Britannica Institutional Newsletter:
Issue 1: March 2012.
Hello and a warm welcome to your new look Britannica Newsletter. In this first edition, we’ll
be casting an eye on some of the key news stories which have caught our eye and giving you
the opportunity to share your thoughts. We’ll also be highlighting new and innovative features
which are regularly added to Britannica Online, as well as detailing all of the training
and resources which are at your disposal.
Finally – why not have a go at our March Quiz
? You can win a year’s subscription to
Britannica Image Quest
by being the quickest to answer March’s teaser below.
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February saw the release of the first official UCAS stats on university applications, since
maximum tuition fees were raised to £9,000 a year.
, the numbers applying fell by 8.7% compared to last year, with
mature students most likely to be deterred. But despite the fall, experts predict demand
for places will continue to outstrip supply.
As a result
Universities Minister David Willetts announced that Further education colleges are going to
play a bigger role in offering degrees in England, as colleges are awarded funding for
thousands of places previously held by universities.
In wider news, a report
from JISC reveals that university libraries are saving academics time by helping them find
quality material more quickly. This picture of the library at the heart of university life
has emerged as part of a new JISC Collections report which canvassed over 1000 academic
and associate staff at six UK universities in 2011.
Finally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the world's top-rated universities,
has announced its first free course
which can be studied and assessed completely online.
An electronics course, beginning this month, will be the first prototype of an online project,
known as MITx. The interactive course is designed to be fully automated, with successful
students receiving a certificate. The US university says it wants MITx to “shatter barriers
What do you think of these stories? Let us know by getting in touch
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Last month saw the bicentenary of novelist Charles Dickens’ birth. Dickens is generally
considered the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, with his depictions of poverty,
social upheaval and Victorian London resonating with both modern and contemporary audiences.
Here are five things you may not know about him!
- Dickens was born to one of a growing number of middle-class families; one of his
grandfathers had been a domestic servant, while the other one was an embezzler
- His father, a clerk in the navy pay office, was well paid, but his extravagance and
ineptitude often brought the family to financial embarrassment or disaster
- Dickens left school at 15 to become a clerk in a solicitor’s office
- Maria Beadnell rejected the young Dickens as a suitor because of his lowly status;
his feelings were reflected in David Copperfield’s adoration of Dora Spenlow
- Dickens loved the theatre; so much so that he nearly became a professional actor in 1832
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You can win a free subscription to Britannica Image Quest
by being the first to successfully
answer the question below. Tweet your answer to @Britannica_UK with the hashtag #marchquiz
“What links Victor Hugo and Johnny Cash?”
Answer will appear in April’s Newsletter
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New @ Britannica:
is edited and updated on an hourly basis to reflect changing world events.
And unlike other sources, all of our materials are curated and verified by a team of experts.
In the past month we have updated our entries on: Muhammad Ali’s trainer, Angelo Dundee,
social network Facebook
actress Meryl Streep and many many more. Visit www.britannica.com
for more information.
In the next few months, we’ll also be exhibiting at several important industry conferences.
We’ll be discussing the needs of Higher and furthereducation and research institutions at:
- UKSG 26-28 March – Stand 6
- LBF 16-19 April 2012 – Stand J205
If you are attending any of these, make sure to visit our stand and say hello!
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Free Training & Resources:
Every month Britannica offers all subscribers a range of live webinars, online demonstrations
and other resources to ensure you are getting the most from your subscription.
Visit the Britannica homepage for a breakdown of some of the most innovative features,
including “this day in history”, “compare countries” and
“World Data Analyst”.
Why not also sign-up to one of our free webinars
hosted by Britannica experts, who can talk you through the service from the comfort of your
* * *
Getting in touch:
You can share your thoughts with Britannica via Twitter or on our Facebook page,
where we’ll be providing daily updates from the “This Day in History” feature
and looking at further related trivia. We’ll also be looking out for other higher and
further education related stories, so please get in touch if you have something
interesting to share.
Alternatively, you can reach us by calling +44 (0) 207 500 7814
or via email at enqBOL@britannica.co.uk