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Austria

Now that Jurg Haider's democratically elected but extremistright-wing party has become officially part of the government,Austria has turned into a country it is no longer politicallycorrect to visit. Geography students have devised their own methodof showing their distaste for the new situation in Austria. On oneof the walls in the Van Unnik building hangs a map constructed fromjigsaw pieces. Some mischievous cartography students removed thepiece depicting Austria from the map. Their protest, which hassince been rectified, was certainly not appreciated by everybody.The Austrian-born cartographer Professor Gerard Schilder was veryangry indeed. "I think what they did was terrible, and I distancemyself completely from them", he said.

Supercomputer

The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research is planningto acquire a new national supercomputer. The SN-1, which will costsome thirty million guilders, is capable of carrying out onebillion calculations per second, and replaces the existing CrayC90, which manages a mere twelve billion calculations per second.The new machine, to be housed in the SARA computer center inAmsterdam, is faster than other existing supercomputers and putseven the American computer centres in San Diego and Illinois in theshade. The SN-1 will be equipped with a one million-Megabyte (oneTerabyte) memory bank. The system will be linked to an on-line diskwith a capacity of 10 Terabytes, and a 100 Terabyte data archivingand backup facility. The SN-1 will officially start service on 22November.

Minorities

The number of ethnic minority students planning to enter highereducation is not only rising fast, they have secured proportionallymore places than their non-ethnic counterparts. These conclusionscome from 'Prospective Students of Higher Education', a surveypublished by two Amsterdam research institutes, which interviewedmore than 13,000 students in their final year of pre-university(VWO) or senior general secondary education (HAVO). In the finalyear of pre-university education, ethnic minorities have becomemuch more eager to continue their studies. Whereas, in 1991, 71percent of Moroccan, Turkish, Surinamese or Dutch-Caribbeandescended students wished to enter higher education, this surveyshows a percentage of 94. By way of comparison, 92 per cent ofCaucasian pre-university school-leavers plan to becomeundergraduates.