ futures and I strongly condemn it.”However Peter Hamilton, a current student at Imperial, commented that a place at the London college is still “100% worth it. Even with the new fees the degree is worth every penny.”last_img read more

This stone spear tip may have belonged to the first Americans

first_img Email Clovis points are characterized by grooves called “flutes” along their bases and are firmly dated to about 13,000 years ago. For 10 years, a team of archaeologists painstakingly excavated layer after layer of ancient stone tools near a Texas creek, looking for a sign of the first people to arrive in the Americas. Now, they have finally hit the jackpot: 11 spear points ranging from 13,500 to 15,500 years old. That places these stone tools among the oldest artifacts ever found in the Americas. What’s more, the uniquely shaped spear points lay buried beneath tools from the Clovis culture, dramatically demonstrating that the Clovis people were not the first to arrive in the Americas, as archaeologists long believed.“This is the kind of research that’s going to push the peopling of the New World story forward,” says Todd Braje, an archaeologist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco who was not involved in the work. The new paper hints at a signature style of tool made by these mysterious first Americans, which archaeologists may be able to use to trace their movement into North and South America.The site where the tools were found—about 20 kilometers northwest of Austin—has year-round freshwater, making it, “an ideal place for people to be,” says Michael Waters, an archaeologist at Texas A&M University in College Station, who excavated there from 2006 to 2016. Apparently, prehistoric Native American communities agreed; stone tools in the area suggest people lived there for more than 10,000 years. Among the leavings are Clovis spear points used to hunt mammoths and other megafauna about 13,000 years ago. Archaeologists found western stemmed points including this one underneath Clovis points, making them a possible sign of the earliest migration into the Americas. This stone spear tip may have belonged to the first Americans Clovis points are unlike other spear tips because of their “flutes,” or vertical grooves chipped into each side of their bases. For many years, archaeologists thought the big game hunters who used them were the first to enter the Americas, walking from Alaska, through an ice-free corridor between the ice sheets of western Canada, and into the lower 48 about 13,500 years ago. But that idea started to collapse in 1997, when archaeologists confirmed that Monte Verde, a site in Chile, was at least 14,500 years old—meaning humans lived there before the ice-free corridor likely became a viable route. By Lizzie WadeOct. 24, 2018 , 2:25 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Center for the Study of the First Americans, Texas A&M University As the tidy Clovis-first hypothesis unraveled, archaeologists were plunged into uncertainty. They didn’t know when or how the first Americans arrived. Worse still, they had no way of consistently identifying pre-Clovis stone tools, which—unlike the easy-to-recognize Clovis points—didn’t seem to have a unified style.Now, Waters may have found such a style. Called “western stemmed points,” the new tools are generally smaller than Clovis points, lack the flutes, and taper toward a chunky stem. Waters’s team uncovered 11 western stemmed points in a layer of sediment about 15 centimeters below the earliest Clovis points at the site, meaning they are almost certainly older. But how much older?The wet environment of the creek made radiocarbon dating impossible, so Waters used a technique called optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating, which measures when quartz grains in buried sediment were last exposed to sunlight. Waters’s measurements showed that sediment around the western stemmed points was 13,500 to 15,500 years old, likely making the tools at least that old, the team reports today in Science Advances. If their creators arrived in Texas that early, Waters says, the Pacific coast would have been their most probable route. They could have invented or adopted Clovis technology once they settled in the lower 48, or the two distinct styles could mean multiple migrations into the Americas took place.Loren Davis, an archaeologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, calls the work “really well done. … It’s breaking boundaries.” But because OSL dating has larger error bars than radiocarbon dating, using the latter technique on western stemmed points at another site—ideally also found beneath Clovis tools—“would nail it down.” Braje argues that the dates of more than 100 other tools at the site, and the fact that they were in precise chronological order, with the newest nearest the surface, makes a strong case for the accuracy of the older ages.The findings could send archaeologists scrambling to find more western stemmed points in Texas and elsewhere in the Americas. Similar stemmed points have already turned up around the prehistoric Pacific rim, notes Braje, and some archaeologists were already wondering whether they could be the long-hoped-for signature of a coastal migration into the Americas. Waters’s discovery doesn’t close that case, Davis says, but “it’s very, very compelling.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Bill Whittaker/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more