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NAVIGATOR

Summer 2008

Your complete guide to university and college

Get ready for the ride of your life

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©2008 St. George’s University

It took the anteater millio It take ns o s ou f ye r st ar ud s to en ts evolv e a 2 -f o onl ot t y4 o years to ev ngu olv e. ea

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Grenada, West Indies

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4 Gearing up

Opening the floodgates on university life

8 Bottletop

Getting an insight into the UK's most exciting charity

10 Path finder

Finding the right course for your dream career

20 Money maker

How to get rich at university

27 Rolling stone

Far flung jaunts for travellers on a gap year

32 The Lovvers

Punk band ripping up the UK

45 Regulate Editor Francis Andrews • Head of Design Kathleen Rayfield

Your eyes are about to be opened wide, lids stretched and jaw on the floor. Inside this magazine is a new take on the drivel you've been forcefed at school. We get right under the skin of student life and deliver it as it should be: uncensored and undiluted, with a punch and a kick never before seen in the offices of your careers adviser e

The ins and outs of work experience

Making the most of an open day

Debate about cannabis classification

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Inc Top dshire e Be tland d’ Farm Rock15 w/camRazorlig … t, Th Sco Oxfor un the (£1 y Slim, DJ Yoda Ness in in So on th July Art Bru st ar n, ge d, Loch Fatbo rworl d ‘Lo y Loun – 11-13Champio Kids… farm ne ong t an a 5) Unde d nearb ten ck a str (£8 peed -up ld on ing s, Bla Locate ssing Lights ry Jet tival he Build e dre , nt. Jun the rience. Myste ate fes ry, Ke ubus val -15th expe Festi – 13 ets, Inc Intim nterbu tion. Park, Ca load ping) Proph uta ington st wn rep cam nn Lo Do w/ Do g, 50 ld in (£1 Offsprin al he rt. … Kiss, head festiv s Airpo Motor orientedMidland Rock- to East ox, next e Lenn th Jun nie 4 An – 27 – 4666 tbc) rlight, a… ss gig (price n, Razo Jameli arene s, Quee rbabe /Aids aw Suga ay HIV by One-d nised’ ela nd ga ‘or n Ma in Nelso held d – an Park, Hyde n. do Lon

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Navigator is published by Educate Ltd, 91-93 Southwark Street, London SE1 OHX, 020 7902 1200. Educate Ltd, the Editor and Publishers of Navigagtor do not necessarily agree with the views expressed in this publication and do not accept responsibility for any personal opinions therein. The paper used for Navigator is made from sustainable wood pulp.

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introduction

Gearing up There is a few key difference between university and school: one is heaps of fun, and the other isn’t so much. Over the next 48 pages, Navigator gives you an idea of which one is which

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’m scared I won’t make any friends and end up in a tiny, nasty student room alone.” And so it goes. The anxieties about stepping into the unknown are perfectly warranted: after all, you are young and this may be your first time living away from home. It is daunting, no doubt, but you can do yourself a favour by realising that almost everyone weighing up whether to go to university or not is feeling the same as you. In fact, it will be a very similar feeling to the train of thoughts you had in the run-up to starting secondary school, only this time there are a few key differences.

Work hard, play hard The realm you’ll be stepping into at university is almost a world away from secondary school. The latter is a procession of bored faces trudging from class to class, suffocated by tight uniforms and a rule book

university “is for getting as many bad decisions out of the way as possible before being forced into the real world.” So this magazine will highlight the bits you tell your parents, whilst keeping a firm eye on the legendary tales you ploughed through six years of secondary school to experience. There are a few myths still in circulation that are either out-dated or false, and we need to put a hammer to them. You may be worried about the clientele that university attracts. Legend has it that university is solely the stomping ground of toffs – that rich, posh lot that frown on anyone with a student loan or overdraft. This is wrong. Universities are increasingly attracting people of all backgrounds, and this is what makes it such an interesting experience. The government has pumped money into providing bursaries and additional loans for people who have trouble meeting the challenging fees and, as such, your average

Get the full lowdown on page 8. Elsewhere, we made use of our love for digging up the best in new music with an interview with rising stars of the punk scene, The Lovvers. Fresh out of Nottingham, these guys are setting stages alight across the country, having already toured with establishment figures such as Times New Viking. And they went to university what a simmering source of creativity it must be! Check them out on page 32.

“Many say the first year, particularly if living on campus, almost resembles a holiday camp with a smidgen of work thrown in” the size of the Yellow Pages. University, on the other hand, smacks of freedom and independence. Many say the first year, particularly if living on a campus, almost resembles a holiday camp with a smidgen of study thrown in for good measure. And they’re not too far off. Students are often found basking in sun the sun between lectures, sipping cider and lugging a Frisbee to one another. All the stereotypes apply, make no mistake. For at its core, university is about two simple things: getting a degree, and having an absolute blast. And the greatest challenge you’ll face is how to achieve harmony between the two. As you guessed, it can be done to great effect, or it can go tits up; because, while being a student is fun, being a good student is a bit harder. The comic J Jacques once said that

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campus is now thronging with all sorts of folk. Make sure you check out what financial support is available to you: an article on page 20 lets you in on a few ways of securing free cash for being nothing other than absolutely skint. Irresistible. We also take a look at what students get up to after university. Navigator likes to keep track of its client base: it’s always good to know how the people we help can help us. Ahem. So we caught up with one proactive lad residing over one of the UK’s most exciting and forward-thinking charities. Bottletop straddles the boundaries between music, fashion, and health-related awareness raising, and has drawn on the likes of Fatboy Slim and the Arctic Monkeys to give it a helping hand.

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introduction

Forward thinking Before all this however, you need to get the ball rolling in the direction of the admissions tutors. UCAS applications start in September and you don’t want to spend those blistering days in the summer holed up in front of a computer filling out endless application forms. So, start thinking about this now. UCAS does accept applications

from June onwards and if you can manage this then it is strongly recommended. As your parents will no doubt try to drill into you, they take a lot longer than you think they will. The personal statement is particularly painstaking, given that you’ll be keen to ensure every word is like a spark jumping out from the page. Indeed

it may take a few drafts before you get it right, so don’t leave it until the last minute. What is essential before deciding on your final destination is to know that it will suit you. You cannot get anywhere near a full insight into an institution from its prospectus alone – what you need to do is to experience it in the flesh. Universities are in the

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introduction

business of selling themselves to prospective students, so the prospectus will act like a rose-tinted tourist brochure. Visit a university on an open day, and really scrutinise it while you’re there. We give you some helpful hints on how to prepare for an open day on page 39. It is also worth spending an evening in your chosen location to see how you take to the nightlife. This is an integral part of the student experience: if the night falls flat on its face, you’d be wise to look elsewhere.

Rolling stone There’s a little prize for those of you who stay sane long enough to finish their A Levels. Although it’s still a year away, you may want to start thinking about whether to take a gap year or not. It’ll act as an incentive for you to get through those long months of revision. The benefits of taking a gap year are multiple: you can use it to work, play, or experience; at home or away, in sun, sea or sand. Many school-leavers take it as an opportunity to spank their life savings on a round the world adventure, while others earn some much-needed cash before university starts. But if that sounds a bit too intense, turn to page 27 for the definitive guide to gap year travelling, including a section on volunteering or working abroad. The highly focused ones amongst you may shun both of these luxuries and get some experience in the field you wish to pursue at university. A popular concern running through the minds of those weighing up whether to go to university or not is whether a job is guaranteed after graduating. The answer is, obviously, no. Nothing is guaranteed, but there are ways to significantly strengthen your chances. The key to success in a job interview is showing that you stand out from the crowd, and perhaps the best way to ensure this is through gaining as much experience in the field as possible. Gap years are a good time to do this: an article on page 18 gives you an idea of what may be useful in terms of seeking relevant experience.

Dreamtime Overall, however, you need to know that university is nothing like school. It gives you an independence that you are not likely to have experienced before, and a work structure much more relaxing and malleable than your current reality. You’ll make a sea of new friends, have the opportunity to try your hand at the hundreds of quirky activities on offer, and live a life you can only dream of at the moment. But before then, you’ve got exams, and lots of them. If all this sounds like your cup of tea, knuckle down and remember what lies ahead of you. Those results may just decide whether you have the power of choice or not.

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Common fears about student life

G

oing to university or college is a big move – and because of that it can be a daunting decision. Here is a list of common worries that many potential students have, taken from www. thestudentroom.co.uk, the UK’s largest online student forum, including some views from current students.

Friends:  I’m scared of not making friends.  I’m not scared of making acquaintances as I’m pretty friendly and will talk to anyone, but I’m definitely scared of making close friends. And whether people can respect that I’ve a lot of work to do, even though I’d want to have fun.  Standing out like a sore thumb.  Seeming unfriendly (cause I’m supposedly ‘unapproachable’)  Losing my girlfriend.  I’m scared of not finding a girlfriend  Being away from home, missing family, not making friends & being miserable, not getting on with those I live with, feeling out of place.  Being very, very far from friends and family... though it’s also a good thing!

 Doing well academically...I think my brain has turned to mush during the gap year.  The workload as I tend to be very lazy at times.  Not having chosen the right course...  Not understanding the work, being shown up for up it.

Finance:  Being really skint and running out of money! Student loan doesn’t cover accommodation (Not worried about debt, that is inevitable!)  I’m scared of not being able to manage my finances well.

Student life:  I’m scared I’ll lose my integrity. I don’t want to become a hard core drinker and party freak. I hope I’m not overwhelmed by living on my own for the first time.  I’m scared uni won’t be the best 3 years of my life... like everyone says it will be  Scared people will be flocks of sheep and immature .  Everything that you have to do on the first week - fill in forms, sort out ID, loan stuff, get a job, buy course books, get to know the area etc. - all while trying to make completely new friends!

Flatmates:

Current students’s views:

 I’m scared I won’t make friends and end up sat in tiny, nasty student room alone  I’m scared of being put with a load of weird flatmates (i.e. Goths, science geeks)  Having arguments with my flatmates over cleanliness/food  Not having any like-minded people in your accommodation and being stuck with weirdo’s. Having to cook and organise for myself.  Scared who I’ll be in a flat with, and whether I’ll get on with them.  The thing I’m worried about is the people I’ll be living with, I hope they’re open minded and friendly.  I’m off to uni in September, but my friend went to uni this year, and she’s stuck in a flat with five people she hates, and there’s a whole lot of bitching going on, I’m terrified of this happening to me!

 Just take every day one at a time, take things as they come to you rather than worry about everything. Enjoy your time as much as possible, trust your judgement of people and take them with a pinch of salt. If they’re worth knowing that’s fine but if they aren’t then ease yourself away from them and stick with people who won’t drag you down.  There’s nothing to be scared about at uni, it’s the same as 6th form/college just with a lot more people and a lot more freedom. Everyone’s new so you’re all in the same boat. It really is very similar. People aren’t any more mature, more childish if anything, stay up later, eat more, do more crazy stuff. No different. Just no parents really (or older people in charge telling you what you should, shouldn’t, can and can’t do).

Academic work:  I’m scared about being totally and utterly overwhelmed with work. I’m not very scared, but the workload I’ll be facing is pretty intimidating.  That I’ll have become stupid in the two years I’ve been doing other stuff after A Levels and won’t “get” anything like I used to.  That I’ll hate my course or not feel as capable as other people on it

www.thestudentroom.co.uk

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23/05/2008 10:52:06


“We are interested in whole people, not just brains on legs” You probably want to go to university for a lot of different reasons. Getting a good job is usually high on the list of priorities; so is getting more deeply into the subject you loved at school, but just as important is the chance that university offers you to spread your wings a bit, get away from home and make your own decisions about your life and future.

Networking Universities aren’t in the business of turning out brains on legs, we’re interested in the whole person. At the University of Greenwich, we provide plenty of extra-curricular activities, such as clubs and societies, where you can develop your interests and meet new people. Our clubs, bars, cafés and coffee shops are great venues for getting to know fellow students from some of the hundred plus countries represented at the university. Sport is a great way of expanding your horizons: you may remember that team spirit and determination at school, but then you were playing football, netball or rugby, now you can try something a bit different, like American football or rowing. Your academic life will stretch you as well.

You’ll learn negotiation skills (and patience!) on team exercises, and how to stand up and argue your point in tutorials; and you’ll need plenty of organisation to get that essay in on time.

What it’s all about Olufunke Olajide, a BSc Hons Biomedical Science student, speaks for many: “My

experience at university has developed my confidence and self belief, as well as my independence.” That, plus a first-rate education, is what university’s about. To contact the University of Greenwich: Freephone: 0800 005 006 E- mail: courseinfo@gre.ac.uk Web: www.gre.ac.uk

Time to think about a better future Making the most out of who you are takes focus, effort–and the University of Greenwich. Our full-time and part-time foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are all geared to help you fulfil your potential, whatever your stage of life. And with fees lower than nearly all other universities, there has never been a better time to invest in your future. From architecture to events management, from language to sports science, our wide range of programmes will help you to develop the skills and knowledge to take the fast track to the career of your choice.

For more information:

Freephone: 0800 005 006 E-mail: courseinfo@gre.ac.uk Web: www.gre.ac.uk

Minimum fees

Maximum prospects


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SoundAffects: Brazil is out now. Buy at Amazon or from Bottletop (www.bottletop.org)

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Summer 08 21/05/2008 12:20:45


A new horizon

charity

Bottletop are one of the most innovative charities around at the moment. Heck, even Fatboy Slim agrees! FRANCIS ANDREWS caught up with co-director Oly Wayman to find out what they are doing to make waves Can you give us a quick run-through of Bottletop’s essential aims and philosophies?

Our main focal point is the belief that poor sexual and reproductive health is the most complex and dangerous threat to young people today. Not many people realise that 7,000 young people (aged 15 – 24 years old) are infected by HIV every day around the world and over 100 million new cases of largely treatable Sexually Transmitted Infection’s (STI’s) occur among young people every year. So our aim is to empower young people to make informed choices about sex, and to use our own music and fashion products to raise funds and awareness.

There are hundreds of organisations out there working towards the same end result. Isn’t the market getting clogged?

STI’s and unwanted pregnancy are enormous issues, arguably the biggest we face today, so I think they need as much work and support as possible. I don’t think the market can ever get clogged up because of the extent of the problems. What we have managed to do is find our own niche and creative way of fundraising, and we source what we believe to be the most effective projects in educating young people. Our emphasis is really on educating young people through what we call the “non-formal” approach: instead of having a teacher lecturing young people about the do’s and don’ts in sex we believe it is much more effective for them to learn it in ways that they can relate to and from the people they respect. This is why we support programs such as a youth comic strip in Rwanda that teaches people in an accessible and fun way, and a female hip hop group in Salvador, Brazil, who are rapping about female empowerment.

Bottletop is being branded as one of the UK’s most exciting charities. What are you doing that’s different? It’s really our approach to fundraising and raising awareness which has made us unique. We try not to rely on the sympathy vote in terms of charity - shaking a bucket full of change will only get you so far. Instead we aim to concentrate on the positive aspects of the cultures where we work by developing great products made in the countries where our

projects our based. The products need to be of the highest quality so that you are purchasing it for the value of craftsmanship or strength of the music: the fact that it is going to a good cause is really only seen as a bonus, otherwise there is no longevity in the product.

A large part of your work focuses on giving people the skills and ideas to generate sustainable income from their surroundings. Can you elaborate on this? The innovation and creativity for music and fashion products already exists - we merely give the products a platform sell to a UK and worldwide market. It began with bags and radios made from bottletops in Kenya and

of the impoverished areas, but proceeds from the sales are going directly to Bottletop.

Charities largely rely on exposure to get results. How has Bottletop achieved this?

We use high profile artists to help with our projects: in Fatboy Slim’s case I really wanted to get him to do a remix for our latest album ‘Sound Affects: Brazil‘ - I was always a big fan of his remixes and knew that he had a big presence out in Brazil so it really made sense. Once he found out about the project he was really into it and put a lot of work into his remix. I think by using high profile artists such as him it helps to spread the message across to a wider audience and also makes use of the skills that made them famous in the first place, but for the sake of the charity .

Any other names you’ve got on board that should make our ears prick up?

We’re in the process of developing our own superstar band to represent the charity, and we’re half way through recording our first live album which will be a cross cultural project with Brazil. The band features an all star line up, ranging from the Arctic Monkeys, to Babyshambles, Franz Ferdinand, and more.

South Africa (hence the name of the charity) and we have recently launched a range of bags and belts made from ringpulls in Salvador, North East Brazil. The response has been great this end and we managed to set up a partnership with the clothing brand Fenchurch to distribute the ringpull bags and belts. They are so into the cause that they don’t take a cut from sales of our products: we receive every single penny, which is really commendable. It’s a fantastic example of a UK clothing company using the power of its platform to support an important cause. Sales of the bags have been very successful since their launch in December, to the extent that beyond buying the bags from the female cooperative in Salvador, we are now training women from a very poor community project called Street Angels, enabling the people in the community to obtain a vital source of income. So by buying the bags, you are not only providing employment for the skilled workers

Until recently you juggled this with a degree in International Relations. Did that provide an access point into the work you now do with Bottletop?

The degree really helped to give me more of an in-depth knowledge on worldwide issues and I feel as though I am more informed on the bigger picture when it comes to current affairs. I even managed to tie one of my dissertations around music in terms of intellectual property and copyright issues and that definitely gave me a greater understanding of some very complex issues.

Your work takes you all over the world - any downsides?

The classic cliché of being overworked and underpaid, but in a job like this the fulfillment and excitement behind what I’m doing overrides anything else. It’s really important to know that your efforts are going towards making a difference to young people and I don’t think that feeling can be overcome on a monetary level. www.bottletop.org

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Stuck between a rock and a hard place? Don’t fear: all it takes is some imaginative thinking to reach your dream job. Below is a guide to finding the ideal launch pad for your chosen career

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ome of the lucky ones out there already have a clear idea of what course or career is for them, and will sail through the next few years with the light at the end getting ever brighter. Others are completely stuck for choice and are yearning for a prod in the right direction. And there are those who may have a few options on the horizon but are not quite sure how to reach them. If you fall into the first category, then by now you’re probably using this magazine to light fires. For those not so fortunate however, there are various strategies available to figure out a clearer path. A classic method is the Stamford Test (see www.ucas. com), a psychometric questionnaire

is that all your answers are automatically collated into a range of options determined by the interests you have shown. Sometimes, however, they can seem quite vague. In such cases take them only as a rough pointer and investigate each option in greater depth: the Stamford Test, like much of the advice you'll receive now, is by no means a concrete projection of your future so don’t worry if the end result makes you squirm. Your school careers

“Careers advisers may well be the closest you get to expert advice on career direction” which can help you match your interests to possible higher education courses. This has a double effect, both narrowing your options into a few key areas if you have too many, or demonstrating what you can achieve with your current interests and skills.

Questions, questions

The Stamford Test asks you a range of questions related to four key criteria: which subjects interest you; what your skills/talents are; what career you would like to follow after college/university; and which academic skills you would like to improve. Example questions include: “Would you consider taking a course in a history-based subject?” and “Do you enjoy solving unfamiliar mathematical problems?” The idea

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adviser is also there to help guide you towards making a decision. This may be the closest you get to expert advice on course or career direction: careers advisers are trained in drawing up action plans and are a way of Right fit: ensure your course benefits you avoiding the generic answers you may get from psychometric tests and internet or degrees. Remember however questionnaires. that whatever you do not does not necessarily determine your career: graduates often find themselves Potential routes branching out after university and If you have a rough idea of what exploring routes very different to field you want to go into, but are their degree. On the right are some not sure how, the guide below typical examples of what employees in suggests possible routes in, either via particular areas may be looking for. apprenticeships, internships, courses

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Taster courses

Taster courses provide students looking towards attending university an idea of what their course will be like, and the opportunity to experience life as a student before signing on the dotted line. The University of London offer the London Taster Course Programme (www.lon.ac.uk/tasters), with 13 of its colleges involved, as well as the London Careers Group. The courses run until 16 July 2008, and 21 London-based institutions in total are participating: Birkbeck, Central School of Speech and Drama, Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths, Heythrop College, King’s College, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Royal Veterinary College, St George’s, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University College London (UCL), The Careers Group, University of London Union, City University, University of East London, University of Greenwich, Imperial College London, London Met University, London South Bank University, Middlesex University, University of Westminster

Cutting edge: your degree choice may determine your career Accountancy – mathematics; accountancy; finance; information systems; business; management. Note: internship in working environment is important Aerospace – aeronautical engineering; naval architecture; product design; Graduate Apprenticeship. Note: ensure your degree is accredited with the Royal Aeronautic Society. Agriculture, Fishing, Forestry – agriculture; environmental science; physical geography; marketing; management; NVQ in Agricultural Crop/Livestock production; BTEC in Agriculture or Horticulture Note: some colleges specialise in agriculture. Arts – English Literature; History of Art; art; drama; archaeology; film studies; Banking, Insurance, Finance – accountancy; mathematics; business and management; finance; economics; marketing; information systems. Catering & Hospitality – hospitality management; hotel and catering management; tourism management; travel and tourism Note: work experience is almost essential Construction – degree in building; building studies; construction engineering; building

technology; BTEC/SQA Higher National Diploma and Higher National Certificate in Construction. Education – Bachelor of Education (BEd) in teaching; Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate; voluntary teaching abroad; placement at a school. Electronics – BTEC/SQA in electronic engineering; information systems; BSc in electronic engineering; Apprenticeship with employer. Environment – environmental science; environmental technology; geography; development studies; ecology; archaeology. Health, Nursing – psychology; neuroscience; pastoral care; nutrition; psychiatry; health and social studies; health promotion; medicine. Human resources – BA in Business Management; HND in Human Resource Management IT & Internet – BSc in internet technology; information systems; web design; graphic design; multimedia and technology; internet research methods; business economics. Note: there are hundreds of IT training short courses. Legal – LLB in law; finance; business

Marketing, Advertising, PR – marketing; business and management; marketing and advertising; business and administration; communications; journalism; media studies; public relations. Media, New media, Creative – media; communications; journalism; web design; art; product design; IT. Not for profit, Charities – anthropology; development studies; economics; international relations; geography; politics; Note: internships are almost essential. Property – chartered surveyor (note: ensure your degree is accredited to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors); building and construction; Apprenticeship in either of the two. Public sector & Services – public administration; management; politics; social sciences; social policy; criminology. Retail, Wholesale – business and management; customer services; retail. Science – biology; chemistry; physics; pharmaceuticals; neuroscience; astrophysics; aeronautics. Social services – psychology; social policy; sociology; anthropology; nursing and health; neuroscience; children’s care.

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21/05/2008 17:08:05


plagiarism

Caught in a trap: plagiarism can be punished severely at university

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Universities don’t take lightly to plagiarism: after all, you’re only cheating yourself so know the score he limits of how far a student will go to avoid exerting themselves are now being stretched like never before. On top of the piles of dirty plates clogging up university kitchens across the country are complaints from tutors that a new breed of plagiarism is sweeping through higher education, roping in those who will do anything to keep pen firmly away from paper.

Contract cheating An investigation in May by The Guardian revealed a new phenomenon known as ‘contract cheating’, whereby students - and even business people – post their assignment details on particular websites and wait for bidders to name an asking price to write the essay. The investigation used an undercover journalist to act as a university student – ‘Josephine’ - looking for someone to write an essay for them. Within two hours she had received 38 offers from across the world, asking for prices ranging from £5 to £20. Universities treat plagiarism with an almost militant severity. The University of Leeds has dedicated an area of its website to outlining directions on the use of plagiarism, and action taken if someone is caught. It clearly states that “plagiarism committed by accident is still considered an offence. Lack of awareness is not a sufficient excuse.” While the punishment is dependent on the extent of the cheating – and whether any mitigating circumstances can be used in defence - students should make no bones about the consequences if caught.

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Punishments can range from having only the non-plagiarised sections marked, to being excluded from university altogether.

Poor quality

But it’s not only the risk of being caught that makes “contract cheating” a danger. One striking find in the Guardian’s investigation was how poor the quality of the contracted work was. The bidder they accepted for their history assignment – set by an actual university lecturer – was based in India, and was rated as 8.33, or “very good”. He/she was given two weeks to write the essay before it was sent back to the lecturer to be marked. “Three quarters of the assignment turned out to be from an American history journal paper – immediate grounds for a university disciplinary action,” said the lecturer, who didn’t want to be named. By feeding the essay

- contracted out to a bidder in the US was returned to a lecturer to be marked, and barely scraped a pass at 40 per cent. The lecturer had to go back to Josephine six times to ask where unfinished parts of the task were, and she in turn had to go to her ‘helper’ in the US for more assistance.

Who should be aware Plagiarism is a particular issue for those taking research-based degrees with a strong theoretical emphasis. Much of undergraduate work is assessed on the students’ ability to conduct a coherent analysis of opposing ideas and arguments. Therefore in many cases the bulk of an essay is reliant – or indeed built on top of – ideas and texts that are already in widespread use in the field. Students who don’t reference their work with pinpoint accuracy can therefore be accused of passing it off as

“By feeding the essays through a computer programme, tutors are alerted to any sections copied from other sources” through a computer programme, Turnitin, tutors are immediately alerted to any sections that are copied from other sources. It is estimated that 90 per cent of UK higher education work is scanned in this way. The software showed that about 70 per cent of the history essay was identical to the journal. “Anything that matches 18 per cent and under is acceptable – that’s just back titles and quotations. The real horrors are 50 per cent and over,” said the lecturer. Another essay – this time on computer science

their own. In this case, convincing excuses are very hard to come by. While universities’ approach to tackling plagiarism may resemble a surveillance system of Soviet proportions, the key to stopping students from cheating is to make them aware of their purpose at university, as Guy Haworth, a systems engineering lecturer at Reading University, says. “An IT system is not going to solve this. There’s a social dimension here; we’ve all got to tell our students that they are here to learn, not to beat the system.”

Summer 08 23/05/2008 11:42:31


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“One of the UK’s best for journalism” LAURA TERRY ’m currently a 3rd Year Journalism student here at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. Living in England’s newest city is definitely a new experience for me, as I live in a very small village called Formby in Merseyside. Most people have never heard of this place, so I tend to introduce myself as Laura from Liverpool and am then labelled as a scouser for the remainder of my University life! This is a small price to pay however, for meeting such amazing people; both fellow students and staff. It was one of the main reasons that I chose to come to UCLan. Once I had decided that Journalism was the path I wanted to follow, I then had to find the best University that would suit me professionally, and provide me with the best student experience I could ask for.

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with a number of broadcast and print reporters. One of the main reasons that this Journalism course got my ultimate seal of approval was the fact I could specialise in either broadcast or print in my 3rd year, and that I could complete a placement. I chose to specialise in magazines for my final year, and as a result of my placement working for Sugar magazine, I’ve been invited back to complete an internship with the fashion department, which is unbelievable for a graduate at this stage, and it’s all thanks to my preparation and work at UCLan.

Top rated Luckily, UCLan ticked both these boxes for me; apart from being one of the best universities in the country for teaching journalism, the equipment was second to none and they even had a working television studio donated by Granada Reports, as well as top connections

UCLan runs open, taster and applicant days, which give prospective students time to look around. I visited the University at least three times before I made my decision. It really made a lasting impression on me and three years on, I know I made the right decision.

KARL JONES, AGED 7

Day in the life of….. 9.01am: Stumble into my magazine class one minute late, and start research for producing our own consumer magazine. 11am: Feeling a little bit sleepy so grab a coffee and head to my daily two hour shorthand class. 1pm: Ahh, freedom! Well, at least until my Ethics lecture. Head to Source bar to grab a drink and some cheesy chips. 2pm: Time to work off those chips at the gym. This is my weekly form of torture, I always go on a Tuesday, it seems quieter and no-one can laugh at me when I fall off this treadmill. 4pm: Ethics lecture in the hottest room known to man, but seeing as it’s my last class of the day it’s bearable. Actually very interesting, who would have thought having ethics and being a journalist would go hand in hand?! 6pm: Hollyoaks and tea time, but I know where my priorities lie. My flatmates and I always have this bonding time everyday, otherwise we’d never see each other being on such different courses. 9pm: Head to Roper Hall for a night of karaoke, beer and shots. Believe it or not, I try and have a soft drink between alcoholic drinks or I’d be on the floor by 11pm.

SEE HOW FAR YOU COULD GO WITH UCLAN At the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, we really do pride ourselves on changing lives. Over 95% of our graduates (way above the national average) go straight into a career or further study, with many spectacular successes, like Karl, amongst them. All of which is hardly surprising when you look at our high calibre of teaching, ground breaking real life learning environments and the opportunities to gain all the skills employers are looking for. For more information, call 01772 892 400 or visit www.uclan.ac.uk

KARL JONES

UCLAN GRADUATE AND GAMES DESIGNER, SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT EUROPE MAKES YOU THINK

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Come rain or shine, i Take a big field, remove all the cows, stick in a sound system and several hundred daytrippers, and you have the beginnings of a festival. At least that’s how this lot got started...

Camp Bestival 2008

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ummer is here, and the festival season is in full throttle. No teenager can even begin to make the transition into adulthood without leaving a significant chunk of their mind in a field somewhere: it’s like the shedding of skin, and summer in the UK provides no better place to do this. The calendar is brimming with festivals old and new, pricey and free, big and small. There’s something to cater for all tastes, and below is the breakdown of some of the major (and minor) events looming on the horizon.

Big Spenders

Some festivals may take the place of a holiday, in terms of both financial and energy expenditure. Here we list those you’ll need to save well for, and take a week out after to recover from.

Rock Ness (£115 w/camping) – 7-8th June Fatboy Slim, Razorlight, 2 Many DJ’s, Underworld, DJ Yoda… Located nearby Loch Ness in Scotland. Includes the dressing-up tent and ‘Lost in Sound’ experience.

Download Festival (£150 w/camping) – 13-15th June Kiss, Offspring, Lost Prophets, Incubus, Motorhead… Rock-oriented festival held in Donnington Park, next to East Midlands Airport.

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Glastonbury Festival 2008 (£155 w/camping) – 27-29th June Kings of Leon, Jay-Z, The Verve, Amy Winehouse, Manu Chao… The mother of all festivals. Enough said.

The Eden Sessions (prices vary) –27th June to 25th July Series of concerts at the Eden Project, Cornwall. Tickets still available for The Raconteurs (29th June) and KT Tunstall 25th July).

Wakestock Blenheim Palace (£110 w/camping) – 27-29th June Mark Ronson, Groove Armada, The Streets, Happy Mondays, Pendulum… Top-notch three-dayer at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. More details to be released.

Lounge on the Farm (£85) – 11-13th July Lightspeed Champion, Art Brut, The Bees, Mystery Jets, Black Kids… Intimate festival held on a farm near Canterbury, Kent. Building a strong reputation.

(£120 w/camping) – 18-20th July Kate Nash, The Flaming Lips, Chuck Berry, Hercules And Love Affair, Beardyman… This 10,000 capacity festival Spawned from the larger Bestival, and held at Ludworth Castle, Dorest. Allegedly themed on a 1950s British holiday camp!

WOMAD

(£125) – 25-27th July Lee Scratch Perry, Irish Ceilidh, Damien Dempsey, Sharon Shannon, Shane MacGowan… UK’s premier world music festival, held in Charlton Park, near Malmesbury in Wiltshire.

Big Chill (£129) – 1-3rd August Leonard Cohen, Asian Dub Foundation Sound System, Might Boosh, DJ Krush, DJ Manga… Site contains four lakes, thick woods and an arboretum. At Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire.

Summer Sundae Weekender (£95 w/camping) – 8-10th August Macy Gray, Simian Mobile Disco, Supergrass, Lykke Li, The Count & Sinden… Another good line-up with a strong ethical twist – this year’s festival aims to be carbon neutral.

(price tbc) – 27th June Queen, Razorlight, Annie Lennox, Sugarbabes, Jamelia… One-day HIV/Aids awareness gig – ‘organised’ by Nelson Mandela – and held in Hyde Park, London.

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Summer 08 23/05/2008 11:20:34


e, it's festival time

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The Green Man Festival

Coloursfest

Redfest

(£105) – 15-17th August Pentangle, Spiritualized, Super Furry Animals, Iron And Wine, The National… 10,000 capacity, folk-oriented festival held in Brecon Beacons, Powys, Wales.

(£42.50) – 7th June Tall Paul, Sister Bliss, Tidy, Hedkandi... Features six arenas including Radio 1 Outdoor Stage. Held on the Clyde Riviera, Glasgow.

Under sixty pounds

Escape into the Park

(£65) – 4-5th July Crystal Castles, The Maccabees, Lightspeed Champion, Los Campesinos!... Located in parkland near Redhill, Surrey. Small, independently run with a 5,000 capacity.

(£45) – 14th June Underworld (live), Ferry Corsten, Scratch Perverts, Andy C, DJ Hype… Dance-oriented one-day festival held in Singleton Park, Swansea, Wales

There are a decent number of oneday festivals going on around the UK, many of which host a pretty serious line-up. If you want something longer that doesn’t ruin your savings account, a chosen few listed below may just do the trick.

Wild in the Country (£54) – 5th July Bjork, Battles, The Foals, 2 Many DJ’s, Plump DJ’s… A little gem of a day – 18 hours of high-quality music. Held at Knebworth House, Hertfordshire.

Wireless Festival 2008 (£45 per day) – 3-6th June Counting Crows, Fatboy Slim, Jay-Z, Morrissey, Mark Ronson… Eter Renowned nal festival held in Hyde Park, London.

Southwell Folk Festival (£50) – 6-8th June Bellowhead, Solas, Cara Dillon, Tanglefoot… Annual folk festival held on an 8.5 acre site next to Southwell Workhouse, Southwell (near Nottingham)

Blissfields (£60) – 4-5th July Roni Size Reprazent, The Whip, The Wonder Stuff, The Noisettes, The Rumble Strips… Good mix of indie and dance music. Held at the Matterley Bowl, near Winchester.

The Hop Farm Festival

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(£49.50) – 6th July Neil Young, Primal Scream, Supergrass, My Morning Jacket, Rufus Wainwright… Held in 400 acres of unspoilt Kent countryside, The Hop Farm (near Tonbridge) is popular tourist attraction. The day promises to be a great one.

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GoldCoast Oceanfest (£27) – 20-22nd June Fusion of ocean sports and music, headlined by the original muso-surfer Donavon Frankenreiter. Located on the beack at Goldcoast, North Devon.

Projekt Revolution 2008 (£45) – 29th June Linkin Park, Jay Z, NERD, Pendulum… Annual tour headlined by Linkin Park - possible collaboration between them and Jay-Z. Held at Milton Keynes Bowl.

(£39) – 11-12th July Art Brut, Reuben, The Duke Spirit, These New Puritans, Future Of The Left, Imperial Leisure… One of the better cheap festivals this summer. Has an ethical twist and great lineup, held near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Kendal Calling (£55) – 1-3rd August British Sea Power, Dizzee Rascal, Beardyman, Mystery Jets, The Long Blondes… Wholly independent festival held in the Lake District. Includes beer tents, marquees, and more.

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Life’s essentials: wellington boots are an integral part of the festival furniture Y-Not Festival

Sanctuary Festival

Stonehenge

(£36) – 1-3rd August Frank Turner, Hijak Oscar, Mystery Jets, Black Alley Screens, King Furnace… Small, independent and intimate festival held near Matlock, Derbyshire.

(£60) – 8-9th August Andy C, LTJ Bukem, Darren Styles, Hixxy, DJ Hype… The Slammin’ Vinyl-run festival is one of the UK’s most prominent hard-dance weekends, at Matterley Bowl, near Winchester Ticket prices will steadily increase.

20th/21st June Summer solstice. Access to the stones starts around 8.30pm on 20th June and goes to 8am on 21st June. Sunrise expected at 4.45am.

Live at Loch Lomond (£45 per day) – 2-3rd August Groove Armada (live), Sex Pistols, Audio Bullys, Ocean Colour Scene, Idlewild… Held at Balloch Castle Country Park on the shores of Loch Lomond

Rip Curl Boardmasters Unleashed (£55) – 8-9th August Gallows, Mystery Jets, Sam Isaac, The Ghost Of A Thousand, Johnny Truant… One of Europe’s biggest surf, skate and music festivals, held on a cliff-edge overlooking Watergate Bay (near Fistral Beach, Cornwall).

Get Loaded in the Park (£35) – 24th August Iggy & the Stooges, Supergrass, Gogol Bordello, The Hives, The Holloways… For the fifth year running, Get Loaded in the Park is held in Clapham Common, London.

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Green Man Fayre 2008 (£45) – 15-17th August Line-up to be confirmed. Mini green gathering on a farm in Suffolk, East Anglia. Includes a masked ball evening, costume competition.

Pontardawe Festival 2008 (£60) – 15-17th August Berroguetto, Hotel Palindrone, Transglobal Underground… Celebration of world music and dance in Swansea, Wales.

Free

Some of the freebies are certainly worth keeping your eyes on. Some are full weekends and others are one-day festivals, but all promise some serious fun whilst keeping the wallet plump.

Brightlingsea Music Fest 2008 1-3rd July Salt Dog, Newtown Kings, The Brew, The Lightyears… Featuring local artists alongside nationally known artists and held at Brightlingsea in East Anglia.

Coventry Godiva Festival 4-6th July Claims to be the Midlands biggest free, three-day festival.

Rise Festival 13th July One-day anti-racism festival held in Finsbury Park, London. Jimmy Cliff is a rumour.

H2008: Beached 2008 14-17th August Acts to be confirmed Small, chilled festival located at South Bay beach in Scarborough. No ticket is required.

Summer 08 23/05/2008 11:25:45


‘York St John has everything you will ever need for being a student here‘

Y

ork St John University really is a special place to live and learn. Founded in 1841, York St John has a long and proud tradition in educating students. Its campus is just a stone’s throw from the bustling and vibrant city centre of York and our students love the fact that everything is on one site. A major investment of £50 million in recent years has seen the development of cuttingedge buildings and facilities and we have more student accommodation coming online this autumn. As a relatively small university, we get to know our students well and work hard to help you realise your own potential. Treating you as an individual is at the heart of what we do here.

student at York St John are the constant buzzing atmosphere on campus, the enthusiastic staff and the nightly entertainment in the Students’ Union – they cater for everyone! Being a campus university, York St John has everything you will ever need for being a student here, all on one site. Since the day I arrived the tutors and lecturing staff have been extremely supportive and they work hard to help you to succeed. York is a beautiful, historical city offering everything from awesome nightlife to excellent shopping and sightseeing. The city is quite compact so everything from the smaller, quirky shops to the large high street shops and supermarkets are all within walking distance from the campus. I have loved every minute of my experience at York St John and I am overwhelmed by how many people I have met, not just from around the country but also from around the world.”

Charlie Hadden, Year 3, English Language & Linguistics student says: “The best things about being a

Listen up! We’re offering a unique opportunity to gain a degree in Music Video Production, thanks to our partnership with the Manchester-based School of Sound Recording.You’ll learn all there is to know about both subjects, to ensure you’re fully prepared and ready for the real world of work in the audio/video industry.We’re the only University in the UK offering this amazing 2 year FdSc or 3 year BSc. So, if you love all things music, get your place sorted! To find out more come and see us at one of our

Open Days 16th and 17th August. To book your place visit:

www.bolton.ac.uk/opendays or call 01204 903903

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work experience

Standing out

There are few better ways to provide the solid foundations for a career than by getting some work experience under your belt. But be prudent with your choice: some really aren’t worth the time or effort

Two steps forward: work experience gives better career direction

T

he summer is a time of adventure: a chance for you to step into some new shoes and try something a bit different. While the emphasis may be on sun, sea and sand, it is certainly worth you spending some time thinking ahead to see how you can better secure that spot at university. Amidst the thousands of applications received by universities each year, admissions tutors will be looking for the ones that really stand out. Bear in mind that, particularly with the more prestigious institutions, merely having the right A Level results may not be enough. They will be looking for the few that have gone one step further and proved that they are

operates; and proof that you have the ability, independence and drive to organise and follow through with the tasks set. This will provide a solid foundation - or indeed feed directly into – your personal statement. This will be especially important if you are applying to a course with a strong vocational emphasis, such as Law. While the majority of students get their share of legal experience during their degree (it is now almost a precondition for applying for jobs), those who can turn up for a university interview with experience already in the bag stand a much better chance of securing the degree place in the first instance than those who don’t. Your careers adviser at school will be a good point of

“Prestigious universities will be looking for the few that have gone one step further to prove that they are proactive students” proactive students with a real passion for their course. This will apply equally once the student has graduated from university: with so many people gaining degrees nowadays, employers are desperately seeking that little bit more that makes the application jump out from the page.

Solid foundations

Perhaps the best way of doing this is to show proof of relevant work experience in your application letter. The attributes gained during placements, voluntary work or internships are just what admissions tutors will be looking for: a commitment to the subject; knowledge of the particular field; experience of how it

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contact for organising work experience of any sort, and can direct on what would be the most suitable preparation for your chosen degree.

Robust expectations

Be careful however that you secure a place that will benefit you more than the employee, and not the other way round. Remember that you will most likely be working for free – essentially giving up your spare time for no financial gain – so the experience must be worth it. Often students walk into a placement without properly researching the tasks they will be doing, and too often are given mundane jobs which do nothing to prepare them for their

chosen course. Be robust in your expectations – you are there to gain experience in relevant work, not in making tea and photocopying files. The Prospects job website (www.prospects. co.uk) ran a survey to find what people thought defined quality work experience. The answers hold some good clues as to what school students should expect from their placements: l the student should know how to identify potential learning outcomes; l objectives are set (by employer and student); l supervision is by a supervisor trained in the objectives and learning outcomes of work experience; l regular feedback is given; l an appraisal is given during the work experience and at the end; l where appropriate, a project is undertaken; l learning and achievements are articulated by the student in written form; l an assessment is made, including an assessment of development of skills (by employer and student); l recognition, credit or a certificate is awarded. The key is to ensure that you are properly supervised, and not just left flapping, and that there is some concise feedback on your time there. This will help to demonstrate to admissions tutors that you have the qualities to work in the field. Finally, make sure you keep in touch with the company you worked for – you never know when they might come knocking on your door with a fistful of cash and a job offer.

Summer 08 23/05/2008 11:27:33


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Cardiff • Pontypridd • Caerdydd

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finance

Money maker

University can be tough on the wallet, but there are a few hidden secrets that students should know about

S

tudent life and poverty are inextricably linked. One wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that students are perhaps the worst species when it comes to budgeting: despite being gifted with a fairly hefty loan, money is whittled away at the rate of a collapsing bank and, before they know it, it’s back to the parents with cupped hands, an empty stomach and cries for help.

Free money?

But, the stricken ones out there can be supported from a few different sources. First, there is the shameful option of asking for more money, also known as grants, loans, overdrafts or credit cards. These can be risky, given that the old mantra of ‘what goes around, comes around’ can certainly be applied here. But they are worth mentioning nonetheless. Perhaps the king of all freebies is the Access to Learning Fund. Apply to your university with a winning sob story and proof of dire financial circumstances, and you could bag yourself anything from £400 to £1,000, and not need to pay back a penny, ever. Each year the government sets aside a certain amount of money to help students through those tough university times, and almost everyone is entitled to it providing your expenditure is greater than any income. According to the website, the Fund “ultimately works to prevent any student from having to leave university due to financial problems,” and all you need to qualify is to be a UK student studying at least 50 per cent of a full-time undergraduate or post-graduate course.

Another surprisingly convenient source of income at university is psychology tests. These aren’t the medical tests one hear horrors about on the news, but instead more benign guinea pig work for Masters and PhD psychology students. Often, at the beginning of the first year, you are asked whether you’d like to be added to a contact list for psychology tests. Some are paid, some are not. The tests can be anything from examining behavioural patterns

“Flyering is about as flexible as part-time work can get, and is a good way of wangling cheap, even free, entry into clubs as well” There also exists the little gem known as a hardship loan, available to students who have already received the first instalment of their student loan (providing it is the maximum amount they are eligible for) and then find themselves in difficulty. You can make one application during your academic year, one month before the end of that year. Loans range from £100 to £500 but, unlike the Access to Learning Fund, this needs to be paid back in full.

20 18-20.indd 20

amongst smokers, to checking whether food and drink ingredients have an impact on mood. The latter in particular can kill two birds with one stone, effectively paying you to eat. Like pubs, books and parties, flyerers are an integral part of the campus furniture nowadays. Heading into the library or bar you’ll no doubt have to run the gauntlet of bored faces thrusting little coloured scraps of paper into your hand promoting the latest club night in town. They can be aggressive or charming,

and have a resilience which means they’ll stay until the bitter end; until the sun sets and the last student has gone. So, if you can’t beat them, join them. Flyering is about as flexible as part-time work can get, and it’s a good way of wangling cheap entry into clubs as well.

Multi-task

But if the idea of standing outside in the bitter cold watching people filing past you doesn’t tick the right boxes, then look elsewhere. Campus bars and shops will be on the lookout for students to work part-time shifts, and they’ll no doubt be within crawling distance from your accommodation or lecture halls. Make sure you get in there early, however, as competition will be no less than stiff. It is important not to let a job hinder your studies in any way. If you are working for a bit of extra cash, and feel that energy is being diverted from your degree or social time, then consider whether there are other routes available. The grants and loans outlined above exist to serve this very purpose, so don’t feel bad about making full use of them.

Summer 08 23/05/2008 11:27:53


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21/05/2008 10:48:45


admissions tests

How to take the Applicants to some of the UK’s leading universities may now have to sit admissions tests. Cambridge Assessment’s SUKI GAHIR outlines its portfolio of tests and answers some frequently asked questions

T

he increasing numbers of wellqualified students applying to our universities presents these institutions with a real challenge: how can they choose between applicants in a way that is consistent, fair, and predictive of their future academic success? To support universities in this task, and to help widen participation in higher education, a number of university admissions tests are already in use, and others are in development. Cambridge Assessment has been providing research-led and evidence-based solutions for major higher education institutions for over 20 years and is currently developing and delivering carefully-targeted admissions tests. The tests that are in use now have been developed gradually and carefully over the years; with intensive research continuously supporting the development process. Our work is conditioned by a set of criteria which emphasises the integrity of the design, operation, administration and evaluation of our admissions tests. Cambridge Assessment is currently responsible for delivering the following suite of tests: l Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) at the University of Oxford l Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) at the University of Cambridge l English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT) l BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) l Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP) Mathematics

THINKING SKILLS ASSESSMENT (TSA) OXFORD Students applying to the University of Oxford to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) (course code L0V0) or Economics and Management (E&M) (course code LN12) will be required to take a pre-interview admissions test this autumn. The University of Oxford receives a high number of applications for the above courses and these are growing annually. Admissions decisions are complex because candidates come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and the study of PPE or E&M requires a range of abilities.

22

The Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) will help tutors to assess whether candidates have the skills and aptitudes that are required to study PPE or E&M.

What does it cost?

What is the Thinking Skills Assessment?

Candidates will not be charged an entry fee for taking TSA in November 2008. It is important to note that some open centres may charge a small administrative fee for organising and administering the test on behalf of their external candidates.

The Thinking Skills Assessment for the University of Oxford consists of two components:

Where can I find out more about the TSA?

Section 1: Aptitude and Skills is a 90-minute multiplechoice component, which includes 50 questions designed to measure a candidate’s problem solving techniques (reasoning using numerical and spatial skills) and critical thinking (reasoning using everyday written language). Section 2: The Writing Task is a 30-minute task giving a candidate the opportunity to show that they can communicate effectively in writing, through organising their ideas and presenting them clearly and concisely to examiners.

When does it take place? This year’s TSA will take place on Wednesday 5th November 2008 on the same day as some other admissions tests such as the English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT) and the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT).

Where do candidates take the test? Typically, candidates sit the test at their school or college; however, Cambridge Assessment also hosts an extensive network of open centres in the UK and overseas, where candidates can register for and sit the test if their schools or colleges do not have the facilities in place to administer the test.

How do I register my candidates? Although it is ultimately a candidate’s responsibility to make sure s/he is registered for the TSA, it is the school or college’s responsibility to make the entry on their behalf. Entries are made via an easy-to-use, secure online system that is accessible to centres only. Entries will be accepted from 1st July 2008 onwards.

There is a dedicated website which provides more information about the TSA being used by the University of Oxford. This also provides guidance for centres and candidates alike, as well as specimen test materials for practice purposes. website: www.tsa. cambridgeassessment.org.uk email: tsainfo@ cambridgeassessment.org.uk

THINKING SKILLS ASSESSMENT (TSA) CAMBRIDGE The University of Cambridge has been using the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) designed, developed and extensively researched by Cambridge Assessment since 2001. The TSA is a multiple-choice test consisting of 50 questions. These measure an applicant’s critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Who has to take it? It is anticipated that approximately 27 of the 29 Cambridge Colleges will use the TSA as part of their admissions process in the November/December 2008 interviews. They will only do so for some subjects (mainly computer science, natural sciences, engineering and economics). To find out whether you will need to take the TSA you are advised to look at the exact entry requirements for a particular course at a Cambridge College, by referring to the University of Cambridge Undergraduate Prospectus 08/09, or by contacting Cambridge Admissions Office.

How do applicants register to take the test? Applicants do not need to do anything in terms of registering for the test, as Cambridge Colleges will notify applicants of all admissions requirements. If the test is

Summer 08

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21/05/2008 12:25:59


admissions tests

admissions tests of Oxford, early in 2006 with a request to collaborate in the development of a new pre-interview admissions test for applicants to undergraduate courses in English.

What is ELAT? The ELAT is designed to enable applicants to show their ability in the key skill of close reading, paying attention to language, imagery, allusion, syntax and form, and to the verbal, formal, and structural elements of texts. It assesses how far students have developed this understanding and, with it, the ability to shape and articulate an informed response to unfamiliar literary material. The test is designed to be accessible to all students in their last year of pre-university literary study. It is important to stress that this is not a test of wide reading, nor is it based on the assumption that there are certain texts that all students should have read by this stage in their education. Marks will not be awarded for references to other texts or authors, nor will candidates be expected to try to apply any theoretical frameworks to their essay.

Who has to take ELAT? All students applying to read English Language & Literature (Q300), English & Modern Languages (TQ93) and Classics & English (QQ38 and QQH8) at the University of Oxford are required to take the ELAT.

When does it take place? This year’s ELAT will take place on Wednesday 5th November 2008.

Where do candidates take the test? to be taken, the test will be administered at the Cambridge College when the applicant attends for interview (except in the case of overseas applicants in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Singapore, when Colleges will inform them of arrangements if the test is required).

How can I find out more about the TSA?

What format does the test take?

ENGLISH LITERATURE ADMISSIONS TEST (ELAT)

The TSA is available as a pen and paper or online test. Cambridge Colleges will choose the form in which they wish to administer the test. The test will, in all cases, be administered under examination conditions, with an invigilator present. Calculators may not be used.

A full test specification guide and practice materials are available on the TSA website (www.tsa.cambridgeassessment.org.uk) to enable applicants to familiarise themselves with the test format.

One of the latest developments is the English Literature Admissions Test (ELAT) produced on behalf of the University of Oxford. Cambridge Assessment was approached by the Faculty of English at the University

Typically, candidates sit the ELAT at their school or college; however, Cambridge Assessment also hosts an extensive network of open centres in the UK and overseas, where candidates can register for and sit the ELAT if their schools or colleges do not have the facilities in place to administer the test.

What does it cost? Candidates will not be charged an entry fee for taking ELAT in November 2008. Please note, however, that some open centres may charge a small administrative fee for organising and administering the ELAT on behalf of external candidates. This administrative fee normally covers the cost of invigilation, despatch costs and room hire, where applicable.

Summer 08 22-25 Cam Asses.indd 23

23 21/05/2008 10:43:14


admissions tests Where can I find out more about ELAT?

Where do candidates take the test?

The ELAT has a dedicated website and support team.

Typically, candidates sit the BMAT at their school or college; however, Cambridge Assessment also hosts an extensive network of open centres in the UK and overseas, where candidates can register for and sit the BMAT if their schools or colleges do not have the facilities to administer the test.

website: www.elat.org.uk email: elatinfo@ cambridgeassessment.org.uk

06

BIOMEDICAL ADMISSIONS TEST (BMAT) Cambridge Assessment is also responsible for the development and administration of the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT), which is taken by students applying to some of the UK’s leading medical and veterinary institutions.

What is BMAT?

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The BMAT is a two-hour, pen and paper admissions test consisting of three sections: Section 1 - Aptitude and Skills (60-minute multiple-choice paper testing thinking skills); Section 2 - Scientific Knowledge and Application (30-minute multiple-choice paper testing maths and scientific understanding); and Section 3 - Writing Task (30-minute paper asking candidates to write a single-side of A4 in response to one of three questions).

What does it cost? The BMAT entry fee is £31.00 within the UK, and £54.00 elsewhere for entries registered up to Tuesday 30th September. Late entries will be accepted up to Wednesday 15th October and will be subject to late entry fees. An entry made between 30th September and 15th October will be charged at £62.00 within the UK and £108.00 elsewhere. Centres will be invoiced following the late entry closing date.

How can I find out more? The BMAT has a website and a dedicated support team. website: www.bmat.org.uk email: bmatinfo@ cambridgeassessment.org.uk

When does it take place? This year’s BMAT will take place on Wednesday 5th November 2008.

Who should take the test?

SIXTH TERM EXAMINATION PAPER (STEP) MATHEMATICS

Only candidates who are applying in the 2008/09 admissions cycle for entry to a university in autumn 2009 should be allowed to take the test. The universities take an unfavourable view of candidates who are taking the test only for practice purposes.

STEP is a well-established Mathematics university admissions test, which is used to help to select very academically able students for courses which are usually oversubscribed. STEP was originally administered by OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations).

BMAT is taken by students applying to some of the UK’s leading medical and veterinary institutions

Who has to take the BMAT?

A student applying to any of the following courses must take the BMAT:

Who has to take the BMAT?

Institution Course code(s) A student applying to any of the following courses must take the The Royal Veterinary College BMAT: Imperial College London

Institution University College London The Royalof Veterinary College University Cambridge Imperial College London University of Oxford

D100, D101 A100, B900, B901, BB29, BB2X Course code(s) A100 D100, D101 A100, A101, D100 A100 A100, B100

University College London

A100

Failure to of register for and sit theA100, BMATA101, couldD100 result in an unsuccessful University Cambridge application a candidate’s chosen university. University of to Oxford A100, B10

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However with effect from 2008 STEP has been transferred from OCR to its parent Cambridge Assessment, which has a specialist team that manages assessments relating specifically to university entrance.

Who has to take STEP? The University of Cambridge uses STEP as a post-interview test, with the results included as part of an applicant’s conditional offer for all Mathematics courses. The University of Warwick also includes STEP in its under-graduate offers; the University of Bristol, the University of Oxford and Imperial College London all encourage applicants to take the papers.

When does it take place? STEP is taken at the end of the A levels period so typically at the end of June.

When and how can candidates be entered for STEP? Traditionally centres have registered candidates for STEP using processes set out by OCR and in line with GCSE and GCE entries. Please note that this has now changed. The procedure for STEP operates in much the same way that candidates are registered for tests such as BMAT and ELAT. Entries for STEP must be made using a secure online entries system.

Where can I find out more about STEP?

Failure to register for and sit the BMAT could result in an unsuccessful application to a candidate’s chosen university.

24

STEP has a dedicated website, which provides further information about the test, administration guidelines, as well as specimen materials for practice purposes. website: www.stepmathematics.org.uk email: stepinfo@cambridgeassessment.org.uk

Summer 08

the papers to Cambridge Assessment for marking.

22-25 Cam Asses.indd 24

should e-mail bmatinfo@ cambridgeassessment.org.uk

21/05/2008 10:43:31


admissions tests ADMISSIONS TESTS

Key Dates for Key Dates for BMAT, ELAT and ELAT BMAT TSA at and Oxford 14 September September 19 28 September

Last date date for Last for requests request for for modified modified question papers(e.g. (e.g.Braille Brailleorofenlarged). enlarged) question papers Standard entry closing date.

30 11 September October

Standard Last date entry for lateclosing entriesdate (subject to penalty fees).

15 31 October October

Last late entries (subject to penalty fees) Test date takesfor place. No entries will be accepted after this date

5 November

Test takes place

30 November

No entries will be accepted after this date.

Results released to centres and candidates.*

* Results for BMAT will be released in the format of a Statement of Result and explanatory notes leaflet per candidate

Contact details: Contact details: BMAT ELAT website: www.bmat.org.uk, email: bmatinfo@cambridgeassessment.org.uk website: www.elat.org.uk, email: elatinfo@cambridgeassessment.org.uk ELAT website: www.elat.org.uk, email: elatinfo@cambridgeassessment.org.uk

BMAT TSA website: www.tsa.cambridgeassessment.org.uk, tsainfo@cambridgeassessment.org.uk website: www.bmat.org.uk, email: email: bmatinfo@cambridgeassessment.org.uk Summer 08 22-25 Cam Asses.indd 25

25

STEP UP 107

21/05/2008 10:43:44


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gap year

Rewarding experience in Bolivia

working holidays

Make the most of your time out from studies with BUNAC’s wide range of exciting work and volunteer programmes. With the benefit of BUNAC’s support, you’ll be able to gain work experience while exploring another country. Taking part in a BUNAC programme also looks great on your CV!

Lucy Taylor was wondering what to do with her 3 months off over summer. “All of my friends were planning holidays to Kavos and Marbella but I wanted to do something different with my summer. I decided to make the most of my free time by joining Twin Work and Volunteers programme volunteering in a children’s home in Bolivia. The experience was like no other and opened my eyes to a different way of life that I was not at all accustomed to. Every morning I would go to the children’s home and do activities with the children. These ranged from helping them brush their teeth to painting and playing games like hide and seek or reading the children stories. The experience was a very rewarding one as I was able to help people as well as learn about another culture whilst surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen.� www.workandvolunteer.com

Work and travel for up to twelve months in Canada, Australia or South Africa or, up to two years in New Zealand Volunteer or teach in Ghana, South Africa, Costa Rica, Peru, Cambodia, China or the USA Summer camp jobs in the US on Summer Camp USA For further information or to download an application form, please visit the BUNAC website.

www.bunac.org/navigator

TM

Tel: 020 7251 3472 E-mail: enquiries@bunac.org.uk

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gap year

Up close and personal: working with wild animals is one of many activities one can do abroad

Far flung jaunts Your brain will no doubt be saturated after 14 straight years in education. Step back and take a year out: you’ll have time to think about your future, and get to experience the world beyond your doorstep

A

about a gap year is the ability to “road-test” a career. “You can find out what you want to do through work experience, and then pick a course according to that.” Many who are set on travelling work for a few months after school has finished to save up money for their trip. “The whole process, from earning money to supporting yourself is very satisfying – you’ve essentially ‘earned’ your trip,” says Tom. If students have an idea in mind of what

ll pupils go through school with a juicy carrot dangling in front of their face. For some, the incentive for finishing A Levels is the sheer realisation that they’ll never have to walk those corridors again. For them, pure freedom is juicy enough. Others, however, have another plan up their sleeve. It can take some serious preparation, and some serious money scrounging, but my god it’s worth it.

Tom Griffiths, founder of gapyear.com, believes the industry is booming, and now has something to cater for all: “It has undoubtedly diversified. Ten years ago the main focus was on backpacking, with a handful of people doing voluntary work. Nowadays there’s a massive industry for ‘voluntourism’ – people can do more or less do anything.” The benefits of taking a year out after school are multiple. Students can spend the

Booming industry

”The whole process, from earning money to supporting yourself, is very satisfying - you’ve essentially ‘earned’ your trip”

Gap year travels are becoming increasingly popular among those in the sandwich period between the end of school and the beginning of the next stage in their lives. Where even ten years ago, only the most daring and privileged would consider leaving the nest for longer than a break, nowadays your average swot (230,000 of them each year!) can be found clambering over Mayan ruins in Guatemala, and swanning off for nine months with no word to the parents. Indeed the UK gap year industry is now so huge it is thought to be worth £2.2bn.

time how they like, whether in work, doing an apprenticeship, internship, or travelling. Either way, it gives some time to step back from life and figure out what it is that they want from it. After all, 12 straight years in education leaves students gasping for a break. And with so much time on their hands, they can experiment with a number of things, even a combination of the four mentioned above. According to Tom, one of the great things

they want to study at university it would be good to get some experience in this before leaving; and if it pays, all the better. Doing so will greatly benefit the degree and will show an initiative that will appeal to future employers. As well as the obvious taste of freedom - and the opportunity to sample an array of different cultures, climates, and activities travelling can also give people some time to

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gap year

decide what to study at university, or even whether university is the right thing for them. “People also find their interests develop whilst they are away and quite often they change their university course once they return. Universities do value gappers, and statistically less of them drop out in their first year of university than those who haven’t been away,” says Tom.

First experience

Gap year travels can be one of the most rewarding periods of ones life. For the majority of travellers, it is a first for many experiences: the first good stint away from home and free of the parents, the first time they’ll “live” abroad; and perhaps the first time they can fully immerse themselves in a culture and society other than their own. While some people purely travel, moving from one place to another and sampling the different delights that each has to offer, others may end up living in one place for a while and working. The work can either be to make money, such as bar or office work - in which case they should have a decent grasp of the native language and correct visa – or it can be one of the many community or environmentrelated projects on offer abroad. These can be rewarding, provided the right one is chosen. “There are two models to such organisations: charitable and commercial. In truth many of the commercial organisations are more charitable than those passing themselves off as charities. The crucial thing before you agree to volunteer with anyone is to find out exactly where the money goes,” says Tom. Perhaps the most effective way of getting involved in a project is to wait until arrival in their country of choice and spend time speaking to locals and researching on the ground. They may come across a local, grassroots group who will welcome them with open arms and scoff at the idea of charging for their help. However, be aware of the level of safety and efficiency – these are the key to successful volunteering. Another way to fill the year out is by doing an apprenticeship. Four words: get paid to learn. It’s that simple. Statistically, less than six per cent of gap year students actually travel – the vast majority stay at home and gain work experience. And apprenticeships are like gold dust for people wanting to combine education with a bit of income, particularly if they have a clear idea of a role that would interest them. The year out after school would be a good time to complete an apprenticeship, giving both time to decide whether they’d like to go back into education after the apprenticeship, or to determine whether they’ve found their making.

28 27-30.indd 28

Eye candy: striking sights are in abundance when travelling Similar, though perhaps not as hands-on as apprenticeships, a stint as an intern in an attractive looking role would be a great way to fill some of those empty months, and looks fantastic on a CV.

Life skills

“Relevant experience in a gap year demonstrates focus to admissions tutors and/ or future employers, and they really value the

office administration tasks: it depends on the organisation and the type of work they do. Students should check carefully what sort of work they’ll be doing before they accept an offer, and try and gear their choices so that they tie in with their ideas for university or a future career. Importantly, time out after school should give some space to think about what students want to spend the next few years of their life

“The crucial thing before you agree to volunteer with a charitable organisation is to find out exactly where your money is going” skills learned: initiative; communication and decision making skills. And, of course, that they’ve made proactive decisions in terms of raising money and taking themselves off. Admissions tutors need to see someone that stands out from the crowd,” says Tom. Hundreds of industries out there are always looking for young people to work for free: it is a gift to them. Some will offer creative input while others will lump the intern with

doing. It is important to enjoy the freedom but remember that it could get tedious if it goes on too long, so start to think of ways to fill it. It is a particularly good period if applicants haven’t been accepted on a university or college course and need some new strategies. They can withdraw their application and re-apply the following year; fresh from whatever they’ve filled that period doing. With any luck they’ll be tanned, wide-eyed and ever the wiser.

Summer Summer 08 08 23/05/2008 11:49:49


gap year

Four continents Travelling doesn’t have to be all play, play, play. If you need to do something a bit more constructive with your time, there are plenty of opportunites to volunteer abroad. Here, we offer you a little taster USA www.ccusa.com

The American Summer Camp tradition started in 1861 and today over 12,000 summer camps cater to over 10 million children. These camps exist in beautiful, rural areas typically next to a lake or pool. They have large sports fields, cabins, dining halls, an arts/crafts building, camp fires and a whole lot more. David King, 25, has been four times as a Camp Counsellor through CCUSA: “I went right after my A Levels. I didn’t really want to go straight to university and liked the idea of going away for a bit beforehand. It was a huge challenge – I had never really been away from home on my own before and I absolutely adored it.”

Thailand - Elephant rescue www.thepodsite.co.uk

PoD offers various volunteer prgrammes all over the world. The Thailand Elephant rescue centre gives refuge to domesticated elephants that have been roaming the streets of Bangkok and other cities, in an environment as close to nature as possible. The experience is fantastic, as told by Nina : “The centre is amazing, and is situated on such a beautiful location. The elephants were so much fun to work with, it’s so good to see animals that have had such a bad time finally be happy.”

Australia www.lattitude.org.uk

Poolside at CCUSA South Africa www.worktravelsa.org

The Addo National Park lies deep within the shadows of the dense valley bushveld of the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape, in South Africa. Here, the evenings are punctuated by the strident howl of the black-backed jackal, and the francolin’s call heralds each new dawn. Safe from relentless persecution in the past, the African Elephants of the bush now roam in peace. Charlene Southon spent 12 weeks there in July 2007: “There are many animals all around, including black rhino, lion, leopard and zebra. You are doing hands-on work helping the environment. It has definitely changed the path of my career.

Lattitude Global Volunteering is an organisation with attitude, passionately concerned about the world and the issues facing us all. Above all, it is concerned about having a positive impact on the communities in which they volunteer. Georgina Hilliard from London volunteered with Lattitude in Australia last year before embarking on her degree in Edinburgh. Georgina’s placement was at a school in Queensland - an experience she found immensely rewarding: “I was placed in a school by myself - a prospect I initially found scary. I needn’t have worried though as I settled straight in and it was the best thing I have ever done. My self-confidence grew enormously during my months in Australia, and I learned as much about myself as I did about the country. It is certainly one of the best experiences of my life and I would recommend it to anyone!”

Running with Lattitude

South America – Costa Rica www.projects-abroad.co.uk

Elephants in Thayang, Thailand

Costa Rica is a relatively prosperous Central American country. It has long been a popular location for North Americans, but with its incredibly varied eco-systems and progressive attitudes to conservation Costa Rica is also becoming increasingly popular as a global tourist destination. Projects Abroad’s volunteer teaching projects in Costa Rica are based in primary schools and universities in and around the pleasant town of Liberia in the north-west of the country. Caitlin Main spent 12 weeks on a teaching programme there: “It has been an absolutely amazing experience and I am very sad to now be home! It was the perfect match between helping the community, meeting locals, making friends with other volunteers and seeing incredible rainforests and beaches!” “Meeting my family for the first time was very nerve wracking but they were so welcoming to me and I was so sad to leave them when I left. My experience was made all the more memorable because of the relationship I had with them and the other volunteers. I have realised what the important things are in life and not to be so interested in material things.”

Summer 08 27-30.indd 29

29 23/05/2008 11:34:24


gap year

Finger snappy: eager travellers can help to create a photographic database of wild animals

Unbeaten tracks Bored of hearing about the same old gap year projects? A wealth of alternative opportunities exist to step outside the box a bit and try your hand at something different, all featured on gapyear.com Train as a snowsports instructor

What: If you prefer the slopes to the office, and you’d rather travel to work by chair-lift than by tube, why not take some time out to train for one of the gnarliest careers there is? Where: Courses in Canada are very popular, but you can train across Europe and New Zealand and even in South America. How: Instructor courses are run all over Europe. They’ll improve your technique and teach you coaching, first aid and mountain awareness skills. At the end, you’ll need to pass instructor exams. Who: Ski Le Gap 0800 328 0345 www.gapyear.com/plan/ski_snowboard_ chalet_work

Conservation through photography

What: Play your part in a general conservation effort by helping to create a photographic database of the animals in an African national park. Your work will be used to help educate local communities, and could end up being published in magazines and books. Where: St. Lucia is situated within the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, South Africa’s first Natural World Heritage Site. How: This is a very specific project. UK volunteers are organised by a company called African Impact.

30 27-30.indd 30

Who: African Impact 0871 720 5439 www.gapyear.com/plan/volunteering/ conservation/african/3284

Martial Arts Academy

What: Head out to Asia and train in a range of traditional martial arts, including Muay Thai (Thai boxing), Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Karate, Wu Shu and so forth. You live in an academy, often alongside Buddhist monks. Where: Predominantly in China or Thailand, depending on the martial art. How: If you’re a confident traveller with a decent grasp of the language, it is possible to arrange this sort of experience once you’re in the country in question. As ever though, there are also a number of companies who can sort it out for you before you leave. Who: Real Sport Experience 0845 344 7637 www.gapyear.com/plan/volunteering/ sports/martial_arts/4714

Carnival preparation in Rio

What: The biggest party on Earth doesn’t just happen spontaneously, it takes planning and plenty of work. Uncool, but true. This is your chance to get involved. Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. How: The carnival happens in February, so get yourself there beforehand. You’re not allowed to get paid for work in Brazil, so look for

volunteering opportunities. A company called i-to-i offer an organised carnival volunteer placement. Who: i-to-i 0845 344 7592 www.gapyear.com/plan/volunteering/ community_projects/cultural_ development/3017

Train as a Safari Ranger

What: You live in a national park and receive daily lessons on various aspects of the job; from identifying animals, trees and plants to 4x4 driving and use of a firearm. Where: Most of the courses are based in South Africa, but there are also a number in Botswana and Namibia. How: There are loads of different options available and companies that organise them. Remember that this is a professional qualification and not a holiday, so make sure you will be properly accredited. The most widely accepted qualifications are from the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA). Who: Pathfinders 0871 205 439 www.gapyear.com/plan/work_experience_ study_languages/skills_qualifications/ bush_skills/3210

Summer 08 23/05/2008 11:34:48


Not just an average tourist Rich Hartley jetted off to Kenya with Changing Worlds in September 2007. We all had an amazing time. We were well looked after by Karanja our representative. We lived in a home stay in Nakuru. The house was worlds apart to England. We ran out of water a few times, but you can buy bottled water and believe me you can get used to a cold shower and you will start to enjoy it. . The school is a shock, no electricity, extremely basic, but you are surrounded by all these smiling children saying “How are you?” “Mzungu” Megan and I decided that besides the teaching we would organise re-laying the floors in 27 classrooms and corridors, and mend all the blackboards! Off we (with one of the local teachers) went to a little local shop to buy the cement, the shopkeeper couldn’t believe his ears at how much we wanted, and because of what it was for he reduced the price for us! We got the water

down the road, 4 barrels at a time carried on a donkey! The workman agreed to work from 8-5pm Monday to Saturday and even one Sunday! This was in about 30 degree heat all day and for such a cheap price! It was all so good to see as everyone passing the school they looked so happy at what these volunteers had come to do, and that we were not just an average tourist! The workman all had children at the school or had gone there themselves so were extremely happy to help. I am going back to Kenya this year, to teach and see my kids, and to hear if they have got into high school.

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23/05/2008 12:25:14


interview slug

all you need is lovve Those of you with a penchant for hard, fast, frenetic, yet highly melodic and listenable music should look no further than Nottingham four-piece The Lovvers, who are currently ripping up stages across the country 1) You’ve just been signed to Wichita Recordings, home of established stalwarts My Morning Jacket,Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Bloc Party. Is there a point in an artists career when they realise they’ve ‘made it’, and could this be yours?

Looking at my bank account, this is not the moment - but it is a big step for us and we are super excited that our record will be released all over the place because Wichita is a really good label!

2) You all seem like pretty chilled guys until handed a mic, guitar and drum sticks.

32 32-33.indd 32

Where does the energy come from?

I like the way you miss out the bass player in your list, because he’s not very energetic, but off the stage he is a total nutter! Our energy is a combination of sitting around in the van all day with nothing to do, with Shaun on the Taurine. And of course it’s exciting to get up on stage in front of people and not be boring.

3) Live, you’re nothing short of ferocious. How good does it feel to put your all into a show and come out knowing the crowd loved it?

It feels very good, but mostly because it’s not every night that you come off the stage feeling like that.

4) You’ve played a fair few gigs where your sound is a far cry from other bands on the bill. Is this to give the crowd an eclectic experience?

We just want to play to a lot of different types of people and audience, and play a range of venues and bills, and this is our best way to achieve that

5) You’ve had your praises sung by, amongst others, Vice and Drowned in Sound – surely two of the key reference points for emerging talent. Are things moving pretty quickly for you guys?

Summer 08 23/05/2008 15:27:50


interview slug

We’ve played about 150 gigs in the last two years, so I wouldn’t say things have moved that quickly - we haven’t even left the British Isles yet! Maybe things are moving on a bit more and we can go somewhere exciting later this year.

6) One reviewer describes you as “straddling the curious middle ground between arthouse cred and noisesome hardcore”. What happened to the days when The Beatles were pop, Zeppelin were rock and there was no grey matter in between? About 40 years have happened since then! Cordless phones, the fall of the Berlin Wall, fold-up bicycles, and a lot of shit bands. Even in those days there were some experimental artists but I suppose people react to the stagnation of genres by making different styles of music.

7) Amongst other goals, this magazine looks to show how important the ‘extra-curricular’ aspect of university is - the life happening outside of the lecture halls. Anything you can say to promote this?

One of us used to run an Indie Music club at University which was quite entertaining! I saw university as a time to socialise and go to parties, which is probably why I came out with a (Desmond) 2.2 but it was a good time to watch a lot of bands and to play live in bands as well.

8) Was it hard juggling a burgeoning music career with your degree?

I think it’s easier when you’re at university than when you are at work because there’s nobody taking a register at university or telephoning you if you don’t turn up! I think it’s difficult if you’re going for a First Class degree though but you do have a lot of time in the holidays, summer and reading weeks and I know people who go on tour in Easter holidays and things and still do OK in their degrees. It’s just a matter of being dedicated to both causes!

9) A lot of famous bands formed whilst at university. What is it about the place that pushes this creativity?

There’s lots of free time, lots of cheap subsidised alcohol. Also, there’s the fact that university can be quite boring and so you need to do something exciting and constructive. Or, it could be an armchair anarchist reaction to the present Government institutionalisationalism;

OR, according to Michael (Drake, bass) it’s something to do, isn’t it?

You can catch The Lovvers at the following:

10) We’re publishing a guide to the UK’s most essential festivals this year. Any we can hope to see you at?

4 June: Huw Stephens Session on Radio 1 at 8pm 13 June: Download Festival at Donnington Park 19 July: Truck Festival in Oxford

We’re playing at Download, Dot to Dot, Truck festival, and one or two others so watch this space and come along!

www.myspace.com/letscommunicate

Summer 08 32-33.indd 33

33 23/05/2008 13:23:00


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23/05/2008 15:21:42


food

P

icture this: the first year is progressing, your wallet is thinning and the hunger pangs are overwhelming. You lie there at night, trembling at the sound of 60 bass-heavy decibels pumping out from your stomach, wishing you had sacrificed that last pint for a trip to the all-night café. But fear not, help is at hand. Some surprisingly tasty meals can be conjured for little money, especially when more of you are eating. Cast your watering eyes over these delights and get cracking.

Aubergine lasagne

This is a variation on the normal veggie lasagne but using aubergine and courgette strips instead of pasta layers.

Serves 3-4 Ingredients: 1 aubergine, thinly sliced lengthways. 4 courgettes 2 cans of tomatoes Mushrooms 2 cloves garlic, sliced 1 onion, chopped 8 leaves of basil 1 heaped teaspoon of sugar/honey Balsamic vinegar 2 carrots, chopped Cheddar cheese Salt and pepper (Optional: Boursin cheese, cinnamon) Thinly slice the aubergine length-ways and soak in cold water for 15 minutes. Then lie out on some kitchen towel, sprinkle liberally with salt and wait to dry. Turn the oven on to Gas Mark 7 to preheat. In a large saucepan fry the onion in olive oil until it become translucent, then add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Empty the tins of tomato in and add a lug of balsamic vinegar. Add carrots and mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar/honey and stir. If you have the Boursin cheese, add a tablespoon for creamy richness, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Add salt and pepper to taste. While it simmers, slice the courgettes lengthways, and place aubergines in boiling water for three minutes to soften. Rip basil into the tomato sauce and then empty half of it into a high sided baking dish. Then place an assorted layer of courgette and aubergine slices, add ¾ of the rest of the sauce and another layer of courgette and aubergine. Then spread the rest of the sauce on top, grate a decent amount of cheese to cover and place in over for 20 minutes, or until aubergine is cooked through.

roughly chopped 100g frozen peas 1 litre vegetable stock 1 onion, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced Olive oil 1 sq inch of butter 1 lemon In a large saucepan fry the onion in olive oil and butter until translucent, then add the garlic. Pour in the risotto rice and fry until all grains become glassy, constantly stirring. Then add all the wine and fry for another minute. Pour in a bit of stock at a time and stir until it is absorbed. Add a bit more and continue the process until the rice is soft. This should take about 30 minutes, and you need to stir constantly. When rice starts to soften add the mushrooms, red pepper and peas. Squeeze in half the lemon and add salt and pepper to taste. Cut the rest of the lemon into segments and garnish.

Mushroom risotto

Makes a huge amount of food for a very cheap price. Tastes good too. Serves 4 Ingredients: 300g of risotto rice 1 cup of cheap white wine 1 red pepper, thinly sliced 6 medium-sized mushrooms,

Don’t make empty cupboards and stomachs a source of anxiety for you. Hundreds of tasty meals can be made on a tight budget: these six look posh, and cost a pittance

Miser’s munch Summer 08 35-36.indd 35

35 23/05/2008 11:56:01


food

Spaghetti and meatballs

The old classic. No need to reach for the cheap, coronary-inducing can. Serves 4 Ingredients: For the meatballs: 500g minced beef ½ an onion, sliced as small as possible 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced 1 teaspoon mustard 1 egg, beaten Mixed dried herbs Salt and pepper For the tomato sauce: 1 can of tomatoes 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced ½ onion, chopped Balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar Basil Spaghetti Cheese Put oven onto to preheat at Gas Mark 6. First, fry the onions, garlic and dried herbs in olive oil and put to the side. Use the same pan for the tomato sauce, frying the onion and garlic before adding the tomatoes, lug of Balsmaic vinegar and sugar, and simmer. Meanwhile, put the mince into a large bowl and add the mustard, egg, salt, pepper and fried onion, garlic and herbs. Give it a good mix with your hands until all ingredients are infused. Roll into balls about an inch and a half wide. In a baking tray pour half an inch of stock and lay out the meatballs. Place in oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente. By this time the meatballs should be done, so serve on top of the spaghetti with a good grating of cheese.

Chilli con carne

Good cooked in bulk. Even better if you eat it a couple of days after it first being made. Serves 4 Ingredients: 500g minced beef 1 can of tomatoes 1 teaspoon of tomato puree 1 can of kidney beans 1 onion, sliced 3 cloves garlic, sliced 2 fresh red chillies, finely sliced 1 teaspoon of cumin 1 beef stock cube (Optional: one cup of red wine, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, fresh coriander)

36 35-36.indd 36

Fry the onion, chilli and garlic in a heavy-bottom saucepan for one minute, then add the minced beef and fry until brown. If you have red wine, add it now and cook for another 30 seconds. Then add the can of tomatoes, tomato puree, cumin, crumbled stock cube, and Worcestershire sauce if you have it. Simmer for 40 minutes, add the drained kidney beans, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for another 10 minutes. Accompany with rice or tortilla wraps.

Stir fry

So quick, so easy, so good. Serves 2 Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced ½ onion, sliced 1 inch-squared of fresh ginger, finely sliced ½ a chilli, finely sliced 1 egg 1 courgette, sliced into strips 1 carrot, sliced into strips 1 red pepper, sliced into strips 6 medium-sized mushrooms, quartered Soy sauce 1 lime 1 teaspoon of sugar 250g of dried/fresh noodles Boil the noodles until al dente and place to the side. Then place a wok over a high heat and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. After 30 seconds, add the egg and beat it into the mixture. Then add all of the vegetables, a good tablespoon of soy sauce, squeeze half a lime and the sugar. Fry for two minutes – making sure the vegetable don’t lose their crispness and then add the noodles a keeping frying for 30 seconds to a minute. Squeeze the remaining lime in, add another lug of soy sauce and mix and serve.

For the topping: 1 can tomatoes ½ onion 1 clove garlic 1 teaspoon sugar Balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper Cheese (mozzarella if possible) For the sauce, fry the onion and garlic in a pan, add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper and a lug of balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced to a thicker consistency. Follow the instructions on the packet for making the pizza dough – including oven temperature - and roll it out to your preferred depth on a clean, dry and floured surface. Place in a oven tray and spread the sauce over the top, adding whatever cocktail of toppings you fancy. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes. Note: you can add flavouring to the dough, such as dried chilli flakes, mixed herbs or finely grated parmesan cheese.

Home made pizza

A fraction of the price of a take-away pizza – and you can experiment with any amount of toppings. Serves 2 For the dough: 300 g of pizza dough mix Mixed herbs Salt Flour, for rolling out

Summer 08 23/05/2008 11:56:19


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23/05/2008 11:56:32


Musical virtuoso in the making

G

UITARIST and vocalist Chris Fletcher, wants to become a studio engineer but knows that it can be tough to get a break in the music industry. To give himself the best possible chance of success, he has been studying an HND in

Chris was already fitting-in some work as a sound engineer; experience that he hoped would combine with his high-level qualification to provide a route into work as a studio engineer. When his two-year course comes to an end he is looking forward to a gap year and with it, the

“It’s a fantastic course and stunning facilities: even now the studio set-up still impresses me every time I step inside” Music Production at Stafford College. This course can be studied on a full or part-time basis and gives musicians like Chris access to the industry-standard recording studios created as part of an £8 million investment in facilities at the town centre campus.

Hands-on work

“It’s a completely fantastic course and stunning facilities. Even at the end of the second year of my course, the studio set-up still impressed me every time I stepped inside,” said Chris. While he studied at Stafford College,

chance to concentrate on developing his own music. “After that I’ll probably top-up to an honours degree with one extra year of study at university. I am fortunate in that the HND gives me a great deal of hands-on work in a realistic working environment so when it is time to apply for jobs, I’ll be able to offer the qualification and practical experience that employers are looking for.” In the meantime, Chris is making the most of his studio time by recording some of his music and producing his own CDs before leaving college.

Qualified for the future If you are leaving school, all the opportunities you need to shape your future are right here at Stafford College.

For more information visit www.staffordcoll.ac.uk or phone 01785 275468

Choose Stafford College for superb resources and experienced lecturers. We offer a wide range of degree-level courses at our town centre campus. We are proud of our reputation as a friendly, supportive college providing all the help that you need to succeed. We’re proud of our students too, who go on to university courses, rewarding careers or a business of their own. If you want to make the grade, start now by learning more about Stafford College. Visit our website or come and see us, take a look at our facilities, meet the staff and chat to our students.

Earl Street, Stafford ST16 2QR w w w. s t a f f o r d c o l l . a c . u k enquiries@staffordcoll.ac.uk

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23/05/2008 12:10:20


open days

Doors wide open

Open days are perhaps the best way to get that vital feel for a university or college before you make your final decision. Below we give you a few tips on what an open day entails and how to best prepare for it

C

hoosing the correct university for yourself is the key to ensuring your time in higher education is as fulfilling as possible. The trouble is, reading a prospectus or chatting with people already there may not be enough to get a real feel for the place. You need to see it in the flesh to know what you might be stepping into. Open days are the universities opportunity to woo you, and the chance for you to decide whether it is a place you wish to spend the next few years of your life. You can examine

with a fine toothed comb the quality of accommodation; discuss issues surrounding finance; get a feel for the student day- and nightlife. Prospectuses look at a university through rose-tinted spectacles – universities are in the business of selling themselves so the prospectus will be heavily biased in favour of them: therefore an open day allows you to circumvent such propaganda.

What goes on?

The basic premise of an open day is that

student should experience as much of university life as possible. The days can be quite busy, usually consisting of talks on subjects and general matters such as accommodation, finance, student life and tours, especially if the university is a campus one. At open days it is important that you speak to current students and get their opinions, ask questions and don't be afraid; they are there to help and they will give the students' perspective, which is what you want. The majority of open days take place in the

Alone

With Parents

With Friends

Pros

More likely to talk to current students More independent and ready for university

Easy to get there Don’t have to buy lunch Can help with questions to ask

Won’t be lonely Will have company for journey Can help with questions to ask

Cons

Have to go by train/bus/drive yourself Can be intimidating Will be going to talks by yourself

May find it embarrassing They could ask lots of questions

Not good preparation for going Could end up going to their talks

Weighing it up: the table give an idea of how to approach concerns about open days

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open days

Tour group: students get shown around university campuses spring or summer – conveniently, this is when universities look their best, with bright sunshine and lively campuses. Try not to be too dazzled by the light – ask yourself whether you’d also enjoy a typical English winter there. Some universities require booking in advance for open days, so check their website for details.

Alone or accompanied?

Parents, friends, relatives – anyone can come with you on an open day. What suits you best must be decided in advance, however, so weigh up the pros and cons of each option.

Organisation

This is the key to a successful open day: don’t think everything will fall on your plate – you need to have the impetus to be proactive when you are at the university. It’s good to print off pages of the prospectus that cover your course, so you get a good idea of what you’re walking in to. Also, have a good read of this beforehand and make some notes – from these you can draw up questions to ask tutors there. Cover all your bases: you don’t want to accept an offer and then realise that parts of the course aren’t to your liking. Also, thoroughly check your options for transport to the open day. You don’t want to roll up three hours late and miss the key details. In terms of general queries, draw up a thorough checklist well in advance. This will also help you to relax once there. The basics of your queries should be along the lines of: Course outline: what is the exam/ coursework ratio; practical/theoretical ratio; likely study timetable. Accommodation: how far from university buildings; distance to town centre; catering or self-catering; size of rooms; cost; ensuite or standard.

40 39-42 open days.indd 40

Social life: number/type of bars on campus; societies; sports. Here are some helpful tips for when you are there:  try to see some accommodation that isn’t on display. You don’t always get your first choice for accommodation and they are likely to show you only the best ones there.  talk to the students who are showing you around. They will be more than willing to answer any questions. Note: it may be best to do this when your parents aren’t around. Try to find some students who are studying the course you have applied for. If you can, try these questions on them:  What careers to graduates from this course generally go into?  What do employers think about the course at this institution?  How is the course taught?  How is the course assessed?  How many hours of teaching are involved each week?  How satisfied are current students with the course?  What facilities does the Student Union provide?  What activities does the Student Union provide?  Ask about particular societies and how you can find out more about them?  Are current students happy with university accommodation?  How easy is it to find somewhere to live in my second year?  How good are the social facilities on campus?  How good is the social life in town?  How easy is it to get into town?

 What range of sports facilities are available? How much do they cost?  What else is on offer in the area?  What help can I get with study skills?  Is there any extra support available for mature/disabled/international students?  What sort of childcare is available?  What sort of financial help is available if I run out of money?  What makes this university special? Although it is worth taking what you hear with a pinch of salt – remember there will be fierce promotion of the institution on your open day – you must bear in mind that you’ll only get out of an open day what you put in. So, if you decide to barely scrape the surface of potential universities, you won’t get the full whack of student life that you need to make a sound decision. Equally, however, your first impressions of a place may be tainted by external factors such as your own nerves, poor weather, or a handful of snotty students or bolshy campus guides that are inconsistent with the rest of the university. Keep a clear head and look at all aspects of the place. However, going into an open day with gusto and really probing the people you speak to will pull up much better results. Also, if possible it would be good to spend a night in the town of your chosen location. If you have friends or relatives there try and crash at with them and take a walk around in the evening to get a better feel for the whole area. Some universities also offer accommodation for people coming on open days. What goes on outside of campus is equally important, particularly after the first year when you’ll be living in non-university accommodation. If you go down with a bunch of friends you can also book a bunk in a youth hostel.

Independence

Also, don’t let the destinations of your friends determine your choice of university. They’ll of course still be able to visit you regularly but, more importantly, having a group of friends at the university you go to will curtail your social prowess in the first few months. University is geared around constant socialising, so it is very hard not to make friends, and this shouldn’t be a factor in your decisions. If you really can’t visit a university or college in person, there is the option of taking a virtual open day tour on the internet. This new approach has been adopted by a number of universities, allowing potential applicants to view facilities online, take an interactive tour and sometimes read the thoughts of other student via video or messaging boards. Obviously the same issue arises that you’ll likely only get a rose-tinted view of the university. However, it is better than going in completely blind. More information on open days can be found at www.ucas.com.

Summer 08 23/05/2008 12:18:28


open days

Diary dates

Don’t miss out on your chance to grill a student, experience campus life and find out all you need to know about prospective universities. Below is a list of open days being held this summer around the UK June 4

Writtle College University of Gloucestershire Scottish Agricultural College Middlesex University

5

University College for the Creative Arts

6

Middlesex University

7

Middlesex Uni Lincoln College University of Derby Uni College for the Creative Arts North East Wales Institute of Higher Education Newman College of Higher Education Hartpury College

8

Bishop Grosseteste Uni College of Lincoln University of Northampton

10

Matthew Boulton College

11

West Thames College University of Gloucestershire Uni of West England, Bristol Uni College for the Creative Arts Bath Spa Lancaster University

13

University of Reading University of Cumbria

14

University of Reading University of Bolton University of Hertfordshire Goldsmiths, Uni of London University of Chichester University of Central Lancs University of Sussex Oxford Brookes University Askham Bryan College

17

Stockport College Aston Uni, Birmingham Matthew Boulton College Coleg Menai Uni College for the Creative Arts University College Falmouth London Met University Solihull College University of Exeter

18

Huddersfield University Bucks New University Farnborough College of Technology South East Essex College Manchester Met University Solihull College University of Plymouth University of London – Royal Holloway Stratford upon Avon College Uni College Falmouth Kingston University Edge Hill University University of Salford

19

University of Teesside Stockport College University of Cumbria Marjon – The College of St Mark and St John Burton College University of Glasgow

20

St Mary’s University College, Twickenham University of Edinburgh Birmingham City University Brunel University

21

Liverpool Hope University University of Wolverhampton Birmingham City University University of Teesside University of Kent at Canterbury University of Essex Coventry University Bournemouth University University of Leicester

22

University of Worcester Sheffield Hallam University University of Cumbria

23 24

University of Cambridge – Trinity College University of Cambridge - Trinity College University of Cambridge – Peterhouse London Met University University of Cambridge – Lucy Cavendish Uni College for the Creative Arts

25

Lancaster University University of Salford

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41 21/05/2008 13:16:09


open days

Wise move: open days are the best way of getting an insight into universities University of Cambridge – Emmanuel University of Gloucestershire Uni College for the Creative Arts Northumbria University Leeds Trinity and All Saints College Newcastle University University College London (UCL) Manchester Met University Staffordshire University 26

27

Barking College Imperial College London Birkbeck, University of London University of Birmingham University of Bristol Uni College for the Creative Arts Loughborough University University of Exeter Brunel University University of Birmingham University of Liverpool University of Nottingham De Montford University

Liverpool John Moores University University of Cambridge – Sidney Sussex/Newnham LSE University of Surrey Aberystwyth University Lancaster and Morecambe College University of Leicester Kings College London University of Gloucestershire British School of Osteopathy

3

University of Cambridge – King’s/ Emmanuel/Robinson/Clare/ Sidney Sussex/Corpus Christi/ Churchill/Downing University of Southampton

11 12

Swansea University Canterbury Christ Church University College Newman College of Higher Education Hartpury College

4

University of Cambridge – Downing/ Churchill/Corpus Christi/ Clare/Robinson/ Emmanuel/King’s University of East Anglia

15

University of Sheffield King’s College London

16

University of Sheffield University of Brighton

University of Greenwich Bangor University University of Bradford University of Bedfordshire University of Kent at Canterbury Leeds Metropolitan University

17

Kings College London University of Brighton

19

Writtle College

22

King’s College London

23

University of Leicester Nottingham Trent University University Campus Suffolk Lancaster University

5 28

29 30

July 1

University of Nottingham University of Sheffield City University Nescot Keele University York St John University

8

King’s College London University of Westminster

University of Brighton

9

Lancaster University

42 39-42 open days.indd 42

Roehampton University University of Gloucestershire De Montfort University University of Lincoln Imperial College London University of Glamorgan University of Portsmouth University of Westminster Newman College of Higher Education Nottingham Trent University University of Brighton

2

25 30

Summer 08 21/05/2008 13:17:01


”The lecturers here are brilliant: they are the reason I got such good results” Aisha Roberts A2 Humanities, Economics, ICT and Statistics Word of mouth of its reputation meant that I applied to join the A level programme at Newham College. The lecturers are very good - brilliant even - and so helpful. I feel that they put so much effort into helping me understand and ensure that I participate in all aspects of the course. They are the reason that I achieved such good results in my AS subjects last year. There are good resources to support my study and a great environment. I would definitely 100% recommend this course to others. I also am a peer supporter and help other students with their studies - this has helped build both my and their confidence in the subjects and I have been delighted to see these students benefiting from individual support Course_Advert_132x90.qxd:Layout 1

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Courses are held at either the Stratford or East Ham Campus. Contact the admissions hotline for more information on course location.

Need more info or don’t see a course of your choice?

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This is just the beginning… At York St John University, we’ll help you grow and develop and we really can promise you a life-changing experience. We offer a range of opportunities in Art, Communication, Design, Film, Media, English, Business Management, History, Sport, Teaching, Dance, Music, Theatre, Psychology, Health and Theology.

Places still available for September 2008 If you are thinking of going to uni this year, give us a call. We still have a limited number of places available. To get a prospectus or find out more visit www.yorksj.ac.uk or T: 01904 876598 York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York YO31 7EX


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You’ll enjoy excellent teaching, fantastic facilities, brand new state-of-the-art accommodation and great social opportunities. Visit our website to find out more or come to one of our open days.

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...On one of our Degree Programmes: Applied Arts • Fine Art Practices Illustration and Print • Graphic Design Film Arts • Environmental Media Practices Animation Arts • Photography • Fashion Design for Games • Spatial Design For more information including dates of our Open Days contact us: T: 01752 203 434 E: enquiries@pcad.ac.uk W: www.pcad.ac.uk

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21/05/2008 11:08:23


drugs

under the surface Drug use is an issue that, in various forms, pervades almost all our lives at some point or another. But the Government’s attempt to reclassify cannabis fails to examine the roots of drug use, says FRANCIS ANDREWS The issue of drug use is something that crops up at the dinner table in most households with teenage children. There is a strong likelihood that the vast majority of youngsters will, in some form or another, come into contact with drugs through either personal use or via friends who use them. This exposure will likely be heightened at university, given the strong emphasis on socialising and reputation for adventurous students keen to shake off the restrictions of living at home.

Age-old debates

The debate over ways to address drugs and their use has been raging ever since their emergence as a popular recreational pastime. Disputes over legality and classification appear to raise and lower their head over time as conflicting evidence and opinion is put forward about the impact on the health of the user. It’s no surprise then that the age-old argument over cannabis classification is once again making headlines in the news. In May, the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith spoke of her desire to promote the drug from a class C substance to a class B,

placing it alongside amphetamines and barbiturates in a group that carries a prison sentence of up to five years for possession. The Home Secretary’s stated reasons for reclassification stem from “uncertainty” over its contribution to mental illnesses amongst heavy users. “There is a compelling case for us to act now, rather than risk the future health of young people. Where there is a clear and serious problem, but doubt about the potential harm that will be caused, we must err on the side of caution and protect the public.” That her comments arrive now is surprising, given the recent publication of a report from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs

been presented as to what the effect of this might be on users. While the ACMD report – ‘Cannabis: Classification And Public Health’ – suggested a “probable, but weak, causal link between psychotic illness, including schizophrenia, and cannabis use”, research using GP records indicated that

“There has been no evidence to suggest that tightening the legal rope on users and dealers will affect the extent of consumption” (ACMD) – commissioned by Gordon Brown which argued that, although being a “significant public health issue”, cannabis should still remain a class C drug given its relative weakness compared to other class B drugs. However, the trigger for concern, according to Smith, is the apparent increase in strength of cannabis. Those in favour of an upgrade point to the emergence of the ‘skunk’ form of cannabis, alleged to be anything from double to triple the strength of cannabis used a decade ago. The problem with this argument is that no evidence has

there has been no increase in cases of schizophrenia between 1996 and 2004.

Mixed messages

Furthermore, the extent of cannabis use appears to have fallen in recent years, refuting suggestions that youngsters are so confused about the classification of the drug that many think it’s legal. There has also been no evidence put forward to show that tightening the legal rope on users and dealers will affect the extent of consumption. This is particularly important given that one of the key arguments against upgrading cannabis is the amount of police administration time – widely accepted to be already stretched - used up if laws become stricter. Regardless, the debate over classification will dig up implications for any youngster in their late-teens: arguably the period most commonly associated with the early stages of drug experimentation. Peer pressure and curiosity are two key

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drugs

triggers for drug use amongst the young, and these are accentuated once in an intense social environment such as university. Undoubtedly there are aspects of student life that give rise to the temptation to take drugs: university is geared around constant socialising and a hard party culture where pressures to fit in will grow. It is in this type of environment that the extent and implications of heavy drug use can go undetected, putting students at heightened risk of harm. Freshers in particular are thrust into an unfamiliar arena, and the potential consequences of this are two-fold: first, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a liberal attitude towards drug (and alcohol) use and allow them to become a regular feature in one’s life. Secondly, given that first-year students are only in the early stages of forming a new social circle, there is the lack of an obvious support network should one begin to feel uncomfortable in this environment.

Promoting help

Universities do provide support and advice on drug use, yet many can be criticised for failing to adequately promote the help on offer. This needs to be addressed if the fallout from a hidden campus drug culture is to be minimised.

the root causes of drug use, drug addiction, and even mental illnesses. For example, much of the evidence suggesting a link between cannabis and mental health problems appears to be anecdotal, yet is swept up by the government and fashioned into a law. Equally problematic is the knee-jerk reaction to criminalise addicts rather than treat them. Indeed those people with drug problems are amongst the least protected in society.

Good governance

The public’s confidence in government action aimed at tackling drug use will no doubt waver given the inconsistency in its policy: only four years ago Tony Blair downgraded cannabis from class B to class C. The reality is that in the period since there has been no new evidence that would suggest a need to change this. Why the government is so hung up on lawtightening as a deterrent when evidence points

“What needs to be examined is the factors causing drug use, or promoting a drug culture, and work at addressing these” On the flip side, the open door policy so crucial to drug treatment and advice centres – where success is largely down to the trust and confidence placed on those helping, and their impartiality towards those being helped - may well be countered by government actions that see drug users as criminals. It is the responsibility of the university, as it is the government, to provide awareness and support rather than a confrontational policy toward drug users. Because of the vilification of drug users in UK society – and the fact that drug use is still one of the major taboos in this country – the situation is not being adequately addressed. Rather than being threatened with tougher legal action if found to be using drugs, youngsters in particular need to be made fully aware of the risks involved and, equally important, the scope for support should they need it. With regards to students, the truth is that reclassification is unlikely to permeate the care-free, sheltered environment of a university campus. In this case, treating young people caught up in what is effectively a cultural pursuit as criminals is unlikely to have any sustained effect. Despite continued appeals from pressure groups, there seems to be a persistent lack of engagement at government level with

46 45,46.indd 46

to its inefficacy can be argued until the cows come home. The irony is that this move will only deter those who need help for drug use from seeking it. What needs to be examined is the factors causing drug use, or promoting a drug culture, and work at addressing these. Where help is on offer, such as at universities, it needs to be clearly visible to all, and those seeking it need feel comfortable about doing so.

If you are concerned about your own drug use, or if you are worried about someone you know, there are various sources of confidential advice and support: Talk to Frank: 0800 776600 (www.talktofrank.com) Good Samaritans: 08457 909090 (www.samaritans.org.uk) Addiction Adviser: 08454 601111 (www.addictionadviser.co.uk)

CLASSIFIED In the UK, drugs are classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 into three categories, A, B or C, with varying penalities, outlined below: CLASS A: Heroin; ecstasy; LSD; cocaine Possession: up to 7 years Trafficking: up to life CLASS B: Amphetamines (non-injection); barbiturates Possession: up to 5 years Trafficking: up to 14 years CLASS C Mild amphetamines; tranquilisers (e.g. ketamine, valium); anabolic steriods Possession: up to 2 years Trafficking: up to 5 years

Summer 08 23/05/2008 12:38:52


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WWW.MDX.AC.UK/OPENDAYS To book a place, call 0800 923 3959 Or text OPEN9 to 64118 and we’ll call you back

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www.aber.ac.uk/info/nav2

t t t t

6OJWFSTJUZCZUIFTFB (VBSBOUFFEGJSTUZFBSBDDPNNPEBUJPO 4BGFBOEGSJFOEMZQMBDFUPTUVEZ 7BMVBCMFBXBSET CVSTBSJFTBOETDIPMBSTIJQT

We offer the following courses - many combinations are available:                   



 



"DDPVOUJOH'JOBODF "HSJDVMUVSF "NFSJDBO4UVEJFT "OJNBM4DJFODF "SU "SU)JTUPSZ "SUJGJDJBM*OUFMMJHFODF3PCPUJDT #FIBWJPVSBM#JPMPHZ #JPDIFNJTUSZ #JPMPHJDBM4DJFODFT #JPMPHZ4QPSU4DJFODF #VTJOFTTBOE.BOBHFNFOU #VTJOFTT*OGPSNBUJPO5FDIOPMPHZ $FMUJD4UVEJFT $PNQVUFS(SBQIJDT 7JTJPO(BNFT $PNQVUFS4DJFODF $PVOUSZTJEF.BOBHFNFOU $SFBUJWF8SJUJOH&OHMJTI $SJNJOPMPHZ %SBNB &DPOPNJDT &EVDBUJPO &OHMJTI

                     

&OWJSPONFOUBM&BSUI4DJFODF &OWJSPONFOUBM4DJFODF &RVJOF)VNBO4QPSU4DJFODF &RVJOF4UVEJFT4DJFODF &VSPQFBO)JTUPSZ &VSPQFBO-BOHVBHFT 'SFODI (FSNBO 4QBOJTI &VSPQFBO4UVEJFT 'JMN5FMFWJTJPO4UVEJFT (FPHSBQIZ (FOFUJDT (FOFUJDT)VNBO)FBMUI )JTUPSZ *OGPSNBUJPO-JCSBSZ4UVEJFT *OGPSNBUJPO.BOBHFNFOU *OUFSOBUJPOBM1PMJUJDT *OUFSOFU$PNQVUJOH *OUFSOFU&OHJOFFSJOH *SJTI -BX .BSLFUJOH .BUIFNBUJDT .FEJB$PNNVOJDBUJPO4UVEJFT

                  

.FEJFWBM&BSMZ.PEFSO)JTUPSZ .JDSPCJPMPHZ  .PCJMF8FBSBCMF$PNQVUJOH .PEFSO$POUFNQPSBSZ)JTUPSZ .PEFSO(FSNBO4UVEJFT .VTFVN(BMMFSZ4UVEJFT 0QFO4PVSDF$PNQVUJOH 1FSGPSNBODF4UVEJFT 1IZTJDT 1PMJUJDT 1TZDIPMPHZ 4DFOPHSBQIJD4UVEJFT 4PGUXBSF&OHJOFFSJOH 4QBDF4DJFODF3PCPUJDT 4QPSU&YFSDJTF4DJFODF 4VTUBJOBCMF3VSBM%FWFMPQNFOU 5PVSJTN.BOBHFNFOU 8FMTI 8FMTI)JTUPSZ ;PPMPHZ

* Available at HND, Foundation Degree and BSc.

For a copy of our prospectus please contact:

190508-10739

3FDSVJUNFOUBOE"ENJTTJPOT0GGJDF  "CFSZTUXZUI6OJWFSTJUZ  0ME$PMMFHF ,JOH4USFFU "CFSZTUXZUI 4:"9  5FM'BY &NBJMVHBENJTTJPOT!BCFSBDVL

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