16 October 2013

Essex Uni bans The Sun, Chinese student recruitment, Oxford Uni interview Qs revealed…

No limit on Chinese students welcome to the UK

Harry Potter(To marry Harry Potter?)

Chancellor George Osborne and Mayor of London Boris Johnson made a bizarre speech in China on Monday.

With Osborne announcing that there will be no limit on the number of Chinese students allowed to study at British universities, and Boris Johnson blurring fiction and reality, by namechecking several locations from the London in the Harry Potter universe as a reason to study in the UK.

Our take: Presumably low(er) tuition fees and high student satisfaction just didn’t seem as enticing as the promise of wizards. Time will tell if this stunt is successful or whether we should have been a little more serious about trying to attract foreign students.

Sample Oxford interview questions revealed

oxforduniWould you know the difference between the words “lie, deceive and mislead”?  That’s one of the sample questions released today, aimed to ‘demystify’ the Oxford interview process, which takes place in December.

Both Oxbridge universities are increasingly relying on interviews to differentiate students (read: find the posh ones?), as the number of applications and high a level grades keep increasing.

Our take: Giving Oxford stick is starting to become a regular feature in our news round up. The university claims that these interviews are necessary to stop students “just reciting facts,” but doesn’t it really just make the institution seem a bit silly?

Essex University bans The Sun

the Sun page 3The tabloid newspapers the Sun and the Star are no longer available to buy on campus at Essex university, as the student union has banned the papers on account of the controversial page 3.

19 other institutions have already banned the magazines papers from being sold on campus, as part of the nationwide, No More Page 3 campaign.

Our take: News and boobs, great separately, not so great together. Page 3 is an outdated tradition that really needs to go, women should be able to read national newspapers without feeling marginalised or objectified. Perhaps even more radical action is necessary, topless protest anyone?

Royal Mail privatised, shares soar on 1st day of trading

royal mailTuesday marked the first day that shares in Royal Mail could be traded since the companies privatisation last week. The price of shares had increased by 3% by the end of the trading day, finishing on 489p.

The trading of stocks was only available to private investors however, the Royal Mail staff who bought into the company have to hold onto their shares for a minimum of three years.

Our take: So once again things that we used to own are being sold back to us: well those of us who can afford  it. Union leaders have widely criticised the move to sell Royal Mail, calling it privatisation for no good reason and claiming that the Government under priced the companies stock value, we’re inclined to agree with them.

State of the Machin: On INGERLAND, INGERLAND, INGERLAND, WE’RE GOING TO BRAZIL

Rooney EnglandApologies for the caps lock cruise control there. But I am genuinely, if reservedly, happy that England have qualified for the World Cup.

In the last two games, arguably when it mattered the most, Roy’s team have played their best football, with an attacking spirit and were at times a joy to watch.

The performances were a world away from the utter dross that England fans had to endure in the game against Ukraine last month.

Also, and this isn’t new ground, but what was the point in San Marino even being in our qualifying group? They played nine games, scored only one goal and had fifty four scored against them. It’s not competitive, enjoyable or fair for anyone involved.

San Marino don’t gain anything from getting repeatedly hammered, and it’s hardly anything more than a training match for the other teams. Surely a better way would be to have a pre-qualifying tournament for the ‘under-dog’ teams where they can actually have competitive matches against each other?

Unfortunately, it’s not all good. Come next summer, the streets will be full of England flags, the hype machine will be working in overdrive and footballers will suddenly start appearing in every single advert on TV. And then there’ll be the endless selection drama, who’s in the preliminary 26, who’s in the final 23, who’s racing to be fit in time?

Then worse than that will be the people who take vocal pleasure in hating the World Cup, snidely reminding everyone who’s even slightly joyful about football just how much they don’t care. Basically the World Cup brings out the worst in everybody, and I wish we hadn’t qualified.

And that’s the State of the Machin.

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