14 August 2013

Student Accounts Released, Asda Degree, Results Day, Uni to Spy on Students…

Banks Start Battle over Students

student bank accountsThe major banks have released their student account terms for 2013/14. The perks on offer include album downloads (HSBC), a railcard (Santander) and a free NUS Extra card (Lloyds).

More importantly though, the banks have released the vital figures about overdrafts and interest rates, a proper understanding of which will be more value than any shiny perk a bank can offer.

Our Take: If you’re struggling to pick a bank, don’t worry, we’ve got it covered right here. This isn’t just for freshers either, you can still switch mid degree if you want to. Banks generally think once you’ve signed them, they have you for life, which simply isn’t true. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your bank account, not the other way round.

Results Day is Nigh Upon Us…

ResultsDay2010_0006The day is almost here, thousands of A level students will find out their fate, and their home for at least the next three years on Thursday.

While many will reach one of their offers, first choice or insurance, some will have to be ready to go through clearing to find a place.

Our TakeClearing isn’t the end of the world however, and if you’re really worried there’s nothing wrong with making back up plans. In fact we’d recommend it, even if you’re super confident you’ll make your offers. Clearing can be enough of a scramble as it is, be the sensible person in the crowd and have a plan!

Loughborough Uni yo Monitor Student Emails?

SpyingLoughborough University is considering a move to track students emails for any negative comments about the institution, with the intention of supporting students who might be likely to drop out.

The planned scheme has been met with criticism, and the university states that at the moment it is only a proposal.

Our Take: So many things shady about this. If a University is so paranoid about students dropping out, maybe they should try putting the support there for students in other ways, rather than snooping through their emails? And is reading emails really the best way to see what a student really thinks, surely monitoring an undergraduates mobile is a better way of offering support? Failing that, why not trying planting microphones in halls of residence, just to be extra cautious?…

Supermarket Studies? ASDA Launches a Degree

Asda_Student_DealsASDA have launched a new scheme for their employees to gain a full BA degree in distribution or retail operations, studying for the course alongside their in store job.

The supermarket giant will fully fund its employee’s education, and any staff who has been at ASDA for more than six months can apply for one of the 30 places on the course.

Our Take: This isn’t as ridiculous as it first sounds. We’d all like to have our education paid for by someone else, and if your employer is paying for it, you’re pretty much guaranteed a job afterwards. It’s a win-win! Supermarkets are quick to copy each other, so get on board at Tesco or Sainsbury’s quickly and get your education on the cheap.

Small Specialist Uni’s Top Satisfaction Survey

oxforduniThe results of the National Student Survey have revealed that 85% of undergraduates are happy with their education.

Small, specialist institutions have come out with the highest satisfaction scores with some even reaching 97%. Of the main universities Bath topped the poll with a huge 94% student satisfaction.

Our Take: 85%! Not a bad turn out for higher education, especially with the increased pressure of increased fees. Commiserations to Ravensbourne, a design and communications institute who scored the lowest satisfaction rating, just 64%.

State of the Machin: On Rail Travel

busytrainRail fares are increasing… again. Sarcastic clap! I live in a city centre, so have no real need or the space for a car, so I travel by train quite a lot. And more often than not those train journeys are plagued with delays, poor service, overcrowding and overpriced food.

Put blankly, the countries rail system is a mess. A big mess. Yet companies have the cheek to raise prices by 4.1%, claiming the money will be invested in the network. Surely the companies that own the network should be paying to make their service work, and not the regularly shafted commuters who use the service on a daily basis?

It’s all okay though, because in 2035 we’ll have a high speed line with the very best technology from 2003.

Here’s some of the greatest hits I’ve witness from British rail in recent years;

  • a train heading from Manchester to Lancaster inexplicably stopping in Preston for 45 minutes because it was so delayed they thought the best plan for it would be to just make it the later train
  • a train from Doncaster to Newark being delayed by an hour and continually pushed later to reduce delays on other lines
  • and the best of the bunch, Doncaster to Newark again, an out of order toilet with, what I hoped was, water spilling out underneath the door and running throughout the carriage, soaking everyone’s shoes and bags.

Rail travel, suddenly getting a car seems like a better option.

In less ranty news, the football season is back at the weekend, and you’ve still got time to join the Save the Student fantasy league! Just enter the code 701578-187140 on the join league page at fantasy.premierleague.com. Prizes may be on offer…

And that’s the State of the Machin.

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