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Credit crunch cuts Oxford’s assets

first_imgA recent survey has concluded that estimates over £100 million of Oxford’s endowments has been lost due to the credit crunchThe survey has concluded that British universities will lose as much as 15% of their wealth as the economic recession lowers the value of land and shares.For Oxford, this figure would suggest around £102 million of the university’s £680 million would disappear. If a similar loss hit the endowments of the colleges, total losses could be over £500 million.A university spokesman said, “we believe the university has sound policies in place to mitigate the impact of any longer term declines. Higher education remains a vital investment for the future.”These setbacks come after Oxford embarked on a massive campaign for funding last year. This aimed to raise £1.25 billion to help the University compete with wealthy American rivals. Among the projects university administrators hoped to fund were the development of the old Radcliffe Infirmary site and new buildings for the Bodleian.University Vice-Chancellor John Hood said at the time that his team, “must significantly increase the University’s endowment.”It is unclear how much of the funding gained in the campaign will be cancelled out by the effect of the credit crunch.Oxford also had £30 million invested in the collapsed Icelandic banking system. It is uncertain whether this will be restored to the University.last_img read more

Weehawken High School robotics team entered first ever competition

first_imgWEEHAWKEN–The Weehawken High School robotics team competed in its first robotics competition Saturday, Feb. 18.The national Vex Robotics competition tasks participants with designing and building a robot to compete against other teams’ robots in a game-based engineering setting. It also employs STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts students learn in school.“Richard Barsa and Mayor [Richard] Turner are huge advocates for our STEAM program,” said Dr. Robert Zywicki, the Weehawken Superintendent of Schools.“These are the guys who made the STEAM lab happen here. When they heard that we had our first competition, they said, ‘How can we help as a team?’ One of the things they did was, they made competition shirts for our robotics team.”“We’re very proud of the robotics team,” Turner said. “It all started from the STEAM program that was set up a year ago. We wish them a lot of luck. The schools will be dramatically enhancing STEAM and technology. I congratulate the school board for putting this in place.”“It’s great to see the STEAM program finally come to fruition,” said Barsa. “We’re just doing so many different things that the kids are enjoying and it’s a great segue for college applications to have the STEAM program.” ×last_img read more

GNBS to implement new hollow block standard

first_imgIn its attempt to provide quality products to the consuming public, the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) would be undertaking a countrywide campaign aimed at assisting manufacturers of hollow blocks to provide consumers with products of a standardised high quality.This was revealed by the GNBS on Monday when it announced that it had successfully passed the Concrete Hollow Block Standard. It has been indicated that manufacturers would be responsible for having their hollow blocks tested to ensure they possess the required PSI (pound per square inch) before being placed on the local and international markets. Kenrick Singh, a laboratory technician of the GNBS, related that the GNBS is working towards having standard requirements which all manufacturers can follow.“We’ve had the Hollow Blocks Standards passed, and we’re going to get all the manufacturers to register with us, so that they could manufacture to one specific PSI,” he said.He noted that manufacturers are responsible for having their standards fully compliant with those of the GNBS, lest they be restricted from marketing their blocks to consumers. This will ensure that only superior materials are produced in Guyana.In this case, the new standard that will be used in PSI readings is GYS 215:2002 for load-bearing blocks, and GYS 216:2002 for non-load-bearing blocks.Singh noted that while the hollow block is first and foremost on the GNBS agenda, standards are currently being drafted for PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) pipes produced in Guyana. The standards being tested for will be GYS 99:2010, ASTM D 1785-06, also in PSI readings.“For the PVC pipes, it’s the burst pressure, and this is a newly introduced testing which we’ve introduced for the testing of PVC pipes,” he explained.“We will be testing the pipes and hollow blocks of all the manufacturers in the country, to see if they reach the standards that they say that they are,” Singh disclosed.Consultations conducted in various regions of Guyana last year encouraged manufacturers to participate in discussions in relation to the drafts that would be made, in order to simplify the passing of the Concrete Hollow Block Standard. This decision flowed from the fact that many contractors and homeowners were raising concerns about the poor quality of concrete hollow blocks being sold by manufacturers.In a few days’ time, tests will be conducted to ensure that the blocks are of the PSI touted by the manufacturers, and also to determine whether they surpass the new standards set by the GNBS. This goes with the bureau’s mission to improve the services and goods produced in Guyana through standardisation.last_img read more