3 April 2013

Mature Student Numbers Fall, Politician Can Live On £53, Courses In ‘Harry Potter’ Offered.

Number of Mature Students Drastically Falls

dropMore good news! The number of mature students at UK universities has plummeted by 40% since 2010. Experts think that that the increase in fees has affected older prospect students more, because they have usually been in work and have a better understanding of how much money higher education costs.

Our Take: More drops in university numbers, stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The increase fees have affected students of all ages, but to see such a huge fall in mature students is still shocking. It’s difficult to see how (and if) Higher Education in Britain will ever recover.

Iain Duncan Smith Says He Can Live off £53 per Week

iain duncan smithWork and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has caused outrage this week by claiming he could live off £53 per week in benefits. The figures is roughly equivalent to what a person under 25 could claim if they were unemployed. Sadly, this is a familiar routine for many UK graduates who are struggling to find work. Thousands of people, students included, have signed a petition calling for Mr Duncan Smith to resign.

Our Take: Another misstep by the government, is anyone keeping a tally? Duncan Smith earns approximately £1600 a week after tax, we have a feeling he wouldn’t last long with a 1/32 of that. If you want to see where students spend their money, take a look at our survey.

Courses in ‘Harry Potter’ Offered at UK Institutions

harry potterAccording to a Which? University survey, students can enrol on courses that teach Harry Potter and Ethical Hacking at UK universities. The teaching attitudes of Gryffindor and Slytherin at Hogwarts are studied as part of an education course at Durham whereas at Abertay Dundee university you can learn all about ethical hacking.

Our Take: We thought we were having our leg pulled with this one, but we’ve been assured these courses are real. Apparently you can even study the minutiae of puppetry at a London drama school, so don’t let anyone tell you a university education isn’t varied.

Newcastle Uni in Funny April Fools Joke Shocker

newcastle uniFor once an April Fools joke was actually funny. Staff at Newcastle University shocked students by announcing that the naming rights of university buildings have been sold to generate more revenue streams. The joke stems from the recent renaming of Newcastle United’s historic football ground St James’ Park to the Sports Direct Arena.

Our Take: We knew universities were struggling for money, maybe this is a step too far! April Fools usually brings out the worse in ‘banter’ and forced gags, but this inspired effort from Newcastle gave us a good chuckle. The worse thing about satire though, is that while we’re laughing at it, administrators are probably thinking “What a great idea!” How long before Wonga sponsor student loans?

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