Students using sugar daddies, Grant loophole, Cocaine found in Oxford Uni…
Amazon ends free delivery (by closing loophole)
You may or may not be aware that Amazon recently stopped all free deliveries on items under £10. However, there was a loophole (which we let you know about) that allowed users to add a cheap CD or book to their order in order to get the free delivery.
Unfortunately, Amazon has now closed the loophole meaning that users are required to spend over £10 to get free delivery. Luckily there's another workaround (see below).
Our take: Cheeky, cheeky Amazon. They have now gained their leading market position so they no longer need to offer free delivery on small orders… Don't worry you can beat them by using our little free delivery trick. Stick it to “the man”.
1/4 of students eligible for grant intended for poorest families
A loophole when calculating student loans and grants is allowing students with high earning divorced parents to claim generous grants which were intended for the poorest families.
When the fees were increased in 2012, ministers made the decision to allow divorced parents to avoid filling in joint income forms, and as a result over a quarter of students are eligible for the maximum £3,200 grant.
Our take: Grants are great, and can be very helpful for students in desperate situations. But it seems like the government haven't thought this through (which is so unlike them). Where's the money coming from that pays for all these grants? People are always going to exploit flawed systems and this could all be a set-up for getting rid of student grants completely.
Gap in gender pay expectations up 44% in 10yrs
According to new research, female graduates expect a starting salary of £18,781, whereas their male counterparts expect £20,219.
The gap between these salaries have led to worries that women are undervaluing themselves in the job market. On top of this, the gap between each genders' expected salaries has widened by 44% between 2013 and 2003, when the difference was just £999.
Our take: What a great modern society we have, striving towards equality across all genders, races, and sexualities. Or not. While it's worrying that women are undervaluing themselves, we have to look beyond that at a society which is undervaluing women, that has to change before statistics like these will. On a lighter note, at least the female graduates have a nice palindromic number as their expected starting salary.
100s of students use “sugar daddies” to pay tuition
Hundreds of female UK students have signed up to a site that promotes using sugar daddies in order to pay for your tuition. The aim of the site is to match struggling students with wealthy men.
According to the owners of the site there has been over a 50% increase in sign ups since the fees went up in 2012.
Our take: PR stunt anyone? Just because people have signed up to the site it doesn't mean that they have actually met with & taken money from a “Sugar Daddy”. Students are struggling but in our opinion, this shouldn't be the way to turn. Ps. we didn't mention the website as we don't want to give them free promotion…
Nottingham voted greenest uni on the planet
The University of Nottingham has been awarded the honour of being the greenest university on the world by a new study.
Greenmetric, who collect green statistics from universities all over the world and organise them into 6 categories have found that Nottingham is most environmentally friendly and sustainable campus.
Our take: This is the second time Nottingham has won the award, with Plymouth and Bradford also appearing in the global top ten. It's a real mark of credit for an institution to be so forward thinking and green conscious, topping polls like this can make all the difference for students choosing a university they want to study at.
Cocaine found in several Oxford Uni buildings
Several buildings across Oxford University have been found to have traces of cocaine in them, after a three day investigation into campus drug use.
Six in ten buildings at the world famous institution were tested positive for cocaine when swabbed, including the bathrooms in the Union building, its libraries and the Ruskin School of Fine Art.
Our take: Wow, that's a lot of posh people taking drugs. Or a small number of posh people taking a lot of drugs. It's good that a spokesperson has said that there isn't a drug problem at Oxford, otherwise these test results would be a little worrying…
Staffordshire Uni could leave Stafford
Depending on a meeting happening this week, Staffordshire University could be about to move en masse to Stoke on Trent, leaving behind its namesake.
Over 11,000 of the university's students are already based in Stoke, and a decision is being made whether the remaining 7000 and 512 members of staff should also move.
Our take: Well it's certainly an interesting proposal, and when you've spent £42 million on regenerating the campus in Stoke you can kind of see the logic. But is it really worth giving up an entire institution's history and identity?
State of the Machin: On Festivals
After a poor, festival-less summer last year, now that I'm in a somewhat more secure financial situation, it's already time to start planning at least one summer festival. The major contender looks to be Primavera Festival in Barcelona, which has two huge advantages, having a killer lineup and having hot weather practically guaranteed.
The headliners (The National, Arcade Fire, Pixies & QOTSA) are all phenomenal draws and it's hard to imagine a British festival locking down all four in one weekend, even if they are all on the ‘festival circuit' this summer.
There are also some real gems on the undercard, like Television playing the entirety of Marquee Moon (read no filler), The War on Drugs and Blixa Bargeld all putting in appearances.
I also like the fact the full lineup has been announced pretty much straight away, rather than being drip fed a few acts at a time. It gives you more time to get familiar with the smaller bands on the bill, rather than cynical promoters chasing a new influx of ticket sales with every announcement.
So that's my summer festival sorted, what are your plans? Staying closer to home? Going to Leeds/Reading like you do every year? Let me know in the comments!