Postgraduate applications at all time high

first_imgThe number of applicants for postgraduate degrees at Oxford overtook the number of applications for undergraduate degrees for the first time ever last year, according to newly-released figures by a government review into postgraduate education in the UK.The ratio of graduate applications to filled places for entry in 2009/10 is four to one, while at undergraduate level it is five to one. Applications for postgraduate study at Oxford has risen by 60% over the past four years. Over the same period, the number of places for postgraduate study has increased by 34%.The University has already received graduate 18,800 applications for the next academic year, and is expecting to receive more in the coming months. The total undergraduate applications this year came to 17,144.This reflects a general increase in demand for postgraduate study at British universities.  It has been suggested that the recession is the primary cause of this, as graduates are unable to find jobs and instead choose to boost their qualifications.Ewan McKendrick, Oxford’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, said to the Times, “We have more or less hit the ceiling, so if we want to go further to expand graduate numbers we have difficult decisions to make.“Oxford is now the UK’s largest recipient of research funding and the quality and impact of its research is world-renowned.“Its continued growth and development as a centre of excellence could not have been possible without an increasing number of graduates working on research projects and supporting Oxford’s world-leading research.”There is concern that this surge in applications could undermine efforts to widen access, as student loans are only available to under-graduates. Post-graduate grants are competitive, and many post-graduates have to secure their own funding either from their family or elsewhere.Sarah Hutchinson, OUSU VP for graduates, is enthusiastic about the latest figures, “It is very exciting that so many students are interested in taking up postgraduate study at Oxford, although the surge in applications in the last two years may reflect difficulties graduates have experienced in finding employment due to the recession.”Hutchinson also expressed concern that the high cost of post-graduate study would deter potential applicants.  She said, “I am very concerned that the cost of postgraduate study will put people off applying, but I would recommend anyone worried about this to get in touch with the University’s Graduate Fees and Funding office, who can advise them of the support available.“The need to increase access to postgraduate study was a key message in the OUSU submission to the Smith review on postgraduate education, and is something we are currently working on with colleges, the university and the NUS.  It is essential that the Graduate Fund remains a top priority for the University if we want to continue to attract the best applicants”.The cost of graduate study at Oxford varies depending on course. University fees for home students are generally around £3,500, though some can be £25-30,000 per year. Overseas students generally pay between £12,200 and £33,000, and students also pay college fees, typically between £1,900 and £2,300.Jane Sherwood, Director of Graduate Admissions and Funding, said, “The upward trend in applications predates the global financial downturn and reflects the appeal of studying at a world-renowned university, the quality of teaching and research supervision and the high quality of the research being undertaken here by world-leading academics”There are now 8,701 postgraduates at Oxford, compared with 11,766 undergraduates. Oxford currently offers 328 different graduate degree programmes.last_img read more

Oriel JCR plans further liberation referenda

first_imgOriel JCR is to hold three separate referenda on the introduction of new liberation group officers for its committee, as was determined at Sunday’s JCR General Meeting. This follows the JCR’s failed referendum on the creation of all three officerships through one single vote late last term. After a motion was put to the JCR, a resolution was passed to hold three further, separate elections to resolve this issue: one to establish a Women’s Officer, one to establish a BME Officer, and one to establish a Student Disabilities Officer. Although supported by more than 60 per cent of the voters, the previous referendum had failed to secure the required two-thirds supermajority. Oriel JCR currently has an Equalities Officer; most other colleges, however, have positions dedicated to the representation of women, minority ethnic students, and those with disabilities. As part of the motions, the JCR resolved to have the Returning Officer for the referenda issue “statements of conscience” requesting that only members who identify as part of the affected groups vote in the applicable referendum. Some students have expressed concern with discouraging full participation of all JCR members in establishing roles which will have voting rights on the JCR Committee. Molly Rogers, who recently proposed a successful motion in the Balliol JCR to change the name of her position from Disabled Students Officer to Student Disabilities Officer, said that she agrees in principle with the “statements of conscience” system, but pointed out that, “A person may develop a disability at any point and so may need to seek the support of someone they weren’t allowed to vote for.’’ “However, the democratic system implies that any decision made should be the one that is best for the group in question, so this shouldn’t pose too much of a difficulty.” She also said that anonymity of voting members was “something to bear in mind when restricting the right to vote to a minority group when there are issues with confidentiality.” OUSU VP for Women Lucy Delaney told Cherwell, “I’m very pleased to hear that Oriel College is considering the introduction of BME, Womens, and Disabilities Officers. I also fully support the decision for non-affected groups to be asked to abstain from voting for these positions, as I firmly believe that liberation groups should be able to choose their own representatives — they have lived experience and know more than anyone else which issues affect them. This is the procedure when voting in the OUSU elections for the closed-franchise role of VP Women.“Finally, I think it is important to recognize, however, that in an institution such as Oxford, where there is poor representation for certain groups such as BME students, liberation officers are often expected to push through changes in college and in the University on their own, with very little support, and often against huge opposition. They are expected to constantly use up energy educating others and the changes they push through are often sadly built off oppression they themselves have to fight on a daily basis. This, I believe, is wrong – we all need to take responsibility for making Oxford more inclusive; for speaking out against sexual violence, for decolonizing the curriculum and for making Oxford accessible for students with disabilities.“So, whilst I am extremely glad these officer positions may be created, I also think it is vital that we recognise this as a starting point, and that, following their election, the officers receive support and allyship from the entire student body.”last_img read more


first_img57, died on September 1, 2017 at Morristown Medical Center after a long battle with lung cancer. Frank was a native of Bayonne, moving to East Hanover 21 years ago. He had a long career at the CIT Group in Livingston, NJ as a Director of Finance. Frank is survived by his wife, Margaret “Meg”, by two daughters, Nicole Muller and her husband, Michael, and Elizabeth “Ellie” Inzitari, by a son, Dominick “Mickey” Inzitari and by two grandchildren, Michaela and Maxwell Muller. He is predeceased by a brother, Enzo Inzitari and his parents Domenico and Giuseppina (Vartuli). In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Morris Catholic High School, 200 Morris Ave, Denville NJ 07834, Attn: Rob Loia are preferred. Funeral arrangements by HANCLIFFE HOME FOR FUNERALS, 222 Ridgedale Ave. East Hanover, NJ.last_img read more

US: Germany is ‘highly valued’ station for American troops

first_imgBERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Defense Ministry says U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer in his first conversation with her since taking up his new post that Germany is “highly valued” as a station for American soldiers. Former President Donald Trump last year ordered the reduction of the U.S. military contingent stationed in Germany by more than 25% and the Pentagon has been studying how that could be done. German officials have hoped that order will be rescinded, and German’s Defense Ministry said Thursday Austin “emphasized that Germany is highly valued as a station and that American soldiers feel very comfortable here.”last_img read more

College Republicans “support,” but do not endorse, Donald Trump

first_imgThe Notre Dame College Republicans announced Monday that the group would publicly support Donald Trump in his bid for President of the United States.Citing Trump’s opposition to abortion, his economic plan and his running mate selection, the club’s statement said Trump, despite his brash personality, “has a certain strength and a particular vision to see that these tasks are accomplished.” Rachel O’Grady | The Observer Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a rally in South Bend days before winning the Indiana primary in May.The announcement came after the club’s president, senior Pat Crane, told ABC News the club would be supporting the Republican nominee. Harvard University’s College Republicans and other GOP clubs had recently said they would not endorse Trump.But Crane said the Notre Dame College Republicans’ statement also did not constitute an “endorsement,” which he defined as agreeing with all of a candidate’s views. They instead chose to “support” Trump, acknowledging that not all members backed him or his views.“Endorsing would mean that we, as a total organization, are fully aligned with the candidate . . . Supporting means that we will provide any aid we can to the candidate, while the entire organization may not fully agree with the candidate,” Crane said.While the club’s officers wrote and released yesterday’s statement, vice president Dylan Stevenson said the officers and some members decided at a club meeting in April to support the as-yet-undecided Republican nominee.“We made a conscious decision as a club to support whoever that nominee was, and at the time it was uncertain as to who that might be,” Stevenson said. “But we made that conscious decision . . . so we kept that promise to our members in mind, and when we compared the policies of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, we came to the conclusion that we could very much keep that promise.”The Notre Dame College Democrats responded on Facebook today to the College Republicans’ statement, saying it was “unsurprising but nonetheless disappointing to see them embrace a wholly unqualified and dangerous presidential candidate.”The College Democrats had endorsed Hillary Clinton last month in conjunction with the College Democrats of Indiana. That group’s joint statement said Clinton “will fight to make progressive change a reality” and focused primarily on criticizing Trump and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.Co-president Grace Watkins said the club had debated the issue during the spring semester, hearing from supporters of both Clinton and Bernie Sanders, but she and fellow co-president Andrew Galo, both seniors, made the decision to endorse Clinton when a consensus emerged over the summer. Watkins defined endorsement as publicly supporting and campaigning for a candidate.“I think that we made the decision to endorse because we felt we were strongly in favor of Hillary Clinton, and we also expect a public endorsement, along with the cycle itself, to drive participation up,” Watkins said.For both clubs, endorsing or supporting their party’s nominee means galvanizing support and encouraging members to become more involved in national and local campaigns this fall.“We’re focusing on programming on the messages of inclusivity and effecting change on the local and federal levels, so in practice that means connecting students to opportunities involving candidates including Hillary Clinton, as well as to local races.” Watkins said. “… In addition, we’re planning meetings for members to debate and present issues they’re interested in.”Stevenson said College Republicans would work on behalf of Trump, as well as in local races.“We plan on being involved in as many of those campaigns as possible and helping members get involved in the campaigns they care about. We understand that not everybody’s going to be on board with Donald Trump. … But we want to make sure that everybody at Notre Dame who cares about individual and economic liberty — there’s a place for them in the Republican Party.”Tags: College Democrats, College Republicans, Donald Trump, hillary clintonlast_img read more

University names valedictorian, salutatorian for 2019 commencement ceremonies

first_imgSeniors Sofia Carozza and Annelise Gill-Wiehl will be valedictorian and salutatorian of the 2019 Notre Dame graduating class, respectively, the University announced in a press release Wednesday.The two were chosen following an application process that invites the top three students of each school in the University with the highest grade point average to submit faculty recommendations and a draft of their commencement speech. The press release said a selection committee chose the finalists who were then approved by University President Fr. John Jenkins.A native of South Bend and a graduate of Saint Joseph High School, Carozza is a neuroscience and behavior major with a supplemental major in theology as well as a minor in philosophy, politics and economics. Carrying a 4.0 grade point average, Carozza is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar, a Glynn Family Honors Scholar and a de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture Sorin Fellow, the press release said.Over the course of her time at Notre Dame, Carozza has been involved with the Institute for Advanced Study, ND Students for Worker Justice, Show Some Skin and Baraka Bouts, the press release said. The statement said Carozza is fluent in Italian, conversational in Spanish and is a classically trained harpist. She was named a recipient of the Marshall Scholarship in December, which will allow her pursue a master of philosophy in basic and translational neuroscience and eventually a doctorate at the University of Cambridge in England.In the community, Carozza is also a mental health coach for at-risk youth and is involved with heading an exercise program at the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center. During her summers, she has tutored disabled children in Paraguay at the National Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame, conducted neuroscience research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and studied toxic stress at the ChildWise Institute in Montana.Hailing from St. Louis, Gill-Wiehl is an environmental engineering major with a minor in international development studies. A member of the Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, Gill-Wiehl has performed research at the University through the Kellogg Institute and the Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosol Modeling Group on topics such as environmental sustainability and infrastructure, the release said.On campus, Gill-Wiehl is involved with Kellogg Institute International Scholars, NDSEED and student government, in addition to serving as co-president of GlobeMed. She is also a member of both the Chi Epsilon civil engineering honor society and the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. She is also conversational in Swahili.Gill-Wiehl has been recognized for work at Notre Dame in the past with the Rev. Thomas A. Steiner Award in the College of Engineering for excellence and commitment to engineering and to the common good as well as the John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award for exemplifying the ideals of the University through outstanding volunteer service beyond campus, the release said. Gill-Wiehl plans to attend the University of California, Berkeley to pursue a doctorate in energy resources.Tags: 2019 Commencement, 2019 salutatorian, 2019 valedictorian, salutatorian, valedictorianlast_img read more

Offshore Oil vs. Offshore Wind?

first_imgThe Southeast is at a crossroads: open up its waters to oil drilling or shift its focus to renewable offshore wind energy. Which way will the political winds blow? Two regional experts offer their insights.Offshore OilGasoline prices have been rising, spurred by higher demand for crude oil worldwide and instability in the Middle East. We should address this situation by producing more oil here at home, instead of relying heavily on foreign oil imports.Some opponents of domestic oil production claim that resources in the U.S. are too scarce to make development worthwhile. But a recent study by the energy consulting firm ICF International estimates that development in federal waters offshore of Virginia could produce more than half a billion barrels of oil and more than 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Those estimates translate to enough oil to fuel all the cars in Virginia for more than 4 years and enough natural gas to heat all the homes in Virginia for more than 11 years.Those numbers are probably low, if you consider that original estimates for what experts thought would be produced in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska were greatly underestimated. New technology available today can provide better estimates of resources that exist in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. Unfortunately, the only data available now is from seismic testing and exploratory actions taken 30 years ago and through outdated methods. (Think of a Polaroid snapshot compared to high resolution x-rays.)Recently, the Obama administration announced it would consider allowing new seismic and geological/geophysical testing off the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. This is an encouraging step, but we should note that the federal government does not generate this data. Seismic companies do. And they generally do that on a speculative basis, hoping to sell the data to companies looking to purchase leases in an area. With no lease sale scheduled anywhere off the Atlantic seaboard now, and thus no potential customers, seismic companies have little incentive to gather new data.We can and should improve our energy efficiency and develop more alternative and renewable energy sources; the U.S. oil and natural gas industries are leaders in both areas. Our own government experts say we will continue to rely on oil and natural gas for a majority of our energy for decades to come. Ignoring the benefits (job creation, energy security, and deficit reduction) of safely developing our vast domestic reserves of oil and natural gas will make our current energy challenge even greater.Michael Ward is the executive director of the Virginia Petroleum Council. Offshore WindI firmly believe in developing offshore wind energy, so it might surprise you that I started my career at one of the largest oil companies in the world, drilling offshore wells in the United States and Africa. I’ve always been a numbers geek, and with two engineering degrees and an MBA, I’m also a fiend for data. My transition into green energy entrepreneur didn’t spring from vague hippie ideals but from time in the field and from crunching numbers. So, why do I support offshore wind?First, some common-sense basics: offshore wind energy is clean, domestically available, and won’t run out. The machines used to harness wind cost money, but wind will always be free. This makes wind a stably priced energy source, whereas the cost of coal, oil, or gas is hard to predict over two years, let alone twenty.Let’s put these benefits into perspective. Within fifty miles of the North Carolina coast are a whopping 297,000 megawatts of untapped wind energy. Even providing for restrictions such as shipping lanes or paths for migrating seabirds, 55,000 megawatts are still available. This amount alone can provide enough power to cover over 130% of North Carolina’s electricity demand. Just 8,000 megawatts would supply about 20% of that demand.All of this potential translates into jobs—lots of them. Remember those 8,000 offshore megawatts? Estimates from the National Renewable Energy Labs (NREL) predict that this amount of development would create 33,000 construction jobs and 6,400 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Rhode Island have already taken aggressive steps to attract this new industry.Using fossil fuels for energy comes with a host of costs that don’t show up on our monthly bill. But we’re still paying for them—in the public health, environmental, even military sectors. These costs act as a built-in subsidy for fossil fuels, making them appear less expensive than they are. Let’s also note that costs of renewables are trending down while the costs of fossil fuels are trending up.No energy source is perfect, and all present challenges. I’m not naïve enough to believe that we can or even should eliminate fossil fuel use in my lifetime. But I do believe that we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and build a clean energy future. Recognizing the potential of offshore wind energy and other renewables can help make this future possible.Brian O’Hara is the president of the North Carolina Offshore Wind Coalition.Join the energetic debate at blueridgeoutdoors.comlast_img read more

U.S. Army South Trains Armed Force of El Salvador

first_imgBy Lorena Baires/Diálogo May 24, 2018 U.S. Army South (ARSOUTH) is training five specialized commands of the Armed Force of El Salvador (FAES, in Spanish). The courses focus on new search procedures, information, and intelligence gathering in high-crime areas and combating serious emerging threats in the Western Hemisphere. “We designed a training program [starting in February] 2018,” explains Army Colonel Ángel Lima, chief of staff of the FAES General Staff. “The program will strengthen our troops’ tactical leadership skills to improve performance, security levels, positive seizure results, border protection and anti-gang operations, as well as combat drug trafficking.” The five specialized commands participating in the training are part of a strategic effort called New Dawn Campaign Plan (Plan de Campaña Nuevo Amanecer), which focuses on national security. The commands will carry out joint missions with the Civil National Police nationwide. Zeus Command has 3,100 members focused on reinforcing security on the streets of 50 of the country’s most dangerous municipalities. San Carlos Command’s 1,200 service members are deployed along the perimeters of the country’s 19 penitentiaries. Sumpul Command counts with 1,000 soldiers distributed over 300 unofficial border crossings. Águila Command, composed of 2,300 service members, is responsible for patrolling the areas surrounding the schools most affected by gang violence. And with 300 elite officers, Trueno Command directly engages the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs. Officers and noncommissioned officers from each command take part in the training. “ARSOUTH’s support is invaluable,” Salvadoran Minister of Defense David Munguía Payés said. “This year we revamped the training calendar. This allows us to more effectively provide national defense [training] and confront threats such as narcotrafficking, human trafficking, and other crimes.” “These commitments are important to our national security and help promote a more stable region,” U.S. Army Major Jimmy Isakson, desk officer for El Salvador at ARSOUTH, said during training planning. “Criminal networks in Central America cause regional instability and increase the crime rate and drug trafficking, which is of concern to everyone.” Exchange of experiences The training calendar includes 10 courses per year, two for each command, each lasting four weeks. Armies from Central American and Caribbean nations participate in some of these training activities, also seeking to increase security in their respective countries. An example of this was the Regional Course Against Transnational Crime taught in February and March 2018. FAES and the Civil National Police led the course at the Regional Training Center Against Transnational Crime (CRACCT, in Spanish) in the municipality of Ilopango. Fifteen service members from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic attended to learn new border search and control techniques, as well as measures against gang and drug trafficking activities. The objective of the course was to carry out combined practical training exercises to raise the operating level of each participating country. “We performed a combined exercise in which we intercepted a car suspected of transporting drugs. We were able to verify that procedures are similar throughout the region and we shared experiences from each country,” said Salvadoran Army First Lieutenant Edgardo Avilés, one of the participants. “We were able to eliminate mistakes, for instance by checking areas that some had missed, like the tire rims.” The participation of multiple regional armies in this type of exercise helps standardize approaches across similar operations. “We shared all available information to fight emerging crime affecting the region,” said Army Colonel Manfredo Guzmán, CRACCT commander. “They are the same [crimes], but criminals operate differently in every country. Now all of us are attacking them with the same strategy.” Hard numbers Training with ARSOUTH allows for improvements in the work of commands that make up the New Dawn Campaign Plan. In 2016, Zeus Command seized 281 firearms and 5,223 drug packets from gangs. In 2017, it seized 400 firearms and 18,000 drug packets. San Carlos Command seized 500 rounds of ammunition in 2016 and 55,000 in 2017. “The results these commands show derive, in large part, from the training with ARSOUTH, which improves our units’ skills,” said Col. Lima. “Participants transfer their knowledge to fellow service members to strengthen the troops.” Sumpul Command seized 10,000 contraband items along unofficial border crossings in 2016, and increased that number to 60,000 in 2017. In addition, Águila Command boosted its suspicious vehicle searches from 78,000 in 2016 to 135,000 in 2017. FAES incorporates the knowledge gained from these trainings into its Regular Training Program, known as PAR15, in which groups of 100 to 125 service members from all commands participate. “I taught my soldiers everything I learned from ARSOUTH, as well as the errors we corrected. We are all grateful for this professional growth, and we hope to advance even more in future ARSOUTH trainings,” Lt. Avilés said. ARSOUTH provides training for armies of other partner nations, such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. The mission is to promote bilateral alliances and analyze how to continue efforts to counter organized transnational threats.last_img read more

Fire departments respond to fire at Recreation Park in Binghamton

first_imgBINGHAMTON (WBNG)- Fire departments are responding to a fire at Recreation Park. A 12 News crew is on the scene. (WBNG) — A go fund me page has been started to help repair the park to help donate you can click here. Or you can donate to the Our Space Fund as well by clicking here. —– This is a developing stay with 12 News for further updates. The fire is under investigation. 4:40 A.M. UPDATE: Dipatchers did not comment on if there were injuries or how the fire started. The Binghamton Fire Department said the fire started around 12:45 a.m. and the fire destroyed the entire playground. last_img read more

Black Lives Matter mural to be painted on downtown Binghamton street

first_img(WBNG) — After a petition to create a new art mural gained thousands of signatures, the project now has the green light to paint “Black Lives Matter” on Wall Street in Binghamton. “Due to something that happened in 2010 with the city council, it was the city council’s decision to actually pass this project through,” said Mann. “Seeing what George Floyd went through, and then him passing right in front of our eyes, it just did something to me. Whenever I think about it, I literally can’t breathe,” said mural organizer Kristen Mann. With piles of paperwork and waiting for weeks, Mann says she had to be patient through the process. In the end, her permit was granted. The painted yellow words have sparked a call for change, but seeing that change happen hasn’t been easy. Binghamton will be joining a growing list of cities with painted murals after protests were sparked over the death of George Floyd. On July 25 to 26, volunteers will be painting Wall Street, with the final project sitting near the Martin Luther King Jr. statue. Mann says the mural is giving a voice to those who have not been heard. center_img “We have rights too, as black people, we have a voice, we matter, we also support the economy of America,” said Mann. “It’s not just about black and white, it’s literally projects, tangible projects, that can leave an imprint in people’s minds that we need to do better,” said Mann. She hopes the community-driven project will share a message and create conversations. If you would like to volunteer, head over to this link. If you would like to donate to resources for the project, click here.last_img read more