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This Week

University free to Northern Irish

- Prospective students from Northern Ireland can use their dual Irish passports to gain free entry to Scottish universities, the Scottish government has confirmed. Under EU law, Scottish universities can charge students from other UK countries, but not those from other EU nations. A spokesman said the government was exploring options for the introduction of a management charge for EU students.

Students gain 3,000 e-books

- Students at Kilmarnock College will now have free access to more than 3,000 academic e-books. Being able to download the books to mobile devices will give students unlimited, simultaneous access, so being unable to access important publications at times of high demand will be a thing of the past.

Rise in language assistants

- Foreign language assistant numbers in Scotland's schools will rise from 59 this year to 70 next year, the first increase in seven years, according to the British Council Scotland. Of the 70, 46 will work in state schools and 24 in independents. The number of French and Spanish assistants will increase the most, while the number of German and Italian assistants is set to drop. More needed to be done to get the figures to rise to previous levels, the council said.

Gym'll fix it for study stress

- Fifth and sixth year pupils in North Lanarkshire will be able to use the council's health and fitness facilities for no charge during their study period in a bid to help students manage stress during exam preparation. The council has teamed up with North Lanarkshire Leisure to offer the membership to those on study leave in May. It allows unlimited use of gyms, swimming pools, health suites and fitness classes.

Erskine Bridge deaths 'avoidable'

- The deaths of two teenagers who jumped from the Erskine Bridge could have been avoided if their care home had taken greater precautions, a fatal accident inquiry has found. More staff should have been on duty, and the girls should not have stayed near an exit that had no alarm. Niamh Lafferty, 15, and Georgia Rowe, 14, died in October 2009 while residing at the Good Shepherd care centre in Renfrewshire.


- Last week's report on TES Schools Awards placed Portree Primary in the Western Isles, instead of Highland. We apologise for the error.

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