27 June 2014

50k cheat on exam, Student rescued from giant vagina, Wonga justice…

50k overseas students cheat in English exam

Exam CheatingEnglish language certificates have been obtained fraudulently by almost 50,000 overseas students in the UK in order to extend their visas.

Immigration minister, James Brokenshire, told MPs on Tuesday that a criminal investigation of ETD Global, the company responsible, has since been ordered.

As a repercussion of the suspected fraud, three universities – Glyndwr, Bedfordshire and West London – could be prevented from taking on more international students.

Our take: Cue unfounded, unreasonable complaints about overseas students. The fact is this one company has dishonestly generated a profit by taking advantage of young people who simply want a good education. Thankfully those that are already studying in the above mentioned universities have been allowed to finish their degree regardless of the validity of their English language certificate.

Student rescued from giant vagina sculpture

Student-stuck-in-vaginaIt took 22 firefighters to remove a young American exchange student from a giant vagina sculpture based outside Tübingen University’s institute for microbiology and virology.

A friend of the victim said that the student climbed into the sculpture after being told by German students that visitors often posed for pictures inside it. He went on to say “he was just unfortunate and tripped on his way out.”

Luckily no damage came to the sculpture or to the explorer.

Our take: We’re honestly surprised this doesn’t happen more often. This sculpture has been there for 13 years and this is the first time someone’s got stuck in it. German students must have an awful lot of self control.

Parents and students “unaware of the true costs of higher education”

90s loan refundNew data released by the Association of Investment (AIC) suggests that neither students, nor their parents, are fully aware of the levels of debt acquired whilst at university.

According to the AIC’s yearly student debt survey the average amount of student debt for those that began their study from 2012 onwards stands at £53,000 by graduation.

This is just under double the amount of debt students think they will acquire whilst at university as students on average believe their course will get them into £27,140 worth of debt. Parents of students underestimate further, on average believing their offspring will be accumulating debts of £22,179.

Our take: We’re all a bit ‘optimistic’when it comes to calculating how much debt we’re going to get into, but realising that most of us underestimate the cost of university by £25,000 is a real shock to the system. Also, we’ve got more info on it here if you’re interested.

Top academic argues to close of half of Britain’s unis

Sir-Roderick-FloudFormer president of Universities UK, Sir Roderick Floud, argues for the shutting or merging of half of Britain’s 150 universities as the system has become “inefficient”.

He argues that most universities are “trying to do too many things at once” leading to a system that is “unnecessary and inefficient”.

Universities should be specialised if the system is going to become better organised.

Our take: Closing this many universities would affect thousands of students. But, considering the soaring costs of degrees and their debatable value in the current economy it’s good to know someone is at least thinking about ways in which to make the current system more efficient.

Wonga forced to pay £2.6m for debt recovery failures

Wonga-LettersWonga is Britain’s biggest payday lender and has become an increasingly popular last resort for students who are strapped for cash. They have recently been ordered to pay £2.6 million in compensation to customers.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) stated that 45,000 customers were affected by collection practises that were both unfair and misleading.

These included sending threatening letters from non-existent law firms and charging customers for the administration fees associated with the sending of these letters.

Our take: See, pay day loans are trouble! If you can avoid them then do. We’re absolutely livid about this and think that stronger action should have been taken.

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