How you listen to music, what a rock looks like, and what historians cannot know about the past are among this year’s list of sample interview questions published by Oxford University. The annual release of interview questions and suggested ways of answering them are designed to prepare aspiring students for the ordeal of trying to get into one of the world’s most elite institutions. Some of the questions are deceptively simple ways of exploring a candidate’s knowledge. Candidates applying for an earth sciences place are shown a rock and asked to explain what it looks like. Would-be theology students are asked to explain the value of religion whether or not God exists. Other questions are more tricky. Those wanting to study medicine are asked: Is it surprising that viruses cause human diseases? Chemistry candidates are asked to calculate how many different molecules can be made from six carbon atoms and 12 hydrogen atoms. – Matthew Weaver, The Guardian. Read more

The Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) has called on European Union and United Kingdom Brexit negotiators to secure continued medical research co-operation post-Brexit and ensure continued unhindered movement of researchers in particular. “Now, as the UK prepares to leave the EU, we must ensure that the close and productive relationships between researchers are protected and preserved in order to address a shared aim of improving the health, safety and wealth of patients and citizens throughout Europe,” FEAM said in a statement. “It is essential, therefore, that UK and EU negotiators reach an agreement that supports medical research.” FEAM, which exists to promote cooperation between national academies of medicine and medical sections of academies of sciences in Europe, said researchers at every career stage, as well as the technical staff on whom they rely, must continue to be able to move around Europe to train and develop their careers, to meet and find new collaborators, to access research infrastructure and to pursue new avenues of research.  – Brendan O’Malley, University World News. Read more

Two lawsuits have been filed in federal court against Yale University claiming damages from a 2008 data breach at the university. Yale discovered the breach on June 16 this year during a security review of its servers, it said in a letter to those affected. Intruders gained electronic access to a Yale database between April 2008 and January 2009 and extracted names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, email addresses and, in some cases, physical addresses, the university said in its letter. After realising the breach, the university notified those affected and offered credit monitoring services and tips on how to prevent identify theft. A class-action lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on behalf of Andrew Mason of Virginia this week claims the university was negligent in its handling of student data. The suit also claims that Yale was reckless and acted with “willful misconduct” as it “turned a blind eye to” possibilities of a prior data breach and that the university used unfair trade practices.  – Viktoria Sundqvist, New Haven Register. Read more

A research study has suggested that female-authored research has more educational impact than male-authored research. The study, published in the Journal of Altmetrics – a newly launched peer-reviewed open-access journal – compared how many people read articles by male or female first authors in the same field using data from users of reference manager Mendeley. Female-authored research was more likely to be read by undergraduates, master’s students and junior researchers than male-authored research, the study found. Given that these students are unlikely to be seeking out research by female authors, the study suggests that women may be authoring research that is less esoteric, more human related or written in a more accessible way than their male colleagues’ research. “Although the evidence is weak, the findings raise the possibility that female-authored research has, on average, a greater non-research impact within education,” the study concludes. – Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed. Read more

Numbers of international students choosing to stay after graduation in the Netherlands is rising, according to Nuffic, the country’s internationalisation body. Surveying the 85,880 international students who graduated between the 2007 and 2013 cohorts, researchers found that around 22,000 graduates remained in the country, five years after graduation. “There are significant positive effects of having international graduates in the Dutch labour market,” Nuffic research consultant Mark Vlek de Coningh argued. For the 2006 graduate pool of 8,915 international students, 2,610 were still in the Netherlands five years after completion, compared with 3,515 graduates remaining from 15,940 international students graduating in 2012, the Stay rates of international graduates report found. More than half the international student graduates leave the Netherlands within a year of graduating, and after five years around 25% remained, the report suggested. – Viggo Stacey, The PIE News. Read more


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