Robot car

Car really is for hands free driving

The shape of motoring in the future in which a car can "drive itself" for sections of a journey has been revealed at Oxford University.

Students cycling in the Netherlands

Rise in Brits attending uni abroad

More British students are opting to go abroad for their university educations following the increase in tuition fees.

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New student block officially opened in Southampton

The skyline of one of our biggest cities is changing as hundreds of new homes are created for an important - and growing sector of the population.

As our univiersties take on more students they need somewhere to live.

In Southampton the city's oldest university has invested 80 million in two hi-rise landmark buildings to provide self catering accommodation.

One is on one of the main routes in - and another is right in the city centre.

Together, they will provide accommodation for more than two thousand extra students and today the first of the buildings was offically opened.

But what impact will it have on the wider city? Our Social Affairs correspondent, Christine Alsford, has been finding out more.

Southampton university remains 'Centre of Excellence'

The University of Southampton has been awarded £2.6 million to remain as a centre of excellence.

The Southampton Health Technology Assessments Centre (SHTAC) will remain at the forefront of how clinical guidance and policy is made.

The money will be given out over a 5 year period and has been given to the university by the Department of Health National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

The new contract will run from 2016 to 2021 and is the forth, 5-year contract that the institution has secured, raising over £14 million in research funding for the University of Southampton.

Professor Andrew Clegg said:

The success in securing a fourth five-year contract is a reflection of the quality and rigour of our research. It is underpinned by the skills and endeavour of the group and the community of clinicians, service providers, academics and patient representatives that advise and support us."

– Professor Andrew Clegg, SHTAC

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University expansion plans rejected

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Plans for an expansion of Sussex University have been turned down Credit: University of Sussex

A £500 million pound plan to extend Sussex University has been turned down. The university wants to build new facilities for almost 5000 more students.

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Plans for an expansion of Sussex University have been turned down Credit: University of Sussex

But the city council says the current design would harm the character of the campus at Falmer. The university may appeal.

Kent student heading to the US for a bright future

Lily Prendergast competed with 1200 other students to win a place at Smith College, Massachusetts Credit: Shellina Prendergast

A 17 year old student from Headcorn has won a coveted place to study at an American university after competing with 1200 other UK youngsters.

Lily Prendergast is one of 150 who'll be attending Smith College, Massachusetts after participating on the Sutton Trust's US Programme, run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission. Thanks to the trust, she'll also get a financial aid package to see her through college.

The aim of the programme is to encourage academically talented, low and middle income British students to consider studying at American universities. Lily will go to the States when she finishes her International Baccalaureate at Tonbridge Grammar School.

Record numbers apply for university places

by Christine Alsford

A record number of candidates are applying to go to to university this year, seemingly undeterred by fees of up to nine thousand pounds. Overall, figures are up by four per cent - but in the ITV Meridian region there are winners and losers.

Some universities - particularly those offering skills and vocational courses - are proving highly popular. At Surrey applications are up by a staggering 35 percent, Portsmouth is up by 12 percent - and Southampton Solent saw an increase of eight percent.

But the more traditional universities have been hit - Oxford is only up by 1 percent - and Reading says applications are down compared to the same point last year.

ITV Meridian's Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford has been looking at the bigger picture - and finding out if enough is being done to offer teenagers alternatives to taking a degree.

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Debate begins again over the cost of degree. How much will students pay in future?

The debate is starting all over again about how to fund Higher Education. Christine Alsford speaks to vice-chancellors Sir David Bell at Reading, Professor Joy Carter from Winchester, and Southampton Itchen MP and former universities minister John Denham about the challenges ahead.

Could the cost of a degree be set to rise again?

The deadline for prospective students to apply for university in September passed at 6pm today. Students are already paying fees of up to nine thousand pounds a year. But could the cost of a degree be set to rise again?

One top university has already said it wants to charge up to seventeen thousand. Meanwhile, the whole debate over who should fund higher education - and how - is rearing its head once more. ITV Meridian's Social Affairs correspondent Christine Alsford reports.

In her report Christine Alsford speaks to University of Reading Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell, students at the University of Southampton and the University of Winchester Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter.

UCAS university forms deadline at 6pm

Students
Students celebrating their graduations after finishing university courses

Any would be students in the region hoping to apply for university have until six o'clock this evening to submit their forms on the UCAS website.

Several sixth form colleges in the region are reporting an increase in applications, in some cases entries are up by as much as six per cent. Applications fell two years ago following the trebling of tuition fees. Final figures will be released at the end of this month.

University staff will go on strike over pay

Staff at universities, including Brighton, Sussex and Southampton Solent, will be going on strike today in a row over pay.

Members of Unison and Unite will be forming picket lines from 7am.

It is their first national strike over pay in 7 years.

The strikes could mean that lectures or tutorials are cancelled, possibly causing disruption to whole departments.

The strikes are predicted to have a "low level impact" on students.

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