Students Targeted by Launderers, Get Paid to Take Cocaine, Oxford Uni Discriminate Again?..
Oxford Uni In (Another) Discrimination Row
Oxford University has again come under criticism for discrimination, as a Freedom of Information request reveals that white applicants were more likely to receive a place, even if they have the same A level grades as a non-white student. The university has denied claims of discrimination, despite some critics saying the figures reveal an institutional bias.
The figures revealed that 26% of white applicants were offered a place, whereas just 17% of applicants from ethnic backgrounds with the same grades got an offer. The gap was bigger in fields which require the highest A level grades, such as economics or medicine, where 43% of white students with at least three A* A level grades were awarded an offer, compared to just 22% of ethnic minority applicants.
Our take: Oxford really is getting a battering in the media (and this column) at the moment isn't it? These figures are quite damning, the university claims that it doesn't just take into account A level results, naming interviews and aptitude tests as an additional method of choosing its students, but does this really excuse the acceptance rates?
Students Targeted by Money Launderers
This week students have been warned to watch out for criminal gangs who are keen to lure them into becoming 'money mules' and allowing their bank account to handle stolen money.
Criminals are looking for places to store their stolen cash and then spend it "legally." The gangs are targeting students as they know that they are cash strapped and the promise of earning £100s a week being a "money transfer agent" can appear quite tempting.
Our take: It may seem like a good idea to earn a bit of extra money by taking a risk but this is not one that you want to get involved in. If you facilitate laundered cash then you could face a jail term which is something I think we can agree that we would all like to avoid. If you think a job is suspicious then don't be scared to say no.
Lenders Gather More Information on Students
It was revealed this week that credit scoring companies such as Experian are set to gather more financial data on us. At the moment lenders communicate with credit scoring companies in order to decide whether or not to give us a loan or mortgage but their information is limited to bank accounts, credit cards, phone contracts and a few other details.
The plan is to start working with more energy and utility firms in order to gather more information to better credit score students and the general public
Our take: You might think that your credit score doesn't matter but it can have a huge affect on your future. As the credit scoring companies gather more and more information on us it gets increasingly important to pay bills on time and manage money responsibly. If you want to know more about your credit score and how to improve it then take a look here.
Foreign Students Set to Stay in Migration Statistics
The government has refused to exclude foreign students from its quota to lower immigration, despite calls from MPs to do so. The government has a net migration figure that it wants to lower, but there are fears that by including foreign students in this number, it sends out the wrong message.
Ministers worry that other countries will look at this figure and see it as a cap on foreign students who can study in the UK, and that international students would not feel welcome in the country.
Our take: This one looks like another miss-step by the government in our books. Foreign students should obviously feel welcome to come to the UK for their education. We have a proud higher education system that is being dismantled by either incompetence or ignorance, who knows which is worse?
University Offers to Pay Students To Take Cocaine
Kings College London have asked its students to take cocaine as part of a study on the drug. The university is researching into the effects of cocaine and want to use its students as test subjects.
Many students thought it was joke when they first received the email, but the University holds firm that it is an important study of the drug.
Our take: Drug addicts of the world, now's your chance! Unfortunately not, the project is limited only to volunteers who have no history of recreational drug use, which probably rules out anyone who read the email and thought they'd found their dream job!