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This week

Scots down in HE rankings

- Scottish universities have dropped down Times Higher Education's list of the world's top 200 institutions with the exception of Edinburgh, which went up four places to 32. St Andrews (108), Glasgow (139), Aberdeen (176) and Dundee (now outside the top 200) all fell sharply. THE rankings editor Phil Baty said, while the Scottish government had done well through current policies to protect HE, Asia was committing huge funding to higher education.

Challenge of visa restrictions

- Westminster's restriction of student visas is "a huge challenge to universities socially and financially and to Scotland economically", the Scottish Council for Development and Industry said. The council's spokesman James Alexander told the Scottish Parliament's education and culture committee that it had raised concerns with the UK government. He said the visas were the council's "biggest cause of concern" around universities.

Self-evaluation gets thumbs up

- Education Scotland has agreed with East Dunbartonshire Council's self- evaluation of its "important strengths", including strong leadership by senior officers making a positive impact on children and young people; high attainment for almost all youngsters; and very effective support for youngsters not in education, employment or training. A priority for the council is now to "continue to develop partnership working to assist in strategic planning" around services for youngsters.

Top trophy for janitor champ

- A Kilmarnock janitor has won the School Champion trophy in West Sound's Cream of Ayrshire awards. Robert Chatham, 51 (pictured), has worked at New Farm Primary and James Hamilton Academy for 10 years. He was nominated by New Farm pupils and head Jacqueline Robertson. He runs a breakfast club and a youth club, provides work experience for S4 pupils and referees football matches.

Threat of closure for RC primaries

- Catholic primaries in Midlothian have come under threat of closure, with councillors being asked to review the denominational primary estate. Midlothian is home to seven Catholic primaries. Some were housed in "very old buildings" which suffered "the usual age-related problems", said a council report. While some of the primaries were oversubscribed, others had such low rolls that several year groups shared a single class. "It has now become necessary to undertake a proper investigation," the report concluded.

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