23 May 2014

Loan interest to fall, Pigeons disrupt exam, EU exit bad for unis…

Student loan interest rates likely to fall

90s loan refundFrom September graduates are likely to see the amount of interest they pay on their student loan drop.

Traditionally March’s Retail Price Index (RPI) has been used to calculate what students will repay in the following September at the start of the academic year. These rates could drop as low as 1.5% for students who studied between 1998-2011.

Our take: No complaints at all about lowering interest rates, it does still seem a bit like those studying right now are getting the worse end of this deal though. Interest for students who started in 2012 and later is dropping 6.6% to 5.5%, which is still quite a hefty toll (more info on loans here).

ASOS to stop free delivery (under £15)

ASOS deliveryThis week ASOS have announced that they will no longer be offering free delivery on orders under £15.

In a move similar to Amazon (who no longer offer free delivery on orders under £10) the popular online fashion retailer will now charge £3 for delivery unless customers spend over £15.

Our take: We know that companies have costs and sending out £1 items for free must have been tough. We suppose that free delivery on all orders was a little too good to last forever but it’s a great way of building a huge market share before slowly introducing more costs to the customers… 😉

Leaving the EU would be damaging to UK unis

Europe unisSenior figures in UK higher education have spoken out against the prospect of Britain leaving the EU.

A letter by the vice chancellors’ group UUK claims that EU membership is ‘central’ to the continued success of the higher education system and that losing the membership would devalue our universities as a national asset.

Our take: We’re inclined to agree here, EU membership makes our campuses more diverse and gives our students’ options and opportunities to study abroad. It also helps that funding from Europe pours £1 billion into research at UK institutions every year. For universities at least, with the EU everyone is a winner.

Cambridge student raises cash to fly helicopter to sister’s wedding

Student helicopterA Cambridge student is trying to raise £5,000 so he can attend his final exam and his sister’s wedding. The exam finishes 45 minutes before the nuptials start, but a four hour drive separates the two events.

The student, Louis McBride, had joked with friends about hiring a helicopter to fly to the wedding and they encouraged him to make a YouTube video and seriously pursue the funding.

Our take: It’s good to know that even if Louis doesn’t raise enough money to hire the helicopter he’ll be donating whatever is raised to the East Anglia Air Service. So far the he’s raised just over £2000.

Uni of Leicester supplies bubble wrap and puppies for stressed students

Puppy Bubble RapThe University of Leicester is running a campaign to help stressed out students relax by offering them bubble wrap to pop and puppies to to pet.

The union has ordered hundreds of meters of bubble wrap and set up popping stations across the campus for any students who need relieve their exam related tensions. Students will also have the opportunity to pay a pound to pet an adorable puppy.

Our take: We really can’t think of a finer way of spending the union’s budget. Puppies are adorable and there are few things in life better than popping bubble wrap. Other universities should be taking note.

Bangor Uni apologises after pigeons disrupt exam

Pigeons stop examBangor University has been made to apologise to students after two noisy pigeons found their way into an exam hall.

According to the Bangor student newspaper, invigilators were aware of the pigeons at the start of exam session, but did not act on until students were 45 minutes into the exam. The exams for all 224 students in the hall at the time have been rescheduled.

Our take: Pigeons disrupting exams, puppies relieving stress, it’s a very animal heavy news this week. From our point of view it’s a shame that the exams were either Law or Modern Languages and not something more fitting like Aviary studies or Common Bird Calls. Just as a side note ‘Pigeon Disruption’ would be an excellent name for a terrible Indie band from the mid noughties.

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