21 August 2013

Intern Dies, Record Number of Uni Applicants, Students Wear Blinkers

Record Number Of University Admissions

Oxford University Degree dayUniversities have accepted a record number of 401,000 students this year, smashing 2011’s 397,000. The number is thought to be so high because of the ‘adjustment’ rule.

This rule allows students to swap courses or university if they achieve higher than ABB. Another reason for the record break is the fact that more prestigious universities opened up places through clearing this year.

Our Take: There’s hope for the future! Despite our regularly nay saying about UCAS applications being down year on year, the fact the admissions are rising really is great news! And if you didn’t get what you wanted, and still haven’t, don’t worry there’s always next year.

40% of Language Departments Face Closure

languageThe number of higher education institutions offering degrees in Modern Languages has dramatically fallen from 105 in 2000 to just 62 this year. Experts predict that if the current trend continues 40% of our universities languages departments will close within the decade.

Our Take: It can’t all be good news unfortunately, and it looks like languages might be on their way out at a large number of institutions. There’s always the chance that a cut in the number of courses will force universities to up their game with MFL and make their courses a more attractive career option. If you’d like to tips on learning a 2nd language while at uni, check out our guide here.

Bank Of America Intern Dies From Overworking

internA German intern working at the Bank Of America in London has died after working till 6am three days in a row.

The twenty-one year old Moritz Erhardt collapsed in his flat, and his death has brought about criticism of the fiercely competitive and macho culture in the City.

Our Take: This is incredibly sad news and a sad situation. No one should be forced to work themselves to death, or be taken in to thinking that it’s okay. An internship is great, and likely to further your career, but not so good when it’s a risk to your own health.

Bangkok Uni Makes Students Wear Blinkers In Exam

helmetIn a bid to stop cheating in exams, students at Kasetsart University were forced to were blinkers. The paper devices or ‘helmets’ were strapped round students heads to stop them looking to the side and copying answers. To the right is an image that was unveiled on the alumni Facebook page.

Our Take: This is taking things a little far, surely? What happened to trusting students? Or having proper invigilators supervising the exam? That’s got to be better than humiliating already nervous students who should be concentrating on an exam.

State Of The Machin: On SquareEnix Scumbaggery

final fantasyI’m a big fan of JRPGs (that’s Japanese Role Playing Games for those of you who aren’t fluent in nerd). The Final Fantasy series pretty much sets the standard for genre (or it did until the last few instalments but that’s another, somewhat related, column for another day), and it’s practically sacrilege to not like FF7, but the truth is I always preferred FF8.

Until this evening (Tuesday night) when I saw FF7 popup on Steam for less than £10, I couldn’t resist. However, before I could play the game after forking out my hard earned cash for the game, I had to undergo a series of trials to prove my loyalty to SquareEnix (the game’s publisher).

First I had to register a SquareEnix account, which meant linking up to Facebook and giving them access to my private information, as well as the rights for them to publish statuses on my behalf (quickly disabled). Then I had to sign over more details to company, and wait for the game to load these details from the system.

This wouldn’t have been too much of a problem, except that the company’s servers were down, and the game couldn’t connect. So an hour and half after buying the game, I still couldn’t play it. And the game had the cheek to blame my internet connection for their servers being down. Regardless of the DRM they already have through Steam, it’s disgusting that consumers have to continually jump through arbitrary hoops to play games they’ve already paid for.

The positive to all this, is that it meant I had something to talk about in this weeks column. Of course, as soon as I started furiously typing this week’s rant about SquareEnix’s scumbag DRM practices, the game loaded. And then I played it for an hour. And my deadline is approaching.

And that’s the State of the Machin.

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