This week's UK news: 28 February 2014
28 February 2014

More students at UK's top universities

The UK's top universities have got bigger by more than a third in the past two years.

The Government has allowed universities to recruit unlimited numbers of students with top A Level results which has led to rising numbers. The biggest increase in places is at Birkbeck, University of London, where UK student numbers have risen from 245 to 1,000. Aston in Birmingham has had a 41 per cent rise in student numbers, and University College London 40 per cent. Bristol has recruited 36 per cent more students and Exeter 35 per cent.

Some universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, have decided to keep undergraduate numbers roughly the same, while other universities have suffered drops in recruitment.

The cyclist who should not have used his smartphone map

The M25, which goes around London, is the UK's busiest motorway. It became chaotic earlier this week when a cyclist following a map on his mobile phone joined the rush hour traffic for several miles. It is illegal for cyclists and some other road users to go on motorways in the UK.

The man was looking for a quick way home from work after a night shift and followed instructions on his phone. He stayed on the motorway for several miles, causing delays and queues behind him.

The man was stopped by police. He said his phone had sent him on this route and he did not realise he had broken any laws. The police fined him GBP 50.

Shop window display in the news

There has been an interesting row over a butcher's shop window display. JBS Family Butchers in a small English town had been displaying dead animals in the window, not just cuts of meat.

The displays included pigs' heads, furry rabbits, geese and ducks. (There's a picture here if you'd like to see)

But some people did not like the displays and wrote to the local paper, started a campaign on Facebook, and threatened not to use other local shops if the window was not changed. Staff emptied the window and put up a sign saying there was no longer a display because of complaints.

But there was more campaigning then from people who liked the display from all over the UK and as far away as the US and Germany. Now butcher John Sawyer says the display will be back but he does not know what will be in it.

Competition to find the UK's best-behaved dogs

There are a lot of people in the UK who love dogs, and every year the most perfect examples of every breed join a national dog show called Crufts.

This year Crufts has got a new competition. It will find out which dog breed is the best-behaved by putting them into teams and getting them to follow instructions.

The dogs will have to fetch balls, lie down or stop when they are told to, find their own toy and work as a group.

Dog owners in the UK have strong ideas about how different breeds of dog behave. Springer spaniels and some types of terriers are often thought to be be clever but naughty. Cavalier Charles Spaniels and bull terriers are thought not to be clever which means they might struggle to follow instructions but are less likely to deliberately ignore orders.

Vanessa McAlpine, manager of Crufts, said: "Everyone believes that their breed is the best and this is the perfect chance to show off what they can do, i a competitive environment."


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