No. 4438 Thursday 22 May 1997 Vol. 127

Oxford lauds its Mendelssohn connections : The University, which holds one of the largest and most important collections relating to Felix Mendelssohn and his family, is to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the composer's death with a wide-ranging exhibition and a three-day Mendelssohn Festival.

Lessons of Hong Kong handover : Sir Robin McLaren, British Ambassador in Beijing (1991–4), spoke on the lessons of Britain's negotiations with China over Hong Kong to diplomats at the University's Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE).

Global competition `forces' firms towards lean production : Takeovers, outsourcing and disintegration were among key characteristics of `The Modern Firm,' analysed by Professor John Roberts of Stanford University, when he gave the inaugural Clarendon Lectures in Management at the Gulbenkian Theatre.

Statistics lectures honour legacy of Florence Nightingale : The vital importance of mathematical models in the understanding of cancer at the genetic level throughout this century was explained by Sir Walter Bodmer, FRS, Principal of Hertford College, in the first annual Florence Nightingale Lecture.

Birds of a feather `flock together' : Oxford zoologists have discovered some interesting facts about homing pigeons which may ruffle a few feathers in the fiercely competitive racing fraternity.

President Mandela to speak in Oxford : Nelson Mandela, State President of the Republic of South Africa, has accepted an invitation to visit the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, an institution associated with the University, and to give a public lecture in the Sheldonian Theatre on Friday, 11 July.

Adult Learners' Week competition: To mark Adults Learners' Week (19–25 May), the Department for Continuing Education, together with the Oxford Times, organised a competition in local history. Prizes will go to the best projects or essays on some aspect of the history of a local community. All entires must be submitted by 20 June. Other events during the week included a lecture by Dr John Durant of Imperial College London on `Ethical Dilemmas of the New Genetics', and various guided tours.

Salary scales: An independent comparative review of University salary scales, prepared by the employers association UCEA and the AUT, is to be submitted to the Dearing Inquiry. The Retail Price Index (RPI) for the year up to and including March was confirmed at 2.6 per cent. So, the increase in salary scales for 1997–8 has been confirmed at 2.9 per cent (3.4 per cent for manual and ancillary staff).

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