17 October 2014

Students forced to share rooms, Golden Handcuffs for Grads, Freezing Eggs…

Calls for ‘golden handcuff’ for grads

Golden-HandcuffsThe Royal Society of Arts wants to offer a ‘golden handcuff’ to graduates to encourage them to stay in the city they studied in.

Jim O’Neil, chairman of the Royal Society of Arts City Growth Commission, says that few students stay in the city where they graduated from, instead opting to go “back overseas or down to London” where there are more opportunities.

The RSA has suggested that universities could run a ‘ReFreshers Week’ and offer job advice to help graduates find a job. A ‘golden handcuff’ could be offered for graduates who work in the area for a certain number of years.

Our take: A scheme like this could increase graduate employment as well as help a city to thrive. So many graduates face unemployment or a move to a big city – keep graduates local and it is a win-win situation for both graduates and local companies!

Sierra Leone student refused accommodation

Sierra-Leone-StudentA radio presenter arrived from Sierra Leone to study at the University of East Anglia – and was rejected by two landlords when they found out he was from a country affected by Ebola.

Amara Bangura was told by one landlord that no student from an Ebola affected country would be accepted over fears of infection. Mr Bangura said he was “devastated” to be turned down because of where he is from, but he has since found accommodation.

Our take: The responses show how concerned people are about the Ebola virus, but also how uninformed the public is. Ebola is not an airborne virus, and can only be caught by coming in to contact with an affected person’s bodily fluid. The landlords should not have been discriminatory to the student because of where he was from, although it is understandable that the landlords were trying to be ultra-safe.

Students forced to share single rooms at uni

Student-RoomshareA report by the BBC has found that some students are being forced to share single rooms with other students or stay in a hotel.

Bristol, Aberdeen and Winchester universities are most affected, Bristol University has called the situation “not ideal” but has offered discounted rent and free food whilst they work to fix the problem.

The number of students a university can accept has risen by 30,000, and there are just not enough rooms at some universities to cope with the increase.

Our take: Just because a universities can accept more students, it doesn’t mean they have to if they cannot cope with the accommodation demands. Not many students will want to share a room, even if the rent has been discounted – housemates are bad enough, let alone roommates!

Parental opinion matters about uni choice

Parental-PressureParents are meant to know best – but would you let them sway your choice of university?

Research by Coventry University suggests that one in seven students value their parents’ opinion more than their own – and their parents may not be acting in the best interests of their child, as one in eight parents admit that they would encourage their child to stay at home because they “would miss them too much”.

Our take: Yes, you will probably miss your parents – and they will miss you. University is meant to teach you independence and you can’t really do that if you don’t do your own washing. The only opinion that matters is YOURS – pick the university you want to go to, not someone else’s.

Apple and Facebook pay staff to freeze their eggs

Frozen-EggApple or Facebook will help pay for female employees’ eggs to be frozen so they can concentrate on their career and have children later in life.

Starting in January, both companies will pay their staff in America up to $20,000 for the procedure. A spokesperson for Apple has said that they hope to “empower women”, but both companies have been criticised for encouraging their staff to work for longer.

Our take: The scheme may help some women who want a good career and then a baby – however it may also encourage women to have a baby too late in life when her body may not be able to cope. Surely there are better ways to help women have a baby and get back in to work – like offering flexible hours?

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