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1 Friday 28.09.12 Volume 61 Issue Olympian opens new halls What’s inside? Interview 8 Jonty Clarke and Sir David Bell. Photo from Kate Delaney The University of Reading has added another new set of student homes to its Whiteknights Campus. On 4 September, Vice Chancellor Sir David Bell formally opened the new Childs Hall and Stenton Townhouses. He was accompanied by ex-Childs Hall’s very own celebrity, Jonty Clarke, a member of Team GB’s Olympic men’s hockey team. The Vice-Chancellor commented “While it is the challenging academic standards and excellence in teaching at Reading that first grabs the interest of our future students, we know that providing facilities appropriate to our worldclass standing and international reputation is also hugely important”. Sir David reminded us of the importance of a “high quality student experience” particularly with the increase in tuition fees. The new additions to Reading student accommodation are replacing the outdated Childs Hall which has been in use since the 1960s. New Childs Hall holds 594 student bedrooms and the 25 Stenton Townhouses contain 12 bedrooms each over three floors and include a communal living area. We know that providing facilities approapriate to our world-class standing is important Third year Chemistry student, Gagan Singh, has chosen to live in a Stenton Townhouse over the other halls. He told Spark* “I chose to live there because when I saw the accommodation being built they looked fantastic” he added “I’m looking forward to living there since they are brand new they will be really clean and modern”. Students living in the £30 million project will have Park Eat and The new accommodation has proved a hit. Photo from Park Lounge nearby but are fully equipped with self-catering facilities. The halls are also located near the main academic buildings in the centre of Whiteknights campus. “I’m looking forward to living there” Tasha Jones will also be moving in to a Stenton Townhouse this com- ing year. She told Spark* “I wanted the townhouses because I like the way they are set up like a proper house with communal living space unlike most other halls”. The Townhouse study bedrooms boast four foot wide beds and plenty of storage space including under the bed. Jonty Clarke represented Great Britain at this summer’s Olympic games. The Team GB mens’ hockey team came fourth overall. University wins silverware at Royal Berkshire Show Zoe Crook The University of Reading shone at the 2012 Royal Berkshire Show. The University achieved two awards at the show, which promotes agriculture and education. The annual event focuses on improving horticulture, agriculture, forestry and rural crafts and skills, as well as educating the public on the same subjects. This year’s show focused dominantly on dairy practices and produce.The University achieved first prize in both, the best large trade stand, and best local trade stand. Utilising activities and sharing home grown food, the stalls stood out amongst the rest. Cont. page 3 NUS claim London MET students victory Sophie Elliott Last Friday the NUS claimed victory in the on-going dispute concerning London Metropolitan University’s international students. Welcoming the UK Border Border Agency’s ‘decision to allow London Met Students to complete their course or continue to study up until the end of the academic year (2012/13), whichever is sooner’. Liam Burns, NUS President said: “We are delighted that as a result of our third party intervention, interim relief has been granted by the High Court to current international students who have been unfairly affected by UKBA’s decision.” “It is welcome that UKBA are now complying with the Court’s ruling and guaranteeing protection of the position of international students at London Met for the duration of their courses and the coming academic year, whichever is sooner.” Deputy ViceChancellor Prof. Tony Downes on Reading in Malaysia “These students came to London in good faith and had already spent tens of thousands of pounds on their education, before having the rug pulled from under their feet.” UKBA had previously announced it would serve notices to all international students at London Met on Monday 1 October 2012, giving notice of only 60 days leave to remain in the UK. The NUS have been campaigning heavily on this issue since the original decision was announced and it was a topic of debate at the recent NUS and Amnesty International Media Summit, at which Liam Burns was a speaker. However, the issue is far from resolved. Commenting on future challenges, Liam Burns said: “The future for international students at London Met after July 2013 is still uncertain and we need clarity as soon as possible.” “This whole ugly episode has also thrown up wider questions about the treatment of international students in this country.” 12 Film Summer film reviews Health 27 Food swap Travel ‘Staycations’ 33

Spark 20120928 - Vol.61, Issue 1

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