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HTML5 Inches Closer to the Finish Line

Posted By: Avazio on Dec 19, 2012 in Design

The W3C has an early Christmas present for web developers: The standards body that oversees the lingua franca of the web has published the complete definition of the HTML5 specification. HTML5 isn’t an official standard yet, but the move to what the W3C calls “Candidate Recommendation” (CR) status means that the spec is largely stable, …

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Forget ‘Do Not Track’ — Protect Your Privacy Today With ‘DoNotTrackMe’ Add-On

Posted By: Avazio on Dec 17, 2012 in Misc, Uncategorized

Image: bradleypjohnson/Flickr. The World Wide Web Consortium is currently working to standardize a “Do Not Track” mechanism to stop advertisers from following your every move around the web. Unfortunately, while the DNT tools are already supported in most web browsers, hardly any advertisers actually honor it. In fact, some advertisers seriously proposed an exception be …

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Universities add January starts in bid to fill places

Posted By: Avazio on Dec 11, 2012 in Students

Students put off by higher fees this September get a second chance to enrol

The number of January-start degree courses on offer has increased by almost 50% compared with the last academic year (rising from 284 in 2012 to 417 in 2013), as universities scramble to pick up students who failed to enrol in September.

January-start courses (also known as semester B entry) allow students who chose not to enrol at university in the autumn a second chance to do so in the new year. Students are then given an extra block of teaching over the summer break to help them catch up with modules missed during first term.

Steven Wyn Williams, dean of academic policy and development at Staffordshire University, one of the institutions to extend its range of January-start courses, says last summer’s admission cycle has forced universities to find new ways to attract students.

“We didn’t hit our SNC (Student Number Control) target, and this is one of the strategies we’re using to tackle that. We’re targeting our undergraduate courses at home students, those who have delayed their decision because of the fees increase, and other groups who aren’t dependent upon a September entry, such as mature students.”

Around 62,000 fewer home students had enrolled at university by this September compared with last year. Over three years, this is the equivalent of £1.5bn in fees.

The number of students who enrol during semester B is modest – Staffordshire University aims to recruit around 100 students across its range of undergraduate courses in the new year.

Unlike degrees that start in September, there are no formal deadlines for courses which start in January, nor is it possible for students to search the Ucas website for semester B entries.

But this may be about to change, according to Ucas. It says: “We are currently working with universities and colleges to consider how the Ucas deadlines can be made more flexible to meet their needs. Our updated course search system, due to launch next year, will give applicants an improved all-round experience.”

Pam Tatlow, chief executive of the university think-tank million+ says more should be done to show prospective student what’s on offer.

“Modern universities have always offered students the opportunity to start a wide range of courses in January and February. Many of these courses have a professional focus.

“It really is a case of modern universities meeting the needs of students and not being hidebound by a once a year, all-or-nothing approach. Ministers could do a lot more to promote it.”

Students entering in semester B pay the same fees as those who begin in September, according to Jenny Ventris, head of admissions at the University of Hertfordshire, which has also extended its number of January-entry courses.

“Students pay the same because they receive the same teaching but in different blocks. It allows students more freedom and I can see it becoming an increasingly attractive option. If the demand is there we’ll expand further.”

guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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GitHub’s Tips for Building Faster Websites

Posted By: Avazio on Dec 11, 2012 in Design
GitHub’s Tips for Building Faster Websites

Want to make your webpages load faster? Take a tip from GitHub — just a few small changes to your HTML and CSS can make a huge difference in performance.

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Gmail’s ‘Send and Archive’ Graduates From Gmail Labs

Posted By: Avazio on Dec 07, 2012 in Misc
Gmail’s ‘Send and Archive’ Graduates From Gmail Labs

Three of the most popular experiments from Gmail Labs are now features in Gmail, including an option to turn the traditional “Send” button into the more powerful “Send and Archive.”

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