Unis told to change grad debt rules, Inflation falls, 40% grads unemployed…
Unis told to change graduation debt rules
The Office of Fair Trading has told Universities that they must change long-standing rules that stop students from graduating if they have unpaid, non tuition related, debts (such as library fines).
The regulator has contacted 170 of Britain's Higher Education institutions, telling them they're in contravention of consumer protection laws, with a threat of legal action if the rules are not revoked.
Our take: Let's be thankful for the OFT, this regulator bites. It's a ridiculous situation that something as small as an unpaid library fine can mean you don't get to graduate, especially considering how much people are already paying for the privilege of attending university...
40% graduates not employed after 6 months
A survey by job website TotalJobs has found that two fifths of graduates have not found a full time job within the six months immediately after graduating from university.
The research also found that the a large number of graduates were applying for twenty vacancies every month and that 44% wish they'd taken a more vocational subject.
Our take: We're not going to lie, the graduate job market is tough (that's why we made Save the Graduate). But six months really isn't a big enough time frame to judge by. Many who have just graduated aren't even sure what career they want to go into right away, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's well worth remembering that people graduating now are in the best position that people have been for years.
UK inflation rate falls for the first time in 4 years
The UK inflation rate fell to 1.9% in January. The figure is calculated by the cost of consumer products and fell below the Bank of England's target of 2% for the first time in four years.
The major political parties are all using the fall for their own territorial gains, but the overall news for the general public is positive: popular consumer products, such as household goods, cigarettes, alcohol and DVDs have all fallen in cost.
Our take: Inflation falling is a steady sign, along with house prices and the number of jobs vacancies available, that the economy is starting to get back on its feet. It's been a grim few years, but things are finally starting to be looking up!
Edward Snowden elected Rector at Glasgow
In a follow up to our story a few weeks ago, Edward Snowden has been elected rector at Glasgow University.
The NSA whistleblower will succeed the former Liberal Democrats leader Charles Kennedy in representing student interests in the the university's governing body.
Our take: Go democracy! No coalition victory here, Snowden won by 51% of the votes, which is, however way you slice it, a clear majority. It goes to show that there's a lot of support out there for whistle-blowers, especially those that the government would much rather keep quiet.
People spend PPI money on holidays & cars
According to a new survey, going on holiday is how most of Britain's reclaimed Payment Protection Insurance money is spent.
Other popular choices include buying a car or spending the money on consumer goods. £13.3 billion in reclaimed PPI money is estimated to have boosted the economy, and it is said to have had more effect than'any government policy'.
Our take: Perhaps all the cold calling and annoying adverts were worth it? We certainly wouldn't mind a week in the sun, or a new car for that matter. The PPI scandal might not have affected students in a positive way, but it's definitely helped the wider economy as a whole, and therefore lead to other benefits, like more jobs than ever before.
Student's launch 'Mr University' Bodybuilding Competition
A group students at Swansea University have launched the first ever university based fitness show, Mr University.
The organisers intend the event to be a break away from the stereotype of couch potato lazy students. The event will also showcase the numerous athletic and healthy alternatives to takeaways and binge drinking.
Our take: Here at Save the Student, we're fans of free choice, a healthy lifestyle, a drastically unhealthy lifestyle, or somewhere in between both. And we'll never shoot down entrepreneurial spirit, good on the organisers of 'Mr University' for spotting a gap in the market and plugging it, we wish them all the best.
State of the Machin: On Inside No 9
So my new favourite TV show is the comedy anthology series Inside No 9.
If the terms 'comedy' and 'anthology' are already putting you off, perhaps you're better suited to sticking with Mrs Brown's Boys, but you really should give Inside No 9 a go anyway.
Each week takes us inside a different house, each the 9th on that particular street, and takes us into the lives of people within. Written by former League of Gentlemen and Psychoville stars, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton the two episodes in the series so far have been equally comedic, horrifically dark and very dramatic.
What's interesting about the show is how each episode plays with the form of television.
The first episode was a fast paced, witty exploration of a middle class family, featuring adults playing a beloved childhood game and only when it's too late (spoilers) revealing the horrific truth.
If every episode was a repeat of the first it would have been amusing enough, there are few things better than great actors trading terrifically written barbs amongst each other. But episode two, 'A Quiet Night In' managed to top the first episode without saying a single word. In a silent half hour, the episode packed as many plot twists, shocks and belly laughs as the first did, and did so at an absolutely rapid pace.
Inside No 9 is easily the best thing on TV at the moment, and I'd highly recommend cancelling whatever plans you have for ten o'clock this Wednesday and make the time to watch some great TV while you still have the chance.