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New medical school to open in Chelmsford

A brand new medical school will open later this year in Chelmsford - one of five across the country.

It'll be run by Anglia Ruskin University with the first students expected to start in September.

Artist's impression of the new school at Chelmsford

All the schools will be outside London in areas which traditionally struggle to attract doctors.

By 2020 it's hoped the five new schools will have 1,500 student doctors in training.

"Setting up five new medical schools is part of the biggest ever expansion of our medical and nursing workforce; which will help us deal with the challenges of having around one million more over 75s in ten years' time. These schools are being set up in parts of the country where it is can be hard to recruit and attract new doctors - but will benefit doctors everywhere as we start to eliminate the rota gaps that add so much pressure to their work."

– Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt

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Novel support for strikers: Authors back university lecturers in industrial action

Authors refuse to cross picket line Credit: PA Images

A Booker prize nominated Author has cancelled an appearance at the University of East Anglia over the strike on pensions.

Jon McGregor, who wrote Reservoir 13, has pulled out of the University of East Anglia’s Spring Literary Festival as strikes enter third week.

Instead he'll headline an event at Students’ Union in support of striking staff. he'll be joined by Essex Serpent writer Sarah Perry, UEA alum Megan Bradbury and James Meek.

The author was due to appear at the UEA Spring Literary Festival on Wednesday but said that he will not cross the picket line.

The ‘Writers for the Strike’ event will run from 5 – 7pm on Wednesday.

Mr McGregor said:

"Although I had been very much looking forward to reading at the UEA Spring 2018 Literary Festival, I will not be able to do so while strike action in defence of university staff pensions is ongoing. I have never crossed a picket line in my life, and am not about to start now. Instead, I will be joining staff, students, and writers for an evening of readings and discussion as part of the Alternative University being organised by striking staff and hosted by the Students’ Union."

– John McGregor

The pension dispute centres on proposals to end the defined benefit element of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) – a move which UCU says would leave a typical lecturer almost £10,000 a year worse off in retirement than under the current set-up.

Delving deeper into an historic local landmark

Excavations have begun into the Castle Keep Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

Archaeologists have begun excavating the basement of Norwich Castle to unearth more about it's historic past.

It is part of a £13 million pound project to transform the Castle's iconic Norman Keep.

It's the first major excavation of it's kind on the Castle since the 1990s.

Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

The aim is to shed light on the origins of Norwich's stone Keep, one of the most architecturally sophisticated buildings in northern Europe when it was built at the start of the twelfth century. it will also allow examination of the makeup of the castle mound, which is the largest example of a 'motte' in Britain.

"This is not only the first major excavation within the castle in nearly twenty years, it is by some way the largest ever undertaken here. It represents our best opportunity to resolve some of the fundamental questions about the origin and development of the Norman keep...Given the size of our exciting Keep redevelopment project, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to examine the site and try to understand it".

– John Davies, Project Director
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