28 August 2013
London Uni Halls Worst Buildings, Uni with no First Years, Students Exposed to Asbestos
1,000s Sleeping in Bedrooms with Asbestos
New figures have shown that over 17,000 students are staying in university bedrooms that contain asbestos.
All the universities have procedures for dealing with asbestos, but some don’t tell students their rooms have asbestos in them and therefore won’t report damage to the poisonous substance.
Our Take: 17,000 student bedrooms have asbestos in them? And we might not know about it? Truly terrifying news. Of the 88 institutions that responded to the survey, the University of Warwick had the most with 2,313 rooms.
NUS pledges a £5m Green Fund For Student Unions
The National Union of Students will distribute £5 million between 25 universities to make campuses more environmentally friendly.
The fund aims to save 4000 tonnes worth of CO2 emissions and will affect institutions all over the country.
Our Take: A bit of cash to improve universities? Never something to complain about, especially when saving the planet is also an outcome. ‘Going green’ often seemed like an excuse to save on photocopying costs or to justify charging to use the printer to us, but if it makes our higher education system more sustainable, we’re all for it.
London Uni Halls Nominated for Worst New Building
A block of university flats, completed last year, has been nominated for Worst New Building. The halls face directly at a brick wall and fail to meet legal requirements regarding exposure to daylight. The flats are so badly designed that students can only see out onto the street by looking sideways.
Our Take: We’re not saying that Student Halls have to be attractive, fine architecture is a premium that is out of the price range for most. But surely halls should meet the legal requirements for habitation? And not be built a foot behind an old warehouse façade to dodge planning laws?
Uni left without 1st Years as all Students Fail Exam
All 25,000 students that took the entrance exam for the University of Liberia failed the test and has left the institution without any first year students. The Liberian education minister was, understandably, surprised at the mass failure to get into one of the two state-run universities in the country.
Our Take: Suddenly whatever A Level results you got don’t seem that bad do they? Lack of interest and poor English skills are the reason for the shocking statistic, but as a country still rebuilding from a civil war, it’s hard to blame them too much.
State of the Machin: More Video Game Rants…
In the past few days, (at least I’ve been playing FF7 all week so the Xbox has been dormant) Microsoft released an update for Xbox Live, which meant that accessing most of the online features impossible until the update was done. I’m too tight to buy gold, so most of that content is blocked off anyway. Until I wanted to watch University Challenge on iPlayer and that required an update.
Fair enough, do the update, get my content, no big deal. But Microsoft decided, I think just to inconvenience me, that after this update all Xbox Live accounts would have to re-enter their password. So after wracking my brain to remember the password I set up three years ago, and haven’t had to re-enter since, I was finally ready to watch Brasenose – Oxford versus Manchester.
But no, remembering my email address wasn’t enough. For ‘extra security’ measures to confirm my ‘Microsoft account’ (that was a sly change, wasn’t it?) I had to give Microsoft my phone number so they could text me to prove I’m allowed to use my Xbox. No thank you.
By this point I was full of self-righteous fury that I was on the Game website, typing in the barcodes of my Xbox and catalogue of games ready to trade it all in for a PS4. Depressingly, five years of acquiring games was barely worth £100. My anger eventually subsided, and upon turning the console on and off it signed Xbox Live without any issue. Classic Microsoft.
In other news, I’m also having a pretty torrid time on the Save the Student fantasy football league. My idea of packing the team full of Chelsea players because they were playing twice in the first week backfired dramatically with all three players either benched or out of the squad completely. Suspiciously, some might say, our editor Jake is top of the league, with Stuart Robb’s Blackadders not far behind.
You didn’t ask, but I got 9 questions right on this weeks University Challenge, two lower than this series average score of 11.
And that’s the State of the Machin.
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