25 September 2015

Unis Need to Tackle Sexual Harassment, Phone Bills May Increase, Dog Learns Gaelic…

Calls for drunken sexual harassment discipline

blurred linesA study by Drinkaware has found that three quarters of students think that universities should discipline those involved in drunken sexual harassment.

Worryingly, the study has found that 54% of female students and 14% of male students have been a victim of sexual harassment – such as sexual comments or inappropriate touching – over the last 12 months. 43% said that they experience drunken sexual harassment almost every time during a night out.

Our take: There’s clearly not enough being done to stop sexual harassment, and being drunk is no excuse. It’s not just up to the university to discipline students – the nightclubs also have a duty of care to everyone in their venue to stop this type of thing going on. The attitude is a bigger problem and needs to be tackled at an earlier age so people know that sexual harassment is never okay.

NUS fighting against maintenance grant scrap

Grants and bursaries

The NUS (National Union of Students) have started legal action against the scrapping of maintenance grants. Students starting uni next year are no longer entitled to a maintenance grant, but all students will receive a higher maintenance loan.

NUS lawyers have written to the Business Minister Sajid Javid asking him to consider how much the scraps will affect students from poorer backgrounds.

Our take: Without the grant, a lot of poorer students wouldn’t go to uni as it would simply be unaffordable. However, it is really important to remember that most students – regardless of their background – struggle financially. It isn’t fair to provide paltry maintenance loans to students, nor is it fair to remove the support blanket of the maintenance grant. In our National Money Survey, 44% of students said they are funded by grants and bursaries which is a massive amount. There is other funding out there for many students, so check out our guide here and see if you’re eligible.

Phone bills could rise due to increased costs

hello yes this is dogOfcom have announced that some mobile phone providers will have to pay extra to use 2G, 3G, 4G, voice and data services.

Currently, operators pay a combined total of £66.4m to use these services. Next year, their fees will treble to £199.6m per year. If fees are trebled, it’s highly likely that mobile phone bills will increase to help cover the cost.

Our take: Noooo, not price rises!! Hopefully, if prices DO rise, it won’t be by too much and sometimes you can leave a contract if the hike is significant. Looking for a phone contract now? We have loads of tips to help you get the best deal.

Freezing loan repayment threshold will cost more

In George Osborne’s summer Budget, it wasn’t just the scrapping of maintenance grants that affected students. Osborne has also proposed freezing the loan repayment threshold at £21000 for those who started uni after 2012.

The Sutton Trust has warned, however, that freezing the threshold will cost graduates more money. The average student borrows £36000 over three years, but if the thresholds are frozen the average male student will repay £37100 and female students £29700 over 30 years (as the loan is written off after this time).

Our take: There’s still a lot of confusion surrounding tuition fees and what happens when you graduate, so we have this fabulous myth-busting guide to help you understand repayments. Also, remember that this is the ‘average’ student, but lots of students who took out a higher loan will have to repay more and unlikely to pay it all back! Remind us again why the tuition fees were increased…?

Dog learns Gaelic commands

GingerGinger, a 4 year old cocker spaniel, has learnt Gaelic demands in just three weeks to help his hard-of-hearing owner Neil Smith.

Neil takes his pooch with him to local Gaelic classes and now knows how to sit, stay, come and respond to praise in two languages.

Our take: Everyone can learn a language – and if a dog can, I’m pretty sure you can too…

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