Oxford “Must Go Private”

first_imgOxford University should cut its ties with UK government to go private “loudly and proudly,” according to a senior research professor at the University, rather than continue reasoning and begging with the state sector. Concerned with the current financial situation of publicly funded institutions Nick Trefethen (the American head of the Numerical Analysis project and fellow at Balliol) advocated privatisation in latest edition of Oxford Magazine, the historic discussion forum of the University. Emphasising the necessary support required from alumni contributions, Professor Trefethen’s proposals would nonetheless require large student contributions, comparable to the £40 000 plus paid by undergraduates in the States. “We can embrace the reality that there is not a single state-run university, not one on earth, that Oxford and Cambridge are worried about” he wrote. “In our self-selected peer group, we are poorer than Yale, poorer than Princeton, and far, far poorer than Harvard or Stanford.” He believes that in order to remain great in the 21st Century the University has to lead public opinion away from its commitment to state funded education and place itself in fairer competition with the Ivy League. Professor Nick Trefethen joined Oxford in 1997 after distinguished work at Harvard and Stanford universities and now researches for the Universities Computer Laboratory. By going private Trefethen believes the University can end its attempt at “reasoning with parliament, begging the Higher Education Funding Council, entreating the UK to fund us better and control us less.” However Professor Trefethen’s proposals have received little credibility within the University. The University Press Office told Cherwell that the Oxford Magazine represents the views of Oxford academics only, “The University feels it has a future within the sector of state funding.” The Student Union showed a similar lack of concern with the article, President Will Straw labelled the proposals as “laughable.” He further questioned, “How does Trefethen propose to increase access and wider participation by unleashing market forces upon those considering applying to university?” By abandoning state funding Oxford would move alongside Britain’s only current private university, Buckingham. Its Vice- Chancellor Dr Terence Kealey commented that private institutions “are excellent not only because, by charging full fees, they are prosperous, but also, by being independent, they are not bound by government targets”. Undergraduates at Buckingham pay £40 320 for a two-year course qualification, but with grants being available for students from the Home Counties. Although the University is openly considering the movement the private sector, Trefethen’s comments have aroused concern among students. It is feared that removal of the cap for tuition from the level of £3000 currently proposed will facilitate an effective move to private funding with state’s backing.ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2003last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Idina Menzel Hits the Top, a Royal Miss Saigon & More

first_img Jonathan Groff Star Files View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Menzel & Buble Are the TopsIt’s the most wonderful time of the year—particularly if you’re Idina Menzel. Days after the If/Then and Frozen star performed “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Michael Buble on the UK’s X Factor, the tune (from her album Holiday Wishes) has hit the top spot on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. Let’s all say it together, now (again): the cold never bothered her, anyway.Saigon & More Go RoyalThe 2014 Royal Variety Performance, the annual UK gala featuring performances of all sorts, included an electric performance from the cast of the West End’s Miss Saigon. Take a look as Eva Noblezada and Alistair Brammer sing “The Last Night of the World” and Jon Jon Briones lets loose on “The American Dream”. The evening also included a performance of “Let It Go” by Demi Lovato (the one who’s not Idina Menzel) and the Sondheim staple “I’m Still Here” by Dame Shirley Bassey. #PeterPanLive Was Hardcore TrendingThe December 4 broadcast was the biggest non-sports program for that Thursday’s Twitter TV ratings, according to Deadline. A total of over 475,000 tweets reached approximately 5.3 million unique users. And it’s a good thing too, because our tweets were what saved Tinker Bell’s computer-animated life! Also trending that night? #ChristianBorle. And yes, his arms have their own Twitter account now.Jonathan Groff Salutes Bradley CooperWe were already excited for The Elephant Man star Bradley Cooper’s latest film, American Sniper, but now, we have even more reason to be. As it turns out, he’s not the only Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner to appear in the flick. Take a look the TV spot for a quick glimpse of a rather toned Jonathan Groff! We’ll salute to that. Double Date with Stage & Screen FavesOrange in the New Black costars Michael Chernus and Tracee Chimo, who recently appeared together in off-Broadway’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart, are joining forces again—and you can join them! Space on Ryder Farm, an artist resident program in Brewster, New York, is auctioning off a double date with the pair at Rose Water in Park Slope, Brooklyn. And no, we’re not banana lobby bullsh*tting you. Does Rose Water have lentil soup? Idina Menzellast_img read more

S. Africans reluctant to return to places of worship despite lockdown easing

first_imgTopics : ‘Not yet time’ Lockdown forced tech savvy South Africans to seek out online worship, challenging the ordinary and mundane nature of many religious services.”I’ve been streaming different sermons online… at first it was weird but now I am used to it,” said 22-year old Ntokozo Zulu, a devoted Christian living with her elderly mother. “It’s a way to make sure that I still keep in touch with God,” she said adding that for some people religion was a lifeline.”I can bet people needed that close relationship with God during this tough coronavirus lockdown.”But the reopening of places of worship has sparked controversy with religious leaders themselves perplexed on how to resume safely.In a letter to parishioners, clergy and bishops of the Anglican church, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said there was a consensus that “it is not yet time to resume worship”.He said preliminary reports had shown many dioceses and parishes had raised concerns including the return of pensioners and clergy over 60-years old, what to do if more than 50 congregants arrive and how to respond if congregants begin singing or mingling spontaneously.Calling for further engagement with the South African Council of Churches and the state, the archbishop said it would take time to gather the data needed before a decision to resume Anglican services can be made.Even the Zion Christian Church, South Africa’s largest operating church, has opted not to resume services despite the easing of restrictions.  “Our first service was today… we didn’t have as many of our congregation members as usual,” Pastor Sylvain Malindhva of Peniel ministries told AFP. “The fear is there… a lot of people are still hesitating to come to the churches.”In Johannesburg’s crowded business district, some small evangelical churches have opened up for services under strict government regulations including the wearing of masks and social distancing.”God gave us also wisdom and intelligence. We can’t just say because we are praying we are not going to observe those preventative measures,” Malindhva said. But many religious locals are opting to stay away.center_img Strange space “I am praying at home, God hears me just fine when I pray at home with my family,” 57-year-old vegetable seller Gloria Msibi told AFP.”I love church but it is so dangerous to be in a closed space with so many people.”Since recording its first virus case on March 5, Africa’s most modern nation has reported nearly 46,000 infections and 952 deaths, registering at least 1,000 new infections daily in recent days.On Friday many South African mosques hosted their first prayers in more than two months.”We usually stand shoulder to shoulder. Right now we have to give space which is kind of strange,” IT technician Tunde Oladeji told AFP after prayers at a Turkish mosque in Midrand, north of Johannesburg. “It is still better to be here than to be at home because praying in a mosque is really special.”A fellow congregant described the prayer session as both “emotionally and spiritually challenging.””It is something different and so we have to adapt, and adapting is a challenge for some people. So it will take time, but hopefully … we will get through this together.” White plastic chairs are sprayed down with sanitizer and a smartly dressed cleaner says a prayer while dusting before a first service in her church in more than nine weeks.  President Cyril Ramaphosa gave places of worship across South Africa the greenlight to reopen from June 1 provided they could satisfy appropriate COVID-19 self-regulation measures.But few have done so to date, with many worshippers hesitant to return for fear of catching the coronavirus. last_img read more

Victory for Irish at Rowing Championships

first_imgIrish brothers Paul and Gary O  Donovan claimed in the A Final of the lightweight double sculls. Sanita Puspure finished third in the Women  s Single Sculls Final.The results moved Ireland to sixth place overall in the medal table.last_img

Cillian Barry: SportCaller – Making ‘free-to-play’ a viable option for bookmakers

first_img SG OpenMarket approval sees SportCaller expand FTP distribution capacity August 18, 2020 SportCaller grows US footprint with Betfred USA Sports deal July 30, 2020 Submit Share StumbleUpon Related Articles Cillian Barry – SportCallerAs an industry discipline, free-to-play (FTP) mechanisms have had a difficult relationship with bookmakers and their day-to-day operations. Nevertheless, Dublin-based games developer SportCaller believes that its tailored FTP portfolio has cracked the conundrum of offering free incentives for building audiences and effective engagement. SBC speaks to Cillian Barry, Founder & MD of SportCaller, on why FTP is still a relevant and dynamic tool for industry stakeholders…._______________________SBC: Hi Cillian, SportCaller has completed a busy opening to 2018, securing new bookmaker partnerships and releasing new game titles. What do these developments mean for your business current and future operations? Cillian Barry:  We’ve gone from three games with three clients at the start of 2017 to now having 27 Games with 15 clients in the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the US. Now PASPA has been repealed stateside, this trend shows no sign of slowing down. SportCaller’s new clients include GVC, Betsson, Coral, Livescore and Bet Victor.In 2017, we had grown the team to 40 experienced heads across Dublin and Kiev and completed our SCore platform in anticipation of this accelerated growth stage. After the World Cup, we’ll take a few days to catch our breath and then the task is clear: more sports and more countries.  SBC: Why have free-to-play (FTP) functions/mechanisms had such a turbulent relationship with bookmakers. What industry dynamic is SportCaller trying to ultimately fix? CB: I don’t know much about turbulence but many bookmakers have tried free-to-play and very few, apart from Sky Bet, have had the experience or internal resource to deliver on its potential. While the games are simple on the customer side, there is a level of complexity in the backend to ensure that the games are delivering repeat players, funded accounts and churn reduction in a secure and scalable way. Many of those that faced these challenges have now decided that it makes more sense to work with SportCaller and benefit from our clearly defined value proposition on FTP.SBC: As a developer, you have placed a high emphasis on SportCaller games boosting a bookmaker’s retention. Why do you feel that FTP can enhance bookmaker retention capabilities? CB: We have built and operated enough games with a geographically diverse set of operators to get a proper grip on how our games resonate with players worldwide. In addition, we have hired a new Performance Director, who’s been involved at the highest level of sportsbook planning from Paddy Power Betfair, to help us understand the value in our games and how that can shape future builds.Approximately 70% of game players return to play on a weekly basis, with those playing across each of the previous four weeks running to about 40% of the base on each game. Clients have reported that up to 50% of their active base regularly play our games. This analysis is on-going but already shows that the value of a customer playing our FTP Games is higher than someone who is not.SBC: Furthermore, SportCaller develops customized games for operators on a number of individual sports. How does your team approach game development for operators, and what factors contribute to delivering an effective FTP title? CB: Like others in the industry, we’ve always had the benefit of being able to recruit sports-crazy fans to come and work with us. Then we just need to make sure they’re also bringing the necessary smarts and ambition. Thankfully we’ve done well on that front. So the first place at which we start with any new client or game is a sit-down to chat through the sport and the relevant markets to come up with a game identity and format that will appeal to the fan, educate others on the cross-sell, and drive betting activity.SBC: In 2018, all betting stakeholders are placing a higher emphasis on margin-control and market cost savings. Can/will effective FTP dynamics end bookmaker bonuses?  CB: That’s a very good question, and it is not just a case of cost savings – it is also in the face of regulatory control on the mechanics of sign-up bonuses and free bets. Whilst this is great for the customer, it makes it much tougher for bookmakers to control the costs to the business from bonus abusers – and the operational costs of such monitoring. In this sense, FTP games allow bookmakers to acquire genuine customers at a low cost, but to also stay fully compliant with tightening regulation. Bonuses and enhanced odds have become such a race to the bottom that the industry needed a new dynamic. FTP games are the first real game-changer in years.SBC: Finally, looking ahead how do you see your software developing in the coming months? What future developments can SBC expect from SportCaller?CB: We keep about 15-50% of our development team focussed on new product at any one time – i.e. new features and optimisations that our game review and analysis point us towards. In the lead-up to the World Cup this deployment of staff has been towards the 15% capacity, so we’re looking forward to kick-off on 14 June when we can move some of the team back to our wish list.This agenda includes Facebook Instant Games, updated client reporting and dashboard, alongside improvements to our email and push notifications – in particular around the handling of customer data following the introduction of GDPR. Then there is the small matter of the US and life after PASPA!______________________Cillian Barry – Founder & MD –  SportCaller Share SportCaller teams up with Coral for Racing Super Series launch August 12, 2020last_img read more

Keino to step down as Kenyan Olympic chief

first_imgBut the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended funding for sport in Kenya earlier this year after NOCK failed to hold their elections on May 5.Kenyan great Tergat meets world athletics chief Seb Coe in Kampala recently. Tergat is set to lead the NOCK“We need to get new office bearers to take the sport forward. We have a very short time between now and April to prepare our national teams for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia,” Keino said.Two-time silver medallist and former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat is so far the only candidate seeking to replace Keino in the September 29 vote.Share on: WhatsApp File photo of Kenyatta sends off the Olympics team. A kit scandal has hit the team after the games leading to calls for reform in the Olympic committee led by KeinoNairobi, Kenya | AFP |  Kenyan Olympic chief Kipchoge Keino said Wednesday he will not stand for re-election during the General Assembly in Nairobi on September 29.The 77-year-old double Olympic gold medallist has been at the helm of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) since 1999 when he took over from Charles Mukora, who resigned following the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics bribery scandal.“I believe it is the right time to hand over the baton to someone else. I have served four terms and that’s enough,” said Keino, whose last term in office has ended in acrimony after four of his top officials were arrested and charged in court with stealing team uniforms and mismanaging the Kenyan athletes at the Rio Olympics in August.Up until now Keino had insisted he would run for another term at the helm.last_img read more

‘Exciting, but weak’ – Is the Bundesliga in decline?

first_imgBayern Munich crowned Bundesliga champions. PHOTO via @FCBayernENBerlin, Germany | AFP | Bayern Munich may have wrapped up a seventh successive Bundesliga title on Saturday, but their domestic dominance was severely tested in one of the most exciting German league campaigns in years.Perennial champions Bayern, who have romped to the title every season since 2013, finished just two points ahead of Borussia Dortmund, as the title race went down to the final day of the campaign for the first time in a decade.Yet while the excitement was higher than ever at home, German clubs fared surprisingly poorly in European competition, raising concerns the Bundesliga is a league in decline.Dortmund’s title challenge, though ultimately unsuccessful, provided welcome respite from the hegemony Bayern have enjoyed in recent years.Since 2013, the Bavarian giants had won six titles in a row by a margin of 10 points or more, and finished 25 points clear of Dortmund in 2013.Forced to claw back a nine-point gap to retain their crown, even Bayern welcomed Dortmund’s newfound strength.“We are happy to have such opponents, and I hope it continues next year because the Bundesliga and the fans in Germany need that,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic told broadcaster Sport1 after Saturday’s triumph.“It was nice to have an exciting title race for once.”Nor was it just the title race which provided entertainment until the end. On the last day of the campaign, three clubs were still in the running for Champions League qualification, while six sides still had hopes of a Europa League spot.For all the excitement, however, there is growing concern the Bundesliga cannot keep up with other major European leagues.Frankfurt-based FAZ newspaper wrote on Saturday the German top-flight was “exciting, but weak”, adding the league produced “masses of losers”.It was certainly true in the Champions League this year, as all four Bundesliga clubs were knocked out by the last 16.Bayern, Dortmund and Schalke were all convincingly beaten by English opposition, meaning there was no German team in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2006. Eintracht Frankfurt’s fairytale run to the Europa League semi-finals aside, it was a barren year for the Bundesliga in Europe.– ‘Internationally meaningless’ –In 2013, former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld called the Bundesliga “the best league in the world” after both clubs reached the Champions League final.Now, many are warning it has become a “second-class” league behind Spain’s La Liga and the English Premier League.Last January, Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert warned the league could soon become “internationally meaningless” if it did not adapt and keep the pace with its competitors.Most Bundesliga clubs run on a model of no debt and financial responsibility, and even mighty Bayern struggle to match the huge transfer sums paid out by Europe’s biggest sides.The “50+1” rule, which ensures fan power by guaranteeing club members majority voting rights, means most German outfits are unlikely to attract from wealthy foreign investors, as teams in England and France have done.The once sacrosanct rule has become increasingly contested of late, with calls for it to be reformed or even abolished.“I hope the league gives up on 50+1,” Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told GQ last year.“I think every club should be able to decide for itself whether it is open to investors or not”.League CEO Seifert, meanwhile, said in January that the Bundesliga had to find the balance between domestic and international success.“We need our top clubs to keep the pace in Europe while also offering exciting competition at home,” he said.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Clare and Orrin seek success in South Africa

first_img Jamie Clare (Burnham & Berrow, Somerset), runner-up in last year’s English Amateur Championship, and Max Orrin (North Foreland, Kent) will represent England Golf in the KeNako South African World Juniors at Kingswood Golf Club in George on 6th – 8th March. The event, which also embraces a girls’ competition, is played over 54 holes of stroke play and is part of the World Junior Golf Series. Clare, 17, spent some of his younger years in Portugal where he won a number of Portuguese Federation junior competitions. He is a former Sussex under 15 champion when a member of East Sussex National and last year’s South West Schools Champion. But he took everyone’s attention last July when he battled through to the 36-hole final of the English Amateur at Woburn only to lose 7 and 5 to international Steven Brown. Clare was capped by England at under 16 level and is a member of the England boys’ Squad as is Orrin, 17, who was an under 16 team-mate of Clare. Orrin (picture © Tom Ward) made his debut as a boy cap in last year’s European Boys Team Championships in the Czech Republic and also played in the Boys Home Internationals. A former South of England Boys champion, he finished runner-up in the 2010 English under 16 Championship for the McGregor Trophy at Prince’s, while last year he won the Andulucia Junior Open, was second in the Darwin Salver and third in the Fairhaven Trophy and the South East Junior Championship. 8 Feb 2012 Clare and Orrin seek success in South Africa last_img read more

Team Kootenay unlucky not to finish in medals at BC Summer Games

first_imgNeeding a win Saturday to advance into the medal round, Team Kootenay lost a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to Fraser Valley Delta.Once again Team Kootenay had a lead on a goal by Keywood before a controversial call gave Fraser Valley Delta a penalty kick in the final minutes of the game.Team Kootenay then pushed everything forward, exposing the backline Fraser Valley Delta took advantage of by scoring the winning marker.Fraser Valley Delta finished second in the tournament, winning the silver medal.”The boys were heartbroken as we all knew we deserved more,” Spendlove said. “That made it so the highest we could finish was 5th place.”Team Kootenay was able to rebound, blasting Team Cariboo 4-1.Trailing 1-0, Team Kootenay scored four consecutive goals to pull out the victory.Hutt, with a shot from just over the half way line, Nick Jenner, Caney and Keywood scored for Team Kootenay.”(Coaching staff) were extremely proud of the professionalism in which the boys conducted themselves and of course the excellent soccer they played through the weekend,” Spendlove said, adding a thanks to Scott and Randa Hutt for organizing the team and Kootenay Smiles for providing the kit for the team.Team Kootenay, coached by Kerry Dyck of Nelson and Clemente Miranda-Trevino, placed seventh in Girls Soccer.Fraser Valley Delta finished the games with the most medals (207), edging out Vancouver Island Central Coast, which finished with 183.Team Kootenay athletes finished in sixth spot with one goal, nine silver and 13 bronze for 23 medals.The next BC Summer Games is set for 2016 in Penticton. Heiko Ihns, Fynn Keywood and Moss Caney each scored to pace Team Kootenay to a 3-1 victory over Vancouver Island in Boy’s Soccer at the BC Summer Games Sunday in Nanaimo.The win powered Team Kootenay to a fifth-place finish in the eight-team tournament.”All together it was a fantastic showing from our guys,” said Jamie Spendlove of Soccer Quest, who along with Yuro Ihns of Kootenay South Youth Soccer formed the coaching tandem for the Games.”We impressed a lot of people down there who thought we would be pushovers and I believe it is the highest a Kootenay team has ever finished in the games.”After seeing a goal being called back by the official after Oliver Arcuri rocketed a shot that appear to go into the net, Ihns scored a stunner from outside the box off the post and in to give Team Kootenay a 1-0 lead in the consolation contest Sunday.In the second half Team Kootenay put the game away with two quick goals from Keywood and Caney, both supplied by midfielder Callum Cutler, to secure the 3-1 victory.The rest of the game saw the boys do some great defending especially from the smallest boy on the field Andreas Rentke-Watkins winning challenge after challenge to finish off the island and secure 5th spot for the boys.Team Kootenay opened the tournament Friday with a pair of draws against Thompson/Okanagan (1-1) and Vancouver Island (5-5).Team Kootenay got a late goal by Hardy Hutt to draw against Thompson/Okanagan while it was a crazy game as the Island and Kootenay scored a total of 10 goals in the 5-5 tie. Linden Jones and two each by Keywood and Caney provided the goal scoring for Team Kootenay in a game Kootenay led by as many as three goals.last_img read more

FAVORED SAM’S SISTER RALLIES WIDE TO WIN MONDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 SANTA MONICA STAKES BY 1 ¼ LENGTHS; HOLLENDORFER, TRUJILLO TEAM FOR SEVEN FURLONG VICTORY IN 1:22.42

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 19, 2015)–Favored Sam’s Sister rallied wide-out to take Monday’s Grade II, $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths at Santa Anita, as the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee covered seven furlongs in 1:22.42 under Elvis Trujillo.By 2006 Santa Anita Derby winner Brother Derek, Sam’s Sister employed tactics similar to those used in an upset win in the Grade I, seven furlong La Brea Stakes on Dec. 26. Fourth into the far turn behind a three-horse duel comprised of eventual runner-up Sweet Marini, Dancinthenightaway and My Sweet Addiction, Sam’s Sister pounced on the leaders midway around the turn and wrested the lead from Sweet Marini inside the sixteenth pole.“It was the perfect trip,” said Trujillo, who has been aboard for all six of Sam’s Sister’s career starts. “I knew there was going to be a lot of speed in there and I knew it would be fast early-on (22.10, 43.87 and 1:08.71). But I knew that sooner or later they would have to stop. She’s a nice filly.”Off at 6-5, Sam’s Sister paid $4.40, $2.60 and $2.20. Owned by Mark Dedomenico, LLC, Hollendorfer and George Todaro, she picked up her fifth win and with the winner’s share of $120,000, increased her earnings to $427,450.“We got a 22 and 43 (quarter and half mile fractions), so it makes it a little easier to close ground,” said Hollendorfer, who registered his meet-leading sixth stakes win. “We thought that might happen, but then when Dancinthenightaway kind of shook loose a little bit, it looked a little bit risky. But we were able to sustain and run her down in the end.“I’m just taking these races one at a time (when asked if she might stretch out next time). We thought she would run long (entered and scratched out of this past Saturday’s La Canada Stakes at 1 1/16 miles), but we thought this was a more advantageous race, so that’s why we went here.”Ridden by Martin Garcia, Sweet Marini slugged it out on the front end and was second-best, finishing 2 ¾ lengths in front of Harlington’s Rose. Off at 5-1, Sweet Marini paid $3.40 and $2.80.Off at 10-1, Harlington’s Rose ran from well off the pace under Joe Talamo and paid $4.60 to show.Live racing resumes at Santa Anita on Friday, with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.last_img read more