Page 5

January 2013 - Le Nurb

NEWS

University applications down 6% DAISY ADAMSON

Going to university can transform lives, increase the chances of getting a job and increase your salary. No one should be put off applying to university because of worries about finance.

CREDIT: KATIERELLA FLICKR

University applications are down by 6% according to a UCAS survey. Figures from the University and College Admissions Service, showed just 265,784 applicants by 17th December, a 6.3% decrease on the same time from the previous year. The fall in admissions is thought to be a result of the rise in tuition fees to £9,000 a year, brought into place by the Coalition in 2012.

Current third year student, Elliot Funnell thinks the increase in fees might have affected his decision to go to university.

Last year there was a rush of applicants in January, applying before the deadline.

He said: ‘I don’t think I could justify the amount of debt even if you pay it off slowly or differently. It’s still a debt and a lot more in comparison to what I am in now.’

Nicola Dandridge says: There has also been a slight decrease in applicants from Northern Ireland, where tuition fees are capped at £3,575 and Scotland, where home students do not have to pay tuition fees.

Nicola Dandridge, the chief executive of Universities UK, believes there is still time for an increase in applications before the deadline.

Further details of the number of applicants for 2013/14 can be seen once the UCAS deadline has passed on the 15th January.

05

Exclusive Benjamin Zephaniah & The Honours System. BESS BROWNING

Our very own Benjamin Zephaniah has been the talk of the town over the Christmas period. Benjamin, the Chair of Creative Writing has been in the national headlines with his controversial thoughts on the Honours system. In 2003, Benjamin declined his OBE on the grounds of his dislike for the word ‘empire’ and has recently been speaking out about it. Benjamin told Le Nurb: “I dislike the word ‘empire’ because the empire was so brutal to my family. I dislike the fact that it comes from the government, because the government will never honour radicals who have struggled against it. I dislike the way it rewards many people for just turning up to work.” Benjamin believes that a new system should be brought in, separating the award from the monarchy and the government. “The honours system could be administered by an independent body, made up of people who are experts in the fields and not party political figures.”

He also believes that the system should be more exclusive. “I think that the present system has lost its meaning because honours have been given to people who run fast, people who write a few poems, people who support the government, and even people who kill people (actually that’s how it started). They should be reserved for people who really do amazing things, things that are not in their line of duty.” John Lennon, David Bowie, Danny Boyle and Roald Dahl are amongst others who have also declined their OBEs. Benjamin said: “I think it is really important that people are recognised for doing extraordinary things. I am constantly working with young people and trying to get them to do their best, and I want to see them rewarded, but I really do think we should find a new way of doing it.”

End of Law Degrees? The Minister for Skills, Matthew Hancock, has revealed plans to bring in new apprenticeships so that students can get jobs in accountancy and law without going to university. The Government have announced that certain companies will be given the chance to offer the apprenticeships which will give students a chance to gain a qualification equivalent to a Masters degree. Matthew Hancock said: “There is no reason why you can’t attain the same qualifications, without the degree, starting on the job training in an apprenticeship from day one.” “Higher apprenticeships, like all the apprenticeships, are employerled. So to ensure their success and go further, we need more employers to step up to take advantage of the opportunity.” IS THIS THE END OF LAW DEGREES? CREDIT: MR T IN DC FLICKR

BESS BROWNING The current apprenticeship scheme offers either a four year course to gain an equivalent to a foundation degree or a five year course to gain an equivalent to a first year’s Bachelor’s degree. The new scheme, brought in by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills will last for eight years and be equivalent to a Masters. The new system has already begun, with the Government already investing 25m into 30 different companies across the country, including PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Balfour Beatty, who will soon begin offering the apprenticeships. Bobby Dolan is a final year law student at Sussex University. He said: “I think this is potentially a good idea for school leavers who can’t afford University but I hope it doesn’t take away the value of a law degree.”

Issue 4 2012/13