28 February 2015

£6k Tuition Fees, Grant Scandal, Ten-Year-Old Studies Maths Degree…

Labour unveils £6k a year tuition fees

Ed Miliband Labour has announced that it will lower the tuition fee from £9,000 to £6,000 if they are elected into Government. Ed Miliband would also increase the maintenance loan allowance to £3,800 a year – an increase of £400.

The student vote is somewhat of an untapped market, so it isn’t a surprise that some political parties are suddenly taking an interest – and university fees and loans are certainly a major concern for many students.

Our take: It’s easy to promise a reduction in tuition fees (although let’s not forget that they were £3,000 not that long ago) but to REALLY show us you care, put more effort in to the manifesto and cover issues such as mental health and housing, too.

Private college students must repay grants

Student_loans_company_papers More than 500 students who enrolled at private colleges run by the ICE Academy have been told they must repay the grants they were issued – grants that were offered thanks to a government-sponsored scheme.

Every student’s best friend, The Student Loans Company, have now demanded the money from the students and have even threatened to send bailiffs. The Academy have admitted ‘misleading’ students – they were never entitled to grants or loans with the SLC… but they still have to repay the debts.

Our take: This was a massive, massive error. If you get a grant, you don’t expect to repay it. Even if this was an error, the loans company should surely be understanding instead of demanding the money straight up. The system is there to repay your loan in instalments, too – so why weren’t these students offered this? This is just adding salt to the wound!

Unis must admit more disadvantaged students

Students celebrating exam resultsThe Admissions watchdog, the Office for Fair Access, has told universities that they must admit more students from poor backgrounds.

Middle class students are seven times more likely to go to university than students from poorer families. The Office for Fair Access wants 40,000 poor students to go to university in the next five years… but they haven’t said how they intend to get the students to attend.

Our take: Of course, you should be able to follow your dreams no matter your background. It’s easy to say that more disadvantaged students should go to uni – but how do you make that happen? It’s not just up to the universities, it’s down to the schools to ensure they support students, and the loans companies to make sure all students receive a loan they can live on. All of this easier said than done, though!

Vue cinema tickets 2 for 1 in March!

Vue cinema Oh, happy days! Orange Wednesdays may be no more – but EE customers (and others) can still get 2 for 1 tickets every Wednesday in March!

Sadly, there won’t be 2 for 1 at Pizza Express like with Orange Wednesdays, but you can get some awesome discounts with a free 30 day Tastecard which you can use in lots of different restaurants (including Pizza Express).

Our take: We’re waiting to see what will replace Orange Wednesdays, but if you need a cinema fix this will keep you going for a month (as long as you go on Wednesdays).

Girl, 10, studying for maths degree

Maths student pie chart If you feel intimidated about your academic achievements, look away now.

Esther Okade is one of the youngest undergraduates in the UK – she’s just been accepted to do a maths degree with the Open University at just ten years old.

Home-schooled Esther has wanted to go to university since she was seven years old (pretty big ambitions – when I was seven I wanted to live on Button Moon), and she hopes to someday own a bank. Congratulations, Esther, and best of luck!

Our take: Some pretty strong ambitions there, but is anyone else feeling a bit deflated now? Maybe now’s the time to get serious about your studies by learning what Freshers wish they knew and how to write a 3000 word essay in a day. After all, it’d be pretty embarrassing if a ten-year-old got a better grade than you…

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