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Autumn 2010

t h e n a t i o n a l s t u d e n t . c o m


Inside This Issue : •

Student Initiations

Edinburgh Fringe round-up

Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll

Careers advice

Win tickets to the fabulous Britain’s Next Top Model event

£500 cash giveaway You need some cash! We want to give you some! Enter our competition inside

Round the world on a scooter The story of one man’s epic trip riding a moped from Australia to London





Usain Bolt




We’ve all heard the news – basically we’re all doomed right? No jobs, diminishing worth of degrees, graduates with massive debt and no prospects. That’s what we’re being told. Well at The National Student we’re here to tell you – it’s not that bad! In fact, a degree is still a very worthwhile thing to do and graduates generally have more prospects and earn more than those without a degree. Far from the overblown scaremongering from the media, a look at statistics about the graduate job market in 2010, far from being all doom and gloom is actually extremely positive. The positives don’t make good news, so all we tend to hear are the negatives. At the start of the year it was predicted that the UK’s top graduate employers were going to increase their graduate recruitment targets for 2010 by a massive 11.8%. The reality is even more impressive than the predictions.



Research from High Fliers shows that graduate recruiters actually recruited 17.8% more graduates in 2010 than in 2009. Over half of the recruiters on the Times Top 100 list have expanded their recruitment this year. More than 20 employed 50 additional university leavers, and the increase in recruitment has been enjoyed across most sectors. Yes, competition remains high for the positions available, but the fact remains that the employment market for graduates is looking healthy. Plus those with a degree earn more than those without. Commenting on the Push National Debt survey back in August Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said, “Graduates on average have better employment prospects and can expect to earn at least £100,000 net of tax, more than non-graduates across their working lives.” This is a grand claim considering the cost of student

debts and the ever changing cost of living, but the figures do support Willetts claims. Evaluations of earnings show that this figure is not unrealistic, although it does not take into account the cost of paying back loans etc. The NUS have been extremely active recently in highlighting the challenges todays students and graduates face, but even they recognise that the situation is not that dire. Talking to The National Student this month NUS President Aaron Porter said, “When you look at the hard facts, graduates are wealthier and healthier throughout their lives than those that don’t go to university and I wouldn’t be fighting for students if I didn’t think that university was worth it.” We agree with Porter! The message at the start of this university year is, don’t listen to the negative hype, make the most of your time at university and look forward to a bright future with your degree in the bag.


The National Student, Autumn 2010



Fee hike would put half off uni

The National Student is the independent, monthly publication for university students in the UK The National Student Dominion House First Floor 101 Southwark Street London SE1 OJF Email: Telephone: 0207 401 0969 Editor: James Thornhill News Editor: Faye Joice Email: Sport Editor: Rob Dalling Email: Entertainment and Arts Editor: Dylan Williams Email: Designer: Simon Lockyer Published by The Big Choice Group Dominion House First Floor 101 Southwark Street London SE1 OJF

All content is copyright of The National Student unless otherwise stated

FACEBOOK USERS ARE NARCISSISTS Study claims users have low self-esteem and are insecure A new study suggests that the majority of Facebook users are narcissists, who use it to monitor how many ‘friends’ they have, allowing them to thrive on ‘shallow’ relationships while avoiding genuine warmth and empathy. At least most reports have picked up on that aspect of the findings from Soraya Mehdizadeh at York University in Canada, while ignoring the positives of Facebook usage. Whilst some people’s use of the social network could be deemed unhealthy Medizdeh was also keen

to point out that the self-aggrandizement of users is not always a bad thing, with them using it to healthily promote a ‘hoped for, possible self ’ and to promote a positive image of themselves to the wider world. The study analysed the Facebook use of 100 students between the age of 18-25. All took psychological tests and those who checked their Facebook statuses more often were more likely to display narcissistic tendencies that those who logged on less frequently. The study defined

this narcissism as ‘a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and an exaggerated sense of selfimportance.’ Men and women differed in the way they displayed this, with males promoted themselves through written posts while women carefully selected images to be displayed on their profile. M e h d i z a d e h understands that these findings will be controversial. “I think people get sort of defensive about it – like I don’t use my Facebook for that reason, because it’s a label you don’t want to be slapped with.”

A new NUS/HSBC survey has discovered that out of 3,863 students in the UK, almost half would have been put off university if annual fees were at a proposed raised fee of £5,000. The survey comes following reports that Lord Browne plans to recommend raising fees to £7,000 in the forthcoming financial review. It is said that the review team are not convinced by the proposed graduate tax system. This is the second report this year that shows similar findings. Earlier in the year a report made b y the Sutton Trust suggested students would be put off university completely if the fees were to rise to £7,000. The survey revealed 60% of students believed they should not have to pay fees and that they could not have afforded university without support from family and friends. York University Student’s Union President, Tim Ngwena believes the report shows real evidence of what students are feeling up and down the country: “it provides statistical proof of

the fears that students have voiced in York and across the country, on high fees as a large, added barrier to entry. It’s important that students get behind the upcoming national demonstration in London.” He added that like most universities, they will be “waiting to see the full details of the Browne Review this October, which is unfortunately expected to recommend higher fees. Closer to home, we will be pushing for the University to come off the fence on the issue, and lay down its plans on fees for the future, now that proposals are starting to take shape.” NUS president, Aaron Porter, sees the survey as “clear evidence of the need to do away with the damaging and unpopular fees system, if we are not to shut out many thousands of young people from going to university, particularly those from poorer backgrounds.” The Browne Review is due for release in October.

by Faye Joice

The National Student, Autumn 2010


Students most at risk GRAD TAX ON THE WAY, from STDs SAYS WILLETTS

Minister speaks of ‘fair and progressive’ graduate contributions that could come into play by next September David Willetts has indicated that a new graduate tax could be in place as early as next September. The universities minister said in a speech that higher earning graduates can expect to pay more for their degrees through a ‘progressive and fair’ contribution. He said, “I do believe it is better for the younger generation to have the chance of going to university – and pay for that out of the higher earnings they achieve later on – rather than expecting poorer quality HE or being deprived of the opportunity

altogether. This has to make sense for young people.” After the speech at Cranfield University Willetts highlighted the proposal was for a ‘contribution’ rather than a full blown tax. He added, “A full blown tax, which is not what the coalition is proposing, in its extreme form, would mean that because you had been to university, you pay a percentage of your income for the rest of your working life.” “The risk is that people who end up in high-paid jobs in medicine or in business would have a tax burden,

that meant that they looked, for example, at studying abroad.” The proposals for a graduate tax has been widely supported by the NUS. President of the union Aaron Porter said recently, “Our position is quite clear, that we want a genuinely progressive graduate contribution based on earnings, not the institution or subject. David Willetts is moving in the right direction. Although we do need to see much clearer detail.” Read more of Aaron Porters views on student issues in our interview on page 4


UNDER 25s MOST LIKELY TO GET A SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE Young people are most at risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection claim experts. Official figures show that those under 25 are more at risk because they are vulnerable and lacking the confidence to negotiate relationships. Health Protection Agency (HPA) data shows a worrying increase in sexually transmitted infections with sexual health clinics reporting 482,700 new cases in 2009, which is an increase of around 12,000 on the previous year. Two thirds of the STI cases were in females aged 15-24. These figures highlight the vulnerability of young women, said Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of the STI section of the HPA. The peak age for a sexually transmitted infection is 19-20 for women and 20-23 for men.

What is most worrying is that many young people are making repeat visits to clinics. About 10% of the 15 to 24-year-olds treated for a sexually transmitted infection will be re-infected within a year. Dr Hughes said, “The numbers we’re seeing in teenagers are of particular concern as this suggests they are repeatedly putting their own, as well as others’, long term health at risk from STIs.” HPA advises that everyone should use a condom with any new sexual partner and visit a sexual health clinic after unsafe sex. People should also be screened for chlamydia every year and whenever they get a new partner, it says. Gay men should go for annual sexual health screening, including an HIV test.

Find advice on page 12

What’s on your mind? Comment on this issue at


Aber most gay-friendly Welsh seaside town Aberystwyth has been judged as one of the most gayfriendly universities in Britain. Lobby group ‘Stonewall’ granted the award to the remote town in Wales. Although the group says it takes up to two hours to reach the nearest gay bar, it believes that Aberystwyth’s isolated location has encouraged an active gay and lesbian society to come alive on campus. The university’s gay society, Aberpride, takes members on a monthly social to one of the town’s bars, as well as a trip to Manchester and ‘retail therapy’ in Swansea. Aberystwyth has no gay-only venues and instead the society says its social life revolves around ‘beach-fire parties, providing muchneeded warmth on cool evenings.’ Other universities that scored highly in the guide include B i r m i n g h a m , Bradford, Cambridge and King’s College London. Huddersfield and Teesside are among those that scored lowest.

National demo for November NUS and UCU have a march planned for November 10 to protest funding cuts in higher education. In preparation for this protest they have launched a new website (demo2010. NUS are urging students to join them on the march.

The National Student, Autumn 2010



GOING GREEN SAVES MONEY With severe funding cuts hanging over the universities staff and students need to save money and cut the carbon. Published this summer, People & Planet’s Green League ranks universities by their green credentials. Since first being published in 2007 the Green League has raised the profile of climate change in HE and more institutions are starting to look into a low-carbon future. But the Green League revealed that 80% still don’t have adequate plans in place to meet their carbon reduction targets. The sector is now facing huge financial pressure to go green as capital funding and financial incentives are being

‘80% still don’t have adequate plans in place to meet their carbon reduction targets.’ linked to institution’s success in reducing emissions from next year.

Engaging students and staff in practical carbon cutting projects can both save universities tens of thousands on their energy bills and reduce their environmental impact. The Green League researchers found that 33 universities saved 1463 tonnes of carbon through energy-saving competitions this year alone. People & Planet has recruited 55 universities to reduce their community’s emissions by 10% in the coming year and will be coordinating the 10:10:10 Day of Doing on October 10. Alice Hemming, Going Greener campaign co-ordinator, says: “Every student and staff member can cut their carbon footprint by 10% through simple actions. If you add up the combined impact, it’s far greater than switching off the lights in every UK university for a year – students and staff can make all the difference.” Find out how green your uni is: greenleague Get involved in Going Greener:

by Alice Hemming


Aaron Porter [NUS president]

What does the NUS do?

The basic facts are that the National Union of Students is a confederation of around 600 individual students’ unions which is over 95% of all universities and colleges, and more than seven million students in the UK. Our mission is to promote, defend and extend the rights of students and to develop and champion strong students’ unions. What that means in practice is that I head up a collection of staff elected officers who work every day to lobby government for improvements to further and higher education policy; research into the realities of the student experience; and support students’ unions to better help their member students.

What do you aim to achieve during your term as NUS President? The most pressing concerns this year are two-fold. Firstly, there are potential changes to the ways in which students and graduates contribute to higher education funding. Obviously the current contribution is through fees, which could increase even further for new students, and we’re pushing the government to do away with that set price system and replace it with one where graduates would pay into the higher education funding ‘pot’ based on how much they could afford after university. As important are the funding cuts that are affecting students in university currently. Countries around the world are investing more and more in higher education and in this country the government is cutting that funding which risks putting all of us at a massive disadvantage.

journalists and university heads about how angry students are about cuts and that dialogue has won us a lot of battles over recent years but sometimes people don’t listen unless you shout loudly and what better way to do that than to take to the streets and show them how much we care. The focus of the protest will be against cuts to higher education funding. The previous government made cuts of around £750 million to higher education funding, and the new government’s emergency budget cut even more to make a total of around £1billion in cuts. It’s just not good enough and we have to make sure the government know we will make their lives miserable if they try to screw us over.

Do you think these marches make a difference?

I really do. It’s incredibly embarassing for governments to have have angry, articulate, motivated students publicly asking them in large numbers why they aren’t properly funding their education. It raises awareness of issues, makes journalists ask difficult questions of journalists and as much as anything else it motivates those involved. The battle to save university education is going to be long and hard and for all of us to come together in the spirit of solidarity will help give us the strength to win the war.

It’s just not good enough and we have to make sure the government know we will make their lives miserable if they try to screw us over Do you think that you are maybe putting out a very negative message to students about their futures? I hope not but I’m aware that when I try to put across just how difficult things are for students at the moment, that it can seem like I ignore the very real positives of the student experience or that I’m saying university isn’t worth it. When you look at the hard facts, graduates are still wealthier and healthier throughout their lives than those who don’t go to university and I wouldn’t be fighting for students if I didn’t think university was worth it.

How should HE be funded, in your opinion?

NUS realised a while ago that a call for a return to universal free education was leaving seeing us left out of the debate, so we’ve lobbied for some time for university education funding to come from a form of progressive graduate tax. That is on where graduates pay towards the funding of higher education funding based on their ability to do so after university. It means that the decision about whether university is the right choice for you would be based entirely on educational factors, not worries about whether it is affordable. Given that business benefits so much from higher education, and graduates, I think they should step up to the plate and also pay their fair share too.

Tell us about the planned march on November 10th? I spend a lot of time talking to politicians,

Can students really influence the government’s decisions?

Yes, and we do on a daily basis. More than one politician has said in the last few years that their job would be significantly easier if NUS didn’t exist. That’s something I’m hugely proud of. We nearly brought down the last government over the issue of top up fees - the vote on that was the closest the last Labour government ever came to losing a vote in parliament, it was closer than the vote on the war in Iraq. Students make up a huge proportion of voters in many constituencies and as long as we keep reminding them that they rely on us for their seats in parliament they’ll keep listening to us. What advice would you give to new students? Make the most of it. A university education is a big expense no matter who you are so make sure you get the most out of every moment. Take an active role in your union, join societies, talk to as many people as possible, listen to what lecturers have to teach you, put your heart and soul into your work and come out with no regrets about opportunities missed.

What can you remember from your freshers week?

I had a great time during my own Freshers’, settling into a new city, meeting a great range of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, and also getting stuck into the opportunities offered by the students’ union particularly through societies, sport and student media.

The National Student, Autumn 2010



Drinking and death As uni starts for another year National Student news editor Faye Joice looks at the worrying issue of student initiations - a world of debauchery, drinking and tragic deaths.

Initiations, be it in the form of a ceremony or a series of tasks, have been a long standing tradition for secret societies and organisations throughout the years. University is no exception to this, and societies and sports groups have their annual initiation period over the time of recruiting new Freshers. NUS is calling for a ban on student initiations, claiming the activities are both dangerous and degrading, and the level of stupidity has gone passed acceptable levels. Last year’s NUS President Wes Streeting said: “We are totally opposed to student initiations. They put students at serious risk and exclude students who don’t want to take part in that binge-drinking culture.” Recent high-profile incidents at universities have seen a backlash against initiations. One example is that of the University Of Gloucestershire, where last year a video was secretly filmed of students partaking in a strange initiation, walking through the streets with carrier bags over their heads and head whilst drinking and vomiting. Before parading the streets the group of students were lined up against a wall, whilst an initiator dressed in a Nazi style uniform, ordered them to drink. The university took disciplinary action c against the students who were found to be in charge of that ceremony and other institutions take a similar line. “We are shocked by the content of this film and take the issue of intimidation and bullying during initiation ceremonies extremely seriously”, said a university spokesman following the event. Students at the University of

Gloucestershire provided an insight into the types of activities involved in student initiations. 20-year-old Natalie Sutton explained what she did during a hockey initiation: “I

He added: “We had to put matches in private, inappropriate areas and set them on fire whilst drinking more beer. I did it to be accepted by the older guys at the time. “It was a bit tormenting, but if you didn’t

‘I had to go to the toilet in a bucket in a dark basement, which was full of other people’s urine. People were crying and vomiting.’ had to go to the toilet in a bucket in a dark basement, which was full of other people’s urine. People were crying and vomiting.” Nick Levy, another Gloucestershire student said during his ceremony he was made to drink excessively and then run through the streets of Cheltenham naked.

do it you would get called a wuss”. University union representatives agree that peer pressure on students to take part in embarrassing and disgusting rituals is not only dangerous and degrading; it also discourages students who wouldn’t lower their moral standards from joining social

groups or university sports teams. In the US, initiations are known as ‘hazing’ and studies conclude the widespread activity has caused nearly 90 student deaths. At least three students have died in the UK, causing many universities to ban initiations from their campuses. In 2006, 18-year-old Gavin Britton died after taking part in a golf initiation ceremony at Exeter University. His father, Ian, later blamed his son’s death on social pressure to drink beyond safe limits. Another student, 18-year-old Alex Doji, died in an initiation ceremony at Staffordshire University after choking on his own vomit in 2003. At the university rugby club initiation ceremony, Alex was made to pick deflated balloons out of a tub of dog food, chilli and offal. Following the tragic events Staffordshire University banned all initiation ceremonies, a move both NUS has supported and other universities may find themselves doing in the future.

Had a bad experience with an intiation? Tell us about it! We want to hear from you. Comment online at or email

YOUR PAPER NEEDS YOU! The National Student is your paper and needs your help! We are always looking for contributors to write news, views, features and reviews

To get involved email

The National Student, Autumn 2010





Ig Nobel Awards 2010: Science awards celebrates roller-coaster therapy, a whale-snot helicopter, socks for winter safety and new aspects of Fruit Bat sex


ach year we at The National Student are astounded and tickled silly by the winning research from the Ig Nobel Awards. Celebrating the world of the improbable the Ig Nobel’s shine a torch on research that will at first make you laugh and then make you think. This year’s ‘20th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony’ was held at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre on September 30th. 1,200 spectators witnessed a ceremony filled with fruit bats, bacteria and paper aeroplanes. Former Nobel laureates handed the awards to this year’s best improbable researchers, and one of them was the prize in the yearly Win-a-Date-With-a-NobelLaureate Contest. Each new winner was permitted a maximum of 60 seconds to deliver an acceptance speech; the time limit was enforced by a cute-butimplacable eight-year-old girl. Several former winners were present, greeted with glee from the audience. These included: Toshiyuki Nakagaki and Atsushi Tero (demonstrated that slime mold can solve puzzles —

and this year won a second Ig Nobel Prize!); Don Featherstone (created the plastic pink flamingo); Dan Ariely (showed high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine); Dr. Yoshiro Nakamats (photographed every meal he has consumed during more than 30 years); Kees Moeliker (discovered homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck); Christopher Chabris (showed people can overlook anything — even a woman in a gorilla suit); and Dr. Elena Bodnar (invented a bra that in an emergency converts into 2 protective facemasks – this is now available to the public at ). Marc Abrahams, master of ceremonies (and editor of the Annals of Improbable Research), closed the ceremony with the traditional, “If you didn’t win an Ig Nobel prize tonight — and especially if you did — better luck next year.” So let’s take a look at the pieces of improbable research given the thumbs-up this year........ Public Health

Beards are quite fashionable at the moment, but they might be a den for germs! With their experiments Manuel Barbeito, Charles Mathews, and Larry Taylor of the Industrial Health and Safety Office, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA, have determined that microbes cling to bearded scientists. Engineering We are a little stumped as to why anyone would want to effectively collect whale snot, but Karina AcevedoWhitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London received plaudits this year for perfecting a method to collect it, using a remotecontrol helicopter. Transportation Prize


In 2008 Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Ryo Kobayashi, Atsushi Tero won an award for demonstrating that slime molds can solve puzzles. Continuing their work with slime (and now working Seiji Takagi, Tetsu Saigusa, Kentaro Ito, Kenji Yumiki, Dan Bebber and Mark Fricker) they have started to practically

Research found symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride apply their work. This year’s award went to them for using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks. Peace Swearing is wrong, right? It might be offensive, but it is worth considering the

Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University confirmed the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain. health benefits! This year’s Peace prize went to Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University for their study ‘Swearing as a Response to Pain’. They confirmed the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain. Management

Dr. Elena Bodnar demonstrates her facemask bra

for Management. Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the University of Catania, Italy, for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random. We hope that this information is taken on by businesses the

Being promoted at work is a great thing, and because of this we really like the findings of this year’s Ig Nobel

world over. Physics As we enter the winter months, the perils of icy footpaths again become an issue. Three researchers from New Zealand have demonstrated a novel way of reducing the risk of ending up on your backside! Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, showed that , on icy footpaths in winter-

time, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes. Medicine Medicine could always do with a boost in fun levels! So, applause goes to two Dutch Ig Nobel winners, Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride. Biology It turns out that bats are rude! A study entitled ‘Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time’ was always going to turn heads. This year’s biology Ig Nobel went to Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats. At so ends another year of improbable research and another batch of brilliant, strange and wonderful findings. Who knows what they might uncover in 2011.

The National Student, Autumn 2010

Out of Africa



Tara McLaughlin writes of the ‘rich, exciting and colourful’ culture of Tanzania’s famous Maasai tribe discovered by student charity workers over the summer


ollowing the world cup, South Africa has successfully put itself on the map as an exciting and popular tourist destination. The homeland of “Befana Befana” took advantage of the extensive media coverage brought by the competition in order to promote tourism and has successfully proved to the world that it is home to exciting safaris, exclusive resorts and breathtaking natural parks. However, just a couple of hundred miles north east of South Africa lies Tanzania. Home to the infamous Maasai tribe where the culture is so far removed from that of the South that tourists rarely venture there. We followed a group of students with the “Friends of Africa” charity to the town of Moita Bwawani in Tanzania on their six week African venture to meet the

Maasai. The trip is one of many projects throughout Zambia, Tanzania and South

action through sport and also educate the adolescent members of the Maasai by introducing them to different cultures and traditions.

Another obvious cultural difference is that of Polygamy. The Maasai men or “Morani” as they are known tribally are highly honourable and proud men but they are also polygamous which is strange in a Christian society. Africa organised by the Irish lay charity Friends of Africa, associated with the Society of African Missions. Students from Northern Ireland embark on a six week summer camp teaching students from the Maasai. The objective is to aid them with their English, maths and science studies, teach them fun and inter-

However, what the volunteers didn’t expect was that they themselves would return home having experienced a rich, exciting and colourful culture that they will never forget and will forever enhance their lives. It would seem that the differences between traditional tribal life and that of

the Western world are vast. As recalled by volunteer Maria McLaughlin, the five volunteers along with Irish priest Kevin Mulhern were welcomed warmly by the elder Maasai women with a chorus of emotive song and dance. The women donned ornate beaded jewellery which moved in perfect harmony with their routine. Throughout the six week programme they made countless pieces as gifts for the volunteers to take home as an expression of their gratitude for educating their children.

This is a huge step for the Maasai given that as little as two years ago girls were not permitted an education. The summer camp saw 46 girls and 50 boys travel from their nearby villages to stay at the camp which was built by the SMA Brothers. The girls gradually opened up to the volunteers through discussion and group activity and appeared to gain a lot of confidence through the afternoon sports. One girl explained that their timid na-

ture stems from a culture where women are placed in a “special group” in society. She also told the volunteers of the tribal opinion which states that “girls should do what their father requests and what he deems to be appropriate.” This is yet another encouraging indication that the Maasai are slowly allowing the volunteers into their world and feel close enough to talk in confidence with them. Another obvious cultural difference is that of Polygamy. The Maasai men or “Morani” as they are

The National Student, Autumn 2010


9 Meanwhile, the women stand together on the edge of the group and partake in the celebration separately. Although this may seem shocking and horrific, the Maasai women do not appear oppressed and a strong emphasis is placed on honour among the tribe. The Morani were highly respectful and kind to the group of volunteers and were not unkind to their women. They wel-

all day protecting them and finding water for them to drink. Throughout the camp, the volunteers grew very close to the students and were invited back to one girl’s Boma. Two volunteers walked for over an hour to meet her family and were greeted with proud smiles and warm hugs as she brought them into her home. She offered them “chai,” (tea) goat’s milk, hard boiled eggs and

The tribe also advocate female circumcision although it is illegal in Africa. Young girls as young as 14 undergo this operation performed by their own mothers and grandmothers without any medical professionals and very few medical supplies such as anaesthetics and clean tools. comed the volunteers into their Boma’s and thanked them for the gift of education they were bringing to their children. It is simply a different way of life and one which has never been challenged. Education can be paid for in a straight swap for cattle and money does not exist to the tribe. Their wealth is measured according to the size of their herds of cattle and goat and the Morani spend

known tribally are predominantly proud warriors who can walk up to 20kms daily attending to their cattle. They are highly honourable and proud men but they are also polygamous which is strange in a Christian society. It is common for one male to have up to nine wives living together in a village of Boma’s. These are the homes of the Morani families consisting of sticks and manure which hardens to form a plaster. Following a trip to a village of Boma’s, the volunteer’s explained how the

Maasai place an extremely strong emphasis on family and their children help to look after their siblings. They spend their days mostly farming but in the evenings they can be seen performing tribal song and dance, praying and giving thanks for the gift of their families. The subject of polygamy was a delicate one to discuss during camp. However, one of the lessons incorporated a debate with the motion “polygamy in Africa should be abolished,” and surprisingly it concluded with a majority

vote. The tribe also advocate female circumcision although it is illegal in Africa. Young girls as young as 14 undergo this operation performed by their own mothers and grandmothers without any medical professionals and very few medical supplies such as anaesthetics and clean tools. Following the girl’s recovery, a party is held to celebrate her womanhood in which the men eat rice, potatoes and goat and drink home–brewed beer.

a traditional rice and potato dish. She introduced them to all of her family (which took a considerable amount of time) and showed them around her village. Her mother then emerged with a stunning one month old baby and offered the child to the volunteers uttering words of “a better future in Ireland.” It would seem that the culture of the Maasai is a

far cry from the stunning and prestigious holiday resorts of the South and their primitive culture appears to be male dominated. However, it is a proud, abundant and exhilarating one rich in a strong Christian faith, a proud love of family and a simplistic existence which gives rise to a profound appreciation for the mere joy that is life. We westerners could learn a thing or two form their vast appreciation of all things living. Despite the shocking differences between men and women the volunteers were met with an enriching experience and became very close to the Maasai members. They were nothing but warm and friendly despite their obvious treatment of women as second class citizens. Think you’ve seen Africa because you’ve been on Safari? Travel thousands of miles to spend six weeks with the Tanzanian Maasai and think again! Aims of Friends of Africa: 1) To be a voice for the people of Africa in our home countries. 2) To fundraise for designated projects in Africa. 3) To send volunteers to work on specific projects in Africa. 4) To make friends and support each other both home and overseas.

The National Student, Autumn 2010




We know the last thing you want on starting university to be preached at, but it is really important to have the information you need to stay safe and healthy. Hopefully here we provide the answers to some of those important, sometimes, awkward questions that we all may need to ask.....

Let’s talk about sex.......


If you’re going to be having sex, and most of us will be at some point it really is a good idea to know about protecting yourself from those unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This is this the bit we talk about contraception. There’s a whole load of different methods to prevent the unwanted consequences of sex. Just be aware that only condoms also guard against STIs. Here’s the low down on the lot:

Barrier methods

A ‘barrier’ is a block that physically prevents sperm from entering the womb. The male condom is made from thin latex (or polyurethane), and fits over the erect penis. The female condom is made from polyurethane and is inserted inside the vagina before sex. Diaphragms and caps are each designed to fit over the female cervix, while all methods are most effective when used along with a spermicidal.

Hormonal contraceptives

Intrauterine methods

These are tiny devices (about the size of a matchstick) inserted into the womb through the vagina and cervix. There are several different types, including the IUS which contains slow release hormones. Both methods prevent sperm meeting an egg, or may stop a fertilised egg from settling in the womb.

Natural methods

Using natural indicators, such as changes in body temperature and/or cervical mucus, a woman is able to calculate what days she is fertile each month. When she knows she is fertile, she and her partner avoid sex or use a barrier method such as condoms. These techniques can be complicated, and take a great deal of commitment.


A permanent method of preventing pregnancy for men or women, often because they have decided they don’t want any more kids. For women, it involves an operation to cut or seal the fallopian tubes. For men, it means a procedure (called a vasectomy) to cut or block the tubes carrying sperm from the testes to the penis. It is unlikely that a UK surgeon would perform a sterilisation operation on a young person who hasn’t had any children.

Hormones are basically chemicals that occur naturally in the body, which are used to control certain functions. Some hormones can be created artificially and used to encourage the body to behave in a certain way. The combined or progesterone only pills are hormonal contraceptives. Hormonal methods of contraception are a safe and effective method of birth control for women, though none protect against sex infections. Over 60% of you who responded to’s Sexual Health Survey choose condoms as your most popular form of contraception while 23% are on the pill.

Have I got an STI? There’s something weird going on downstairs, and you’re pretty sure it’s a sexually transmitted infection. Here’s the best way to deal with it. Admit it

The worst thing you can do is pretend nothing’s happening. Admit to yourself you need to do something about the problem and act quickly. Don’t take the risk with your health. Okay, it might turn out to be just a pimple or an allergy but be honest; you won’t be able to relax until you know what’s wrong.

Get help

Look online, in the phone book or call the nearest large hospital. Find out where the GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinic is, and what the opening times are. Then GO - don’t keep putting it off. Yes, you might find it embarrassing and a bit frightening when you turn up, but the staff are professionals and they’ve seen it all before. It’s confidential; you don’t even have to give your real name. You will get the right diagnosis, good advice, and the right treatment and it’s all free. If you don’t know very much about protecting yourself from STIs, they will give you lots of information about safer sex, and plenty of free condoms to take home.

Condoms The facts – unrolled The condom is the most popular form of contraceptive. When used correctly, the (male) latex condom is 98% effective against pregnancy and STIs.

What’s on offer?

Condoms are most effective when coated in a spermicide. They are often also lubricated (to make sex more comfortable) but spermicide/ lubricant free condoms are readily available, as are flavoured, coloured or textured varieties. Condoms made from polyurethane offer the same level of protection, and provide an effective alternative for latex-allergy sufferers. The female condom is also made from polyurethane. It’s a larger version of the male condom and can be fitted inside the vagina before sex. If used correctly, the female condom is 95% effective against STIs and pregnancy.

Where can I get some?

Condom availability is widespread. They can be bought in supermarkets, chemists, pubs, bars, public toilets and petrol stations. They are also available free from family planning clinics and some young people’s centres. In every case, make sure there is a BSI kitemark or a CE mark on the packaging - this means they have been tested to a high safety standard.

How is it used?

1. A condom should always be unrolled onto an erect penis before sex, and preferably before any kind of

sexual activity. This is because during arousal the penis may release a clear liquid (called precum) which can contain semen. 2. Always pinch the teat at the top of the condom before rolling it over the penis. This will help to be sure that you’re putting it on right (teat facing upwards) and expel any trapped air. This also reduces the risk of the condom splitting during sex. 3. After sex, hold the base of the condom when withdrawing the penis to prevent it from slipping off. Dispose of it responsibly and if you’re up for any more action be sure to roll on another one fresh from its foil packet.

Benefits: The only contraceptive that can also prevent sexually transmitted diseases, including the HIV virus; A chance for men to take responsibility for contraception; Widely available and free from some places. Drawbacks: Condoms may slip or split, especially if handled roughly or torn by sharp fingernails or jewellery; Latex condoms are weakened by oilbased lubricants. Contact with body lotion, sun tan lotion, baby oil or Vaseline can quickly destroy the material; You have to interrupt sex to put a male condom on (but it’s a small price to pay for protection from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV).

Tell partners

They need to know. Try to trace anyone that you might have passed the infection on to; don’t just assume that they will notice something is wrong and go to a clinic. Break the news to them as calmly as possible and tell them they need to go for tests. 49% of you who responded to’s Sexual Health Survey worry about catching an STI. There’s no point in getting angry and blaming your girlfriend or boyfriend if they have infected you; safe sex is the responsibility of both partners. It doesn’t necessarily mean anyone was unfaithful; you, one of you could have been carrying the infection for a long time without having any symptoms.

Take Your Medicine

If you are prescribed antibiotics, finish the full course of tablets, otherwise the infection can come back. Avoid sex until you are given the all-clear by the doctor. Don’t be tempted to go to a GP pretending to have a chest infection when you know you’ve got an STI - chances are you will be given the wrong type of antibiotic, or a dose that is too weak.

Learn to cope

If you are unlucky enough to be infected with something that can’t be cleared up by antibiotics (like genital herpes or HIV), you will need support and advice on how to cope with it. GUM clinics have counselling available and there are specialist charities and agencies that can help too.

The National Student, Autumn 2010



......and drugs

Alcohol We all know the effects of alcohol, we’ve all seen the embarrassing photos from the night before; ‘why was I wearing that neon pink tutu?’ ‘Who shaved my hair off ?’ and ‘why am I doing the Moonwalk on the top of Yates’ garden table?’ Everyone reacts to alcohol differently, but the main side effects are standard, and different alcoholic drinks can also cause different effects. So what is it that makes you feel drunk? When you consume alcohol, roughly 20% of the alcohol is absorbed in the stomach, with the other 80% going to the small intestine. The reason you feel drunk and experience side effects such as slurred speech and stumbling is because one of the quickest effects of alcohol is on the central nervous system (CNS) which controls a large number of vital body functions, including: speech, muscles, sense organs and sweat glands. Usually the CNS receives information direct from our organs (eyes and ears for example), analyses it and then responds in the appropriate way (perhaps by contracting a muscle). Alcohol also affects the outer layer of the brain (the frontal cortex), this is the part that deals with conscious thoughts. So when you were doing the Moonwalk on the top of the table in Yates’ garden your frontal cortex had obviously lost all inhibitions. The buzz of carefree dancing doesn’t last long though before alcohol takes its toll and makes us all feel lousy. The three main symptoms experienced are detailed below so you can understand just exactly why and how they happen.

Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic. What this means is it encourages the body to lose more water than it takes on by affecting the production of the body’s anti-diuretic hormone. You know when you’ve had a few and you keep needing to go for a pee all the time? That’s why. That excessive loss of fluid from the body leads to dehydration. Alcohol also wrecks havoc on our stores of vitamins and minerals, these need to be in the correct balance for the body to function normally. Dehydration caused by drinking drains potassium from the body which results in thirst, muscle cramps, dizziness and faintness.

by producing more insulin, which removes the glucose. Once the process has started, the insulin carries on working removing glucose from the blood. Low blood glucose levels are responsible for the shakes, excess sweating, dizziness, blurred vision and tiredness. When the night is over and the photos are on Facebook and you’re fighting with a hangover, where does all that alcohol go? The liver is the main organ that breaks down the alcohol. It metabolises about 90%, while the other 10% is excreted through either our urine or breath. The alcohol is metabolises at the rate of about one or two units per hour, this varies between men and women. Ever wondered why the throbbing headache the morning after comes from? The liver needs water to get rid of toxins from the body, but as alcohol acts as a diuretic, there isn’t enough water in the body, so the liver is forced to divert water from other organs including the brain, hence those horrible headaches! The extra toxins your liver produces as a by-product during the breakdown of alcohol are known as acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a substance which has toxic effects on the liver, brain and stomach lining. Enough Acetaldehyde and hey presto, you’ve got yourself a killer hangover. The severity of your hangover will depend on the amount you had drunk the night before. The toxicity of alcohol can irritate the stomach causing gastritis (chronic stomach upset) often leading to vomiting. Alcohol can cause inflammation of the oesophagus, the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach, causing heartburn. Alcohol often affects your bowel movements. The small and large intestine reabsorb salt and water but alcohol interferes with this process often causing diarrhoea We all know one of the most important parts of being a student, is sleeping. And guess what? Alcohol has a funny effect on that too. It interferes with sleeping rhythms, and dehydration reduces the quality of the rest you get. Alcohol also relaxes the muscles in the back of your mouth, increasing the likelihood of snoring. So next time you have a heavy night out remember to leave your housemates some earplugs.

The shakes: When you drink, you consume large quantities of increased glucose. Your body responds to this

Advice produced in conjunction with:

Ecstasy It’s a class A drug, commonly seen as a ‘party pill’ but with destructive effects. E, pills, smarties, magic beans; it’s all the same; here are a few things you need to know just to stay safe. Ecstacy is a hallucinogenic amphetamine. The pill is made up of a mixture of drugs, using a synthetic drug called methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or more commonly known as MDMA. Standard form is as a white tablet – although it does vary in size. Some even have pictures or logos stamped on them. Different ecstacy tables contain different amounts of MDMA, if any, and this makes a big difference to the strength and the effects of the drug. Ecstacy users take the drug for several reasons: • • • • • •

The energy buzz makes you feel like you can party for hours. The effects are quick to kick in (around half an hour) The effects last for up to 6 hours, with a gradual comedown afterwards. Common effects include strong feelings of affection or love towards friends. Sound, colour and emotions seem much more intense. Feelings of empathy with other people and increased sensitivity to surroundings.

Unfortunately, like with most drugs, the bad points outweigh the good. As ecstacy kicks in and the body starts reacting with it, users are known to experience rushes of nervousness, paranoia and uncertainty. You jaw tightens, your heart rate increases and experience nausea and sweating- this is known as ‘coming up’.

Cannabis Weed, pot, dope, hash, green; whatever you call it, it’s probably the most commonly used drug amongst the student population, and the world, but it’s still illegal. Originally used as a medicine in ancient china, this hallucinogen has become a recreational drug and statistics from the United Nations’ World Drug Report show that in 2007 it was used by up to 190 million people around the world. It usually comes in the form of bushy weed, solid hash or oil. It can be smoked (with or without tobacco) eaten or drunk as a form of tea. The attraction towards cannabis over other drugs can vary from the taste, the easiness of getting hold of the drug, and the price. Like any drug cannabis also has addictive qualities and once you have started smoking it, it can often be hard to say no. Over the years there has been controversy surrounding the severity of the drug. Originally a Class B drug in the UK, in 2004 it re-classified as a Class C drug. Four years later it again reverted back to being classified class B. The effects of cannabis vary from person to person. Some may feel relaxed and happy, whilst others have one puff and sick. Other effects include: giggles,

Ecstacy also affects the body’s natural thermostat. The drug makes you feel invincible and the chances of overeating or dehydrating when you’re dancing all night in a hot sweaty club are at their maximum. If there’s one thing ecstacy doesn’t mix well with; it’s alcohol. Too much alcohol consumption alongside ecstacy can be fatal. In some cases ecstacy causes the body to release a hormone that stops you being able to go for a wee, so if you drink a lot too quickly, it interferes with your body’s salt balance- which can be just as dangerous as not drinking enough water. When the night of intense partying is over and the buzz is wearing down, the drug leaves users feeling tired, depressed and irritable for much longer than the experienced buzz- it can last for days. Everyone reacts differently to all drugs but in particular; users with heart conditions, blood pressure problems, epilepsy or asthma can have dangerous reactions to the drug. In the UK alone over the last 15 years there have been over 200 ecstacy related deaths. Ecstacy is becoming more readily available, and within student culture you’re never far from a dealer who can hook you up. If you do experiment with it, we want you to be safe. •

• •

To avoid overheating and dehydration - especially when dancing – you need to take regular breaks and drink plenty of nonalcoholic drinks like fruit juice or isotonic sports drinks. Be aware that not all ecstasy tablets contain MDMA, and the effects might be unexpected. Don’t mix alcohol with ecstasy or any other drugs.

becoming very talkative, hunger pangs or ‘the munchies’, a feeling of slowing time, hallucinations, heightened awareness of senses. Regular usage of cannabis is known to be associated with an increase in the risk of later developing psychotic illnesses including schizophrenia, although it is unsure on exactly what the lengthened risks of cannabis uses are. Like any drug though, it takes over your body and your senses and is sure to leave you in situations you are likely to regret the morning after!

The National Student, Autumn 2010



......and rock [well food]....

Let’s face it most of us know the obvious about good and bad food, but do we really know how many calories we are putting in our mouths? If you lead a busy life, it’s not always easy to make the best food choices. Fast food might be quick and keep you going, but is lacking those essential nutrients needed to keep you healthy. It is also more than likely loaded with excessive amounts of fat, salt and sugar.

Cooking for convenience

You may often find yourself cooking for one and it will seem simpler, and cheaper, to pick up a ready meal or a takeaway than cook from scratch. Finding out what goes into these foods can often be difficult task. While most ready meals will contain nutritional information, most of the food bought from takeaways won’t. A Which? Investigation into takeaway dishes found that a standard Indian meal can contain more saturated fat and a Chinese meal more sugar than a person should eat in a whole day! The consumer watchdog bought 10 portions of chicken tikka masala, pilau rice and a plain naan from independent curry houses and found that on average, the meal contained 1338 calories and 55.8 grams of fat. That’s a huge slice of the recommended daily calorie intake of 2000 calories for women and 2500 for men.

Liquid diet With all that alcohol consumption (and some of us do drink a lot!) it is worth considering the calorie count of your favourite beverage. Given that a pint of beer contains about 200 calories and a small glass of wine about 120, it’s easy to see how a night out can have a serious impact on your waistline. But does it really matter if you over consume every now and again? Reduced to simple figures you’d have to overeat by 3500 calories to gain one pound, and likewise to lose a pound you would have to save the same amount. This sounds like a lot, but if you ate an extra 500 calories you would gain a pound every week!

day (although the more portions the better!).

What is a portion?

One portion is about 80 grams, which could be half a grapefruit, a slice of melon, a handful of grapes, an apple, two satsumas, three dried apricots or a tablespoon of raisins. One portion of veg could be three heaped tablespoons of peas, carrots or sweetcorn or a bowl of salad. A medium-sized glass of 100% fruit juice also counts.

What counts?

• • • •

Five a Day People are always banging on about getting your ‘five-a-day’? But is it really that important? Put simply, yes! To live a long and healthy life, it is essential to have a balanced diet that includes loads of fruit and vegetables. But many of you aren’t doing that – 25% of young people in Britain eat mostly junk food. Around one in three young men and women are obese or overweight, while one in ten young people are actually obese, and heart disease is still the biggest killer in this country. This is why the Government have introduced the 5 A DAY scheme which recommends everyone should eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg each

Fresh, frozen, tinned and dried fruit and vegetables. Pure fruit and vegetable juices. Veg in ready meals, takeaways, pasta sauces and soups. Fruit in puddings.

But watch out for added salt/ fat/ sugar in takeaways and ready meals check out the labels. Look out for the 5 A DAY logo on packaging - it can only be used to promote fruit and vegetables without any added fat, sugars or salt. What doesn’t? • Potatoes, because they are considered a ‘starchy’ food like bread and pasta, but these are all important parts of a healthy diet. • More than one glass of juice - even if you drink lots of it during the day, juice has hardly any fibre and has loads of sugar which is bad for your teeth. • More than one portion of beans or pulses a day, because they don’t give the same mixture of vitamins and minerals as fruit and veg. • Jam. • Vitamin pills and supplements, as they don’t contain fibre.

Munching your favourite fruit or vegetable five times a day. You need to eat a variety to get the maximum benefits from all the different nutrients.

Are there any shortcuts? • Slice banana into your cereal. • Snack on an apple, banana, handful of grapes or raisins rather than a packet of crisps. • Have a glass of orange juice. • Dip veg sticks (e.g. carrots, celery) into salsa sauce. • Stuff salad bits such as cucumber, lettuce and tomato into your sarnies. • Add extra vegetables to pizza, pasta sauces and soups. • Stir fries, stews and casseroles are any easy way of combining up to nine vegetables in one go. • Replace stodgy puddings with a hunk of melon or a fruit salad. • Make a smoothie - blend low fat natural yoghurt with two handfuls of blackberries, blueberries or raspberries. • Make fruit kebabs by threading bite-sized chunks of apples, pears, strawberries and pineapple onto wooden skewers you could even grill or barbeque them. Skint gourmet You can eat well on a tight budget, and it really doesn’t have to break the bank. Get cooking. One thing’s for sure, you do pay for convenience. If your biggest problem is lack of cash, you can make up for it with a little more time and effort. Avoid ready meals and take-away foods, as well as being expensive they are often unhealthy and full of additives. Learn to cook a few quick and simple dishes

such as pasta, stews, or filled baked potatoes. If you buy your lunch, make your own sandwiches. Don’t buy everything at an expensive supermarket - use local shops and budget supermarkets wherever possible. The larger supermarket chains often have useful basic ranges, including tinned tomatoes, baked beans, and bread. A little bit of a good thing goes a long way. It’s occasionally alright to buy decent olive oil, some fresh parmesan etc. Following the suggestions above, you can save around 50% on your weekly grocery bill, and still eat really well. •

• • • • • •

Other top tips

Aim for a balanced diet: plenty of fruit and veg, starchy foods, enough protein, not too many saturated fats, and not too much sugar or salt. Never go food shopping when you’re hungry, you’ll end up buying snacks and junk that you don’t need. Work out what you need before you go to the shops, and take a shopping list. Stick to your shopping list most of the time, but be flexible if a real bargain turns up. Club together with friends and buy in bulk. Good for rice, pasta, potatoes, beans, coffee, tea, sugar etc. Buy your fruit and vegetables from your local market, and get what’s in season. Make friends with your local baker, greengrocer, fishmonger, or butcher. Ask them about which ingredients are good value for someone on a tight budget. Try to get some variety into what you eat. Look at how many people can’t eat baked beans any more after they’ve graduated from university. Scary.

Fashion F

pose and pout in front of the camera, with backdrops from some of the best photo shoots of series 6. You can learn the tricks of the trade at the Style Icon Workshops, and then let the experts do it for you in the Powder Room; filled with free hair and beauty makeovers and pamper treatments.

irst there was America’s Next Top Model. There were tears, tantrums and ‘Tyramail’; all held together by some fantastic outfits and invaluable tips for aspiring models. Then came Britain’s Next Top Model. Now we can watch Elle McPherson turn British girls from supermarket checkout assistants to a cover girl with a six page spread in Company magazine, a modelling contract with Models 1- Europe’s biggest modelling agency, and a £100,000 contract with Revlon make-up. How could it get any better, you ask? Next Top Model has already come to Britain, but now it’s hitting London; live, for every make-up loving, extension wearing, pouting perfectionist to enjoy! Add this date to your diaries girls, for the first time ever Britain’s next top model will be at the London Excel Centre from October 2224 2010. Based on the international reality TV show the day is set to be London’s biggest fashion and beauty fix, providing you a day of glitz, glamour and free gifts! It’s going to be the ultimate in retail therapy; one to bring the boyfriend along to and get him holding your bags whist watching you try on some fabulous new trends just in time for the winter season. There will be exhibitions, shopping, beauty, health and fitness, and interactive features to get involved with. As if that isn’t enough, the event will be hosting a series of hour-long catwalk shows throughout the day. With new styles from up and coming talented designers, the shows will include special appearances from all of the girls from Britain’s Next Top Model series 6, alongside top music acts and live entertainment. In a 3,000 seat auditorium, you can really expect something special from these shows!

With all that free style treatment, we recommend you head on over to the BNTM application studio and film your video entry for BNTM 2011, you could be the next British girl fighting for her place as Britain’s Next Top Model. For more chances to be spotted, check out the Casting Couch where Models1 modelling agency will be scouting for new faces for their future fashion and beauty projects. For more information and to buy tickets head over to:

WIN TICKETS TO BRITAIN’S NEXT TOP MODEL LIVE Once you’ve had your fix of watching the girls strut their stuff, it’s going to be time to get out there and try it yourself. Head to the Central Champagne bar and show them how to walk it on the red carpet on the entrance to a huge selection of the UK’s best high street brands and designer labels. Next take a stop

at the Open Catwalk, where you can learn how to walk the walk like the professionals (whilst being snapped by the papps from Company Magazine of course!) When you’ve got that walk mastered, it’s down to the Paparazzi Zone where Company Magazine are on hand again to help you

Flying fashion for autumn For the Autumn/Winter season the fashion spotlight turns in favour of the aviator-flying jacket. Destined for the style-setter’s wardrobe as 2010’s key defining piece, take inspiration from vintage-enthused outerwear with exaggerated collars and a plethora of straps and buckle details. All worked in luxe-touch shearling and leather, the trend has honed in on the 1920’s style of Amelia Earheart. Strong, sexy and feminine… All we need now is a handsome pilot! Boohoo has a fabulous range of Aviator jackets, starting from just £45. Team them with fur lined boots, satin shirts, and tailored harem trousers to complete your autumn look. Jump aboard this season’s biggest hitting trend - the all in one. From denim domination to bohemian prints and romantic florals, pair with vertiginous heels and watch your style status grow and grow. Jumpsuits are a real progression from this summer’s fave the maxi dress; equally as flowing and easy to wear, but with a real twist for the huge trouser trend we’re about to see. Boohoo has jumpsuits for all occasions – 70s style bold glamour for rocking the club, sweet florals for that bohemian daytime look, and bold patterns to make a real statement. Check out the range at – available now!

Head online:

Technology HTC Desire Three years ago, Apple reinvented the concept of a mobile phone. It delivered a groundbreaking product in its iPhone, which combined touch-screen technology with text messaging, Internet access, email and a more than capable camera. The emergence of the ‘smart-phone’ market has been largely down to Apple, but now a new breed of mobile device is giving the iPhone a run for its money. Android, an operating system developed by Google, is now used in a number of mobile devices across the market, but perhaps none are more successful than the HTC Desire. You only have to look at the HTC Desire to be blown away. If it’s crystal-clear display and awesome graphics don’t make you weak at the knees, it’s speed and usability surely will. It comes with an in-built 5-megapixel camera, Internet access, Bluetooth, a bagful of widgets, social networking and multimedia facilities and, of course, there’s a huge application library to help you personalise your phone too. So, you’re probably thinking this device will set you back a fortune - just like the iPhone would, right? Wrong. There are some awesome deals on the HTC Desire, meaning you can snap it up from just £15/month. Alternatively, you could opt for the Desire’s little brother, the HTC Wildfire, in which case, you can save even more money, as this little gem starts from little more than £9/month. So if you’re looking to make a few mates rather envious, save yourself a few bob and choose the HTC Desire.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro If the lure of a smart-phone is too much for you to resist, then look no further than the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro. Whilst its name is a bit of a mouthful, the Xperia X10 is the ‘phone of the year’ – which is quite a claim considering its competition. Having said that, Sony has covered all its bases by releasing no less than three versions of the phone, ensuring that there’s something for everyone! It’s the Xperia X10 Mini Pro version that will appeal most to students. It’s available from around £8/month with inclusive minutes and unlimited texts, and has a 5-Megapixel camera with video recording, as well as an FM radio, an MP3 player, built-in GPS and access to the web and email. Running on the Android operating system, the X10 Mini Pro also offers you thousands of apps to download! What is incredible about this device is that it offers so much, in such a stylish and well thought-out way. It’s lightweight, the customisable touch-screen is very responsive and the QWERTY keypad is a key feature to the phone, making texting, emailing and web browsing far easier and more efficient. The real bonus with this phone is its money-saving potential. Not only is it available from around £8/month, but by choosing this device, no-longer will you be needing to splash out on a new digital camera for university/college, and you won’t be needing a new iPod either! Everything you need is here, in one great device.

Nokia 2220 Slide Compact sliders were once, all the rage – and it’s only as a result of the evergrowing smart phone market, that the once popular phone fell from its pedestal. But, thanks to students, the compact slider is set to bounce back – and in some style! Sure, we’d all like an ‘all-singing-all-dancing’ mobile phone, but as students, money is tight – so what we need, and what we want, are two very different things! Do we need a 5 Megapixel camera, an MP3 player and a phone all in one device? Well, no, not really. For most, a phone just needs to be able to text, and make and receive calls. And for this, there’s no better mobile than the Nokia 2220 Slide. The Nokia 2220 Slide is not a bad looking phone. It has a simple look to it, and couldn’t get much easier to use. It comes in a variety of colours, and has all the essentials and features we’ve come to expect from mobile phones such as an inbuilt Personal Information Management (PIM) system, which includes a calendar, clock and calculator. It has an FM radio and a camera, as well as offering web access and email. Perhaps the most impressive part of this phone is the cost. There are many deals to be had on each of the major networks, but you could be entitled to 600 inclusive minutes and unlimited texts for just over £2/month. Either that, or you could bag yourself a free PS3 Slim!

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is Nokia’s first, fully touch-screen phone and is squarely aimed at being a cheap alternative to the popular Apple iPhone – meaning it’s ideal for students operating on a small budget. Whilst it may not have the same aesthetic qualities as the iPhone, its simple design and robust outer-casing are just two features, which should appeal to students. No longer should you be concerned when putting your phone on your desk, screen-side down - the XpressMusic makes sure your screen won’t get damaged with a rather useful plastic lip, which runs around the outside of the screen – it really is a student-friendly phone! The music player may take the lead role in this device, but the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic offers so much more on top of that. There’s a good image gallery function, as well as excellent online sharing facilities, video and a fantastic web browser. When it comes to the cost of the phone, students have a number of options. You can spend just under £15/month, or, pay a little extra and pick up a 4GB Xbox 360! We know what you’re mates will be hoping you do! Alternatively, the ExpressMusic is available through several ‘clearance offers’, meaning you can get yourself an ex-demonstration model from under £10/month – with inclusive minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB data usage! What more could you want from a student phone?

Reviews by Mobile Phones 4 Students searches over 180,000 mobile phone deals, from the UK’s largest suppliers to find the best money-saving offers, perfect for students! With further discounts available from our website and via our monthly newsletter, you’ll be crazy not to check out

Tech review: Olympus Linear PCM Recorder Do you need to record a lot of high-quality audio? If the answer is yes, then listen up! The new Olympus Linear PCM Recorder is a pretty solid bit of recording kit. The claims that this is a ‘recording studio in your pocket’ are not far off the mark, as this allows you to record and edit high-quality audio on the move, wherever you are. But let’s cut to the chase, this is not a cheap option! At just under the £200 mark it’s not for those on a budget, but if it is quality you are after then this is a good bet. This can handle serious pro-level audio recording with it offering up to 24-bit/96kHz Linear PCM [trust us that is good], mp3 and WMA recording. It also comes with some neat built in kit like an SD card slot, stereo microphones, 1/8”stereo mic input and 1/8”

stereo line input. It also has a 1/8” output, reverb and euphony effects, Zoom Mic setting; remote control jack; stereo 16mm speakers; USB 2.0 connectivity; operates on 2 AA batteries or via DC power connection. It also comes with the Steinberg Cubase LE 4, mic windscreens, a leather/nylon handstrap, 1/8” cable, USB cable, and carrying case. After all that technical gumpf all you need to really know is it comes with all you need to record what you need be it an interview, lecture or a live band! The storage is also impressive offering 2GB of memory, which at the highest quality offers around 55 minutes of recording, according to Olympus. This can be expanded up to 32GB using the SDHC-compatible

SD card slot. To help you make the most of the space, files can be divided, partially erased and transferred between the internal memory and SD cards.

‘If what you are after is clear and crisp professional sound at a reasonable price the Olympus Linear PCM Recorder should be top of your list.’ The battery life should give you around 23 hours when fully charged, which is more than enough to do what you need to do. Keeping track of all those files

is also pretty simple. You can set practical index marks both during recording an playback, allowing instant access to your files. The supplied Olympus Sonority software allows you to save files to multiple folders on PC or Mac, where they can be split, marked, indexed, partially deleted and browsed by intro. So it’s all pretty impressive, but you’re still bulking at the price-tag! In terms of what this offers the price is very costeffective. If what you are after is clear and crisp professional sound at a reasonable price the Olympus Linear PCM Recorder should be top of your list. In fact we like it so much we have bestowed the honour of this summer’s ‘Best student technology’ award on it, glowing praise indeed!

‘Best Student Technology’ - summer 2010

New term, new laptop Advice from Which? If your budget is tight, look for a laptop that delivers only the features you really need. You’ll probably need a model that’s light and small enough to fit into a backpack and be carried around comfortably. Low-cost netbooks are a good choice as their main use will be for writing, emailing and connecting to the internet – but they’re not suitable for playing games.


Netbooks cost between around £200 and £400. They’re small and light enough to fit into a rucksack and are great for surfing the web and working on general office or college documents. Their low cost, small size and portability make them ideal for students although the size of the keyboard and screen mean that you probably won’t want to write your entire dissertation using one. They’re also less powerful than full laptops and they don’t come with a CD or DVD drive, though you will get wireless connectivity. The operating system on a netbook may differ from the one you’re used to. Some come with Windows XP or Linux but many now run a cut down version of Windows 7.

Basic laptops

Basic laptops have more features than netbooks and cost between around £300 and £400. Lacking

mouse pad are comfortable to use. Ask yourself: how does the size of the screen look, and does the laptop feel light enough for your needs?

some of the higher-end media features and fast 3D graphics, most basic laptops will have a 15inch screen and a DVD recorder, and would be suitable for word processing, using office software, web access, and photo editing. Look for a model with a dual processor, at least 2GB of RAM (the more the better), as well as Windows 7. A hard drive of at least 160GB is the norm with basic laptops. This may sound quite a lot but if you’re planning to store music and video on it, you’ll find it gets used up quite quickly so, again, get as much storage space as you can afford. As they’re bigger and heavier, full-sized laptops aren’t as easy to lug around as netbooks. On the plus side, the keyboards are easier to type on (better for that dissertation…).

Getting the right specification

If you’re on a tight budget, but want to make sure that you get the bestperforming laptop you can afford, aim to spend as much as you can on increasing the laptop’s memory (RAM). A decent processor (the ‘brain’ of the computer) is also a good idea, but you don’t need to go overboard getting the best one on the market. Some manufacturers may offer special deals on older processors when, for example, they offer double the RAM for the same price.


You’ll find real savings online, but you’ll have to navigate through computer jargon to get a cheap laptop deal. Another downside is that you don’t get to see your chosen model first-hand.

‘Free’ Laptop Warning

Some shops will offer a ‘free’ or subsidised laptop when you sign up to a mobile broadband contract – usually 18 or 24 months – with some mobile phone companies. Which? has found that some of these deals will actually cost you more than if you bought the same laptop and mobile broadband separately.

Student savings Battery life

It’s well worth thinking about how often you’ll need your laptop or netbook to run on the battery alone. If it’s going to spend most of its time plugged into a wall then a battery that lasts for a few hours will be fine. However, if you want it to last all day, unplugged in the lecture hall, make sure you get a high capacity battery or carry a spare.

Getting the best laptop deal

It’s important to do some price research before buying a laptop. Start with a price comparison site or read Which? reviews and get the best prices at

On the high street

It’s worth going along to a shop to try out the laptop you’re interested in, even if you end up buying the model you want online for less. Make sure you like the feel of your chosen laptop, and that features such as the keyboard and the

Laptop companies often advertise low-cost deals for students. Apple’s student discount scheme, for example, can mean more than £100 off the price of an Apple MacBook Air, although discounts vary depending on the laptop. However, not all student laptop deals are the bargains they claim. Sometimes the laptops on offer are low-spec models, and by stretching the student loan a little further you could get a much better deal elsewhere.

To get a free copy of the ‘Which? Buyer’s Guide to Laptops’, call 0800 389 8855 and quote code PC863F

Riding Dorothy! We meet some pretty crazy people in this line of work, and there are few more crazy than writer Nathan Millward. For a year he sent us updates from an epic journey across the globe on a motorbike. Now he has been asked to write a book about his adventures.....

Life can lead you to some funny places if you let it. Like your last day at uni when you’re contemplating your future and wondering where it all goes from here. So many different directions you could take. So many opportunities and fears. I was the same, never quite sure what I should be doing, and making some wrong turns along the way. Until one day, somehow, I found myself in Australia with a visa that was about to expire and a strange idea to ride a motorbike all the way home to England. For reasons of adventure, for reasons of escape, for reasons of wanting to undertake a terrific test that didn‘t involve any decisions, except for the one to set off that day. The bike I would be riding was a 105cc second-hand Honda called Dorothy. Dorothy could only do 40mph and that meant with only two weeks to be out the country I would have to ride the 3,000 mile from Sydney to Darwin almost

non-stop if I was to catch the boat to East Timor in time. The documentation to do something like this is a little fiddly, but worth every bead of sweat when you see your first Outback sunrise. It’s incredible, playing David Gray on your iPod as you ride across it at 5am. Then you meet some Aborigines and some Joe Mangels and some backpackers in wagons they’ve rented and you remember why you decided to go there on a working holiday visa in the first place. Good times! We made it to Darwin with a day to spare and off Dot sailed on a cargo boat, while I flew overhead, to Dili, the capital of East Timor, a place on the news for all the wrong reasons. I’d never been to Asia before and what I found was a city in ruins, the UN all around, Australian soldiers in the street. But these places are never as bad as they seem, and slowly you adjust, I had to at least, because I was going to ride a tiny motorbike

along the jungle roads, across the rest of Indonesia, in a pair of Converse high-tops and floral board shorts. Apart from Bali, Indonesia is an untouched wilderness. The people scream ‘hey mister’ and hassle you wherever you go. That’s why I started camping, out in the wild, across Java and Sumatra, a cheap Kmart tent and the rain that fell at night. Then to Malaysia, which was a nightmare to get to. Across the Strait of Malacca there are no vehicle ferries, meaning Dot quite literally had to sail on a banana boat, being held hostage on the other side until I paid the captain more money. I was indifferent to Malaysia. It was nice enough but a bit bland after Indonesia. Thailand on the other hand I immediately loved. I can see why so many people travel there, though I didn’t think much to Phuket where all the sex tourists go. I spent more time in Bangkok, a great city, especially on a motorbike which you can race around

flat out, then north to Chiang Mai, a jungle region where the mountains grow, staying in wooden shacks, eating phad thai, meeting the great, generous, smiling people of Thailand. By now me and Dorothy had been on the road for three months and ridden 8,000 miles. I was loving the challenge, and the simplicity of it. Never having to question what I was doing with my life, I just got up, and rode, all day, and sometimes all night. The only problem was Burma, or Myanmar as it’s now known. You can’t ride through it, meaning you either have to go up and over through China, or over it in an aeroplane. Surprisingly the second option is cheaper, and that was important given that I was being financed by Mastercard and Visa. We flew from Bangkok to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. What a crazy place! Politically unsettled, almost medieval in its spirit. It wasn’t my favourite country, kids on corners sniffing glue. But it

was fascinating to see. Everest on the horizon. Snow and rock all around. Then down to India. Bloody hell. Riding in India is like being on the dodgems, everyone aiming for you, lorries, trucks, cows, bikes, everything is a threat. Roasting hot too, almost fifty degrees. I went to Varanasi and watched the bodies burn by the river Ganges and in a rooftop hostel with people from all over the world. This is why we travel, at least that’s what I think - the people we meet, not the sights we see. Some of them loved India. Some hated it. I did more of the latter but I think that‘s the way you get after many months on the road. I became less tolerant, not more. Especially in Delhi where you can’t drop your guard for a minute, even taking a taxi you’ll be scammed. That’s good in a way, it makes you feel most alive. There’s none of that numbness

Pakistan surprised me because it was so very different to India. The people more respectful of personal space, and friendlier. I liked it. Though a Frenchman had been kidnapped the week before me and Dorothy arrived, which made me worry for my safety, but soon you just don‘t care. I loved the danger, even the threat. Truth is you have to be prepared for the worst or else you’d never cross the border. On a campsite in Islamabad I was guarded by soldiers with machine guns, armed police give you escorts on the road. My original plan was to exit Pakistan to the west, into Iran and then Turkey. But as I couldn’t get an Iranian visa I had to go up and over Afghanistan instead of beneath it. And that meant paying a fortune to take a foreign vehicle into China. The road from Pakistan takes you over the Himalayas, along the Karakorum Highway, peaking at almost 5,000 metres. That’s great altitude for man and machine but somehow Dot made it, sprottling up the steep hills in first gear for hours on end, in the snow, in the freezing cold, with a banging headache. Until we hit the top and freewheeled down into China, the

soldiers checking my laptop, insisting I rode with a guide. Sadly I was only there 7 days but I’d like to go back and see more of China. The people are lovely, the food great, and it still feels largely untouched. That’s also true of Kyrgyzstan, the country we entered next on our passage through Central Asia. The country sits below Kazakhstan and is an incredibly pretty place. Nomads live in tents in the wilderness, there are beautiful lakes and a growing tourist industry, no doubt vexed by the country’s recent ethnic tension. But wait for it to settle and then if you want somewhere off the beaten track, to hike, to explore, go there because it’s an interesting, post Soviet world. In Bishkek, the capital, stay at Sabrybeck’s Guesthouse. It’s got a kitchen table around which backpackers from all over the world sit and drink tea while sharing their stories. But don’t go to Kazakhstan, there really is nothing there, just an endless landscape of dry grassy scrub and villages that look

like Borat’s, but people friendly, just as they are across the rest of the world. It had taken me eight months and 19,000 miles to get this far. Man and machine were both knackered, she was leaking oil, I was worn out. But we were on the final push. We had ridden across the world at 40mph, on a whim, to escape, and we had escaped, and seen some amazing countries, met some amazing people, now the horrible realisation that it was all about to come to an end. Stop. We all have to stop. We can’t run for ever. This would be my last stand. Through Russia and Ukraine and Poland, riding at a terrific pace, not showering or changing clothes for weeks on end. Just riding for the love of it. Then the EU, and the German autobahn. Just surviving, hanging on in there, sleeping by the roadside in bushes and a tent with a missing pole. But me and Dot had made it, we’d ridden across the world in nine months and 23,000 miles in one pair of Converse boots. And we were pooped. Now to get a job!

Kylie is back


ylie is a name synonymous with pop, dance and glamour. These two syllables need no explanation, they are a constant around the world. Kylie has reached the dizzy heights of stardom to rival Madonna and Prince and what do you expect after over 20-years in show business. Her latest album Aphrodite is not likely to reduce the worldwide phenomena of Kylie, and if anything revisits her early days of pint-sized pop sensationalism. “It’s been described as a return to the dance floor; I don’t think I ever totally left but it is a return to form I’d say,” says 42-year-old Kylie.

You can see her point, after a glance at her singles back catalogue. ‘2 Hearts’ (2007), for example, is catchy but fails to get you busting out your best dance moves. ‘Slow’, a number one in 2003, is also lacking that dance vibe. After her well documented battle with breast cancer in 2005, Aphrodite provides a lighter alternative to Kylie’s last album X in 2007. “I think a lot of what I do now is, in some way, coloured by the experience I had with illness. I guess I was just feeling like expressing joy at this point, I’d written songs more about that period in my life either on or for the last album, so I didn’t feel like going through those again; this was about this moment, this time, and what a happy experience this has been for me.” “A lot of people question why so many pop songs are about love, why operas are so written, why paintings are painted, why we cry during really silly commercials. Love in all its various forms challenges us all the time and I guess you could say this was a little love affair with this album. I loved coming to work and I loved working with Stuart [Price], I think that feeling comes through on the album” she says. Stuart Price is the producer of Aphrodite, which debuted at number one in the UK charts. “I think it was important for us to make a record that sounded like it was a moment in time, that came from the same place, from the same voice, from

with her new album Aphrodite. Samantha Viner caught up with the pop princess.....

the same heart” he says. “This was the time capsule. Having it all in one spot just gave it the cohesive sound that we wanted from the start.”

Having an executive producer was a first for Kylie and the consistency seems to have rubbed off. “It was just the best experience, and funnily enough I think it’s the most cohesive album I’ve had since the beginning of my career, back in the PWL [Pete Waterman Limited] days, where by its very nature made it cohesive. There’s a lot to be said for working with different producers and trying different stuff which has worked really well for me in the past but I definitely wanted someone to tie this together as Stuart has done so beautifully ... so that it existed as a real body of work.”. Aphrodite came about thanks to a uniting force Scissor Sisters, Queen-Bee Jake Shears. Kylie and Price have both worked with the Scissor Sisters in the past, a factor that brought them together.. Kylie herself made a guest appearance at Glastonbury this year performing with the pop quartet and Price coproduced their latest album Nightwork. They both have front-man Shears to thank for the success of Aphrodite. “The reason all of this came around was because of our dear friend Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters, who was working in this very studio, as I had started recording my album in various

‘Looking For An Angel’ was one of the first tracks to see the light of day from her work with Price. It’s synth pop vibe and catchy lyrics certainly hark back to the early days with Pete Waterman. “That [Looking For An Angel] was the first song we wrote together” says Kylie. “We had our notebooks at the ready; yours was a very special one and mine was from the 99cent store! One of the titles was ‘Angel’ and Stuart asked me “have you ever had a song called Angel?” I literally had to think back because one would imagine I had done so, but no, we hadn’t. So that was our first song; in a tiny little studio in New York, very compact. It was nice.” Working amidst the New York buzz seemed to suit Kylie and Price’s style. “You had the advantage that you were spending a lot of time in New York, so you were living a certain “bubble” of life there. I think that was a different, mentality, from just checking

Pallot and Cupid Boy was done with Luciano and the Swedish House Mafia. I think it’s a good way of illustrating that, of the songs on the record there’s stuff that Kylie wrote and stuff she wrote with other people… Songs would come in or we’d hear something and it would have a resonance with the rest of the record.”

the microphone here - which could not be more relaxed – not in another studio, doors shut, waiting on the cans, feeling like ‘I’m in a studio I’ve got to get it right’”. “We just sang here and it was the easiest thing, that also helped to make the songs feel like mine - once I’d already recorded them and lived with them a little bit - and had that time and space to get to know the song and do it here. It was just another means of tying everything together.” Aphrodite is of course the goddess of love and other tracks include Looking For An Angel and Cupid. These names suggest a bit of a divine intervention throughout the album which wasn’t entirely planned. “There is something of a celestial feel throughout the album, definitely not on every track but I think we tapped into that, on the first song we did together ‘Looking For An Angel’. Personally, I’m always

‘And of course there was the “Dolly Parton Litmus Test” which I’ve got to tell you has travelled, I’ve been asked so much about that.’ studios around the world”. “He praised Stuart highly and loves me dearly, and basically pestered me and said “you’ve got to do this, it’ll be so amazing!”, so I’ve got much to thank Jake for.” From the 12 track album,

into a studio, writing for a day and then leaving” says Price. The bubble of the New York studio also resulted in Kylie re-recording material. “We had songs with perfectly good vocals recorded elsewhere, but we (decided) “let’s just blast through” on

attracted to those ethereal, starry, universal ideas.” Price explains that tracks on the album were included because they fitted in with the “blueprint of the record.” He says: “Kylie did [Aphrodite] with Nerina

“At that point it’s almost like there’s no way it couldn’t have been on the record. It was as if everyone was there at that time and was part of the same thing…all songs written by combinations of different teams but all sharing that unifying idea of the album.” But making this album wasn’t all hard work and no fun. The duo managed to find a very unique way to check a song was all it could be. “We’d both be listening in our own world and there’d be the point in the song when the hands would go up! Hands up - good reaction. And of course there was the “Dolly Parton Litmus Test” which I’ve got to tell you has travelled, I’ve been asked so much about that.” Kylie continues: “The soon to be trademarked and copyrighted “Dolly Parton Litmus Test” is a way of, testing a song’s viability as a song without production. He’d get his acoustic guitar out and we’d sing.” This distinctive ‘litmus’ test has allowed Kylie and Price to create a beautiful album. With age and grace Kylie has made a sophisticated album with the hints of playfulness from the Pete Waterman days. Each track has a catchy riff and lyric which is thanks to the numerous collaborators including Jake Shears, Calvin Harris, and Nerina Pallot to name but a few. Album number 11 is certainly a triumph. Debuting at number one, 22 years after her first number one hit, it shows that Kylie is not going anywhere no matter what hits her. “I thought the tenth album, X, was a benchmark but this one has just been amazing. I wouldn’t care what number you called it. It’s been the most amazing experience.”

Each year our intrepid reviewier Ian Phillips heads up to Edinburgh to binge on delights of the Fringe - the world’s largest arts festival. Here are the comedy highlights that tickled his funny bone in 2010....

Colin Hoult (right) Colin Hoult is a very fine characte r comic who will un name, but for the doubtedly become time being he’s the a household tal l bloke in the Russ on BBC Three. He ell Howard’s Good ’s got great transfor News skits mative abilities, su creepy sense of hu perb vocal dexterity mour. Hoult and his and a slightly slightly unsettling rich, stylish, atmos flunkies have a un pheric and immersi ique brand of ve character sketc drift gracefully into h comedy, their sk the next in hypnoti etches flow and c fashion and the re’s never a dull mo ment.

Lady Garden (left) Lady Garden (Eleanor, Camille, Beattie, Hannah, Rose & Jessica) have really upped their game. Their experience shows; they maintain a girly quality but an extra playfulness and mischief is revealing itself with devilish fracturing of the fourth wall and a move away from more traditional sketch structures. Their style and performance has also developed, the pace has tightened, the ideas and staging are sharper and the skill and attention to detail and is much more astute. They have thrown off the label of ‘new young female sketch act’ and they are now simply a strong contemporary sketch act to be reckoned with.

Delete the B anjax


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Greg Davies (left) Firing cheeseballs at a dog. True story. One of many that Greg Davies (We Are Klang) wanted to share. You don’t laugh at Davies you laugh with him; he’s not afraid to show his own amusement at the tales he tells, howling and squawking, mouth gaping, eyes wide... He’s got a somewhat intimidating stature, but there’s nothing to fear, apart from his spit landing in your pint. Davies’ debut solo show saw him perform, finally, without the backup of unfathomable lunacy, here he took a step into the human condition. I’d like to see him put his waders on.


m r. Moham (right) d wallflowe ceted e o fa n im lt is u e m m a h o xpect, h ving his e a M e ’d w u k p o y y tl s c h a lenty s Ni ck for lig wallow h w, and a rrific kna ulsive, ces. Mr S r Swallo

te v is M experien e has a ven con ohammed a breed apart; h teractive erratic, e in , c g oosting ti b in e n rb ry Nick M e o memo nd abs t say fr ows are is a h h h y ig s y, T n r . m n d te e fu c te constantl most chara expec lity, som aking the , and it’s s can be persona ic m a g e ll to a e iv s in m w s f ls s skil bit o ols a ry expre suffers fo s, a little nd a ve l and he igression to say a u d o , s s ry te e o cd a che with ane but he’s flowered is p o h s work funny. riotously

Frisky & Man nish

Josie Long Ms Long has been on a diet something in the last missing fr year, mea o m the Josie life under ning that we’ve beco a Conserv literally an me accust ative or e d figurativ have cause ve omed to. H ely there n a d Josie L C o n se is aving neve rv ative-ish g ong to un whimsy, o r lived her overnmen dergo a sl nly some adult t ig th h e o t se f co it mind... Ma coincidenta nversion. the amuse king this sh Josie has l factors d examina put aside ow an intr tion of a m iguing mix some of h an’s breakf of impass er ast photog ioned polit raphy. ics and


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Edward Aczel (right)

Jonny Swe et (rig


g a script, not just holdin ay with reading from aw t ge uld lief co be t tha ars gg script. It be other stand-up I can’t think of any show directly from his g the majority of the din y. His deconstructed rea ntl lly llia tua bri ac , rks -by wo it on stand it does. Somehow it w ho me so t bu ation; there’s a real rk pir sumably divine ins pre frankly, it shouldn’t wo d an ling oo sch nd-up comedy act is the result of sta rk here. wo at s touch of geniu

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WitTank WitTank have been gracing the Fringe with consistent quality (superior to the Durham Revue that rejected them!) for a few years now, but they still haven’t got the attention they deserve. They run a tight ship; every sketch a belter, each performer giving it their all, occasional corpsing aside. WitTank are Naz Osmanoglu, Kieran Boyd and Mark Cooper-Jones; two up-and-coming stand-ups and a geography teacher. These chaps certainly can’t be accused of giving halfhearted performances. The ideas are strong and the sketches are rarely too long, it’s tidy, competent and assured.

is our. Horne (below, right) e ne of the h n o r b o ck tle a lit H b a e x d Ale us an ding th eky, cautio mble provi e, a tad ge telligent articular ga , with a p umbling styl mfortably in quest show a slightly b er, he’s co n ith n a w m s n g ia A bit of a d rin come ry endea best quest e has a ve cardigan. one of the rytelling. H o st Horne is a is x h le in A e y. tr tiv l si I’l n t u se b overdescribe s tough to and cosy, it’

The Boy with Tape on His Face(left) The Boy With Tape on his Face provides ceaseless entertainment but never says a word. He gently guides a succession of press-ganged volunteers through a random selection of sight gags, mime, puppetry, dance, prop based silliness and practical japery. Tape Face quickly achieves a great rapport with the audience; wide eyed and deft of fingers he shoots bewildered glances when volunteers struggle to interpret his occasionally obtuse instructions. It’s a brilliant show that comes highly recommended with a Best Newcomer nomination and tons of rave reviews.

Two Episode s of Mash (righ t) This

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Kevin Eldon (below) One of our finest comedy actors in the flesh, what a treat. Kevin Eldon throws himself wholeheartedly into each and every character, of course he does, and he fills each one with all the emotion and intensity you’d expect from him. We even got a glimpse of the real Kevin Eldon, or as quick a glimpse as we were ever going to get before another spasm of something-or-other burst out of him. The balance between characterisation and comedy was perfectly drawn, there was no pretension here just enormously professional, high quality titting about.

And the best student sketch comedy...

The Leeds Tealights

They’ve got loads of great sharp and simple ideas and they know when to close a sketch without dragging it out beyond its natural life. The content mixes abstract ideas with more straightforward material, never becoming too predictable. A few of their sketches are so clean and so simple they seem obvious with hindsight but are a real joy to discover, they’ve also got a couple of real raucous belters hidden up their sleeves. With plenty of great skits, canny writing and a little sprinkling of genius, we’re naming Leeds Tealights The Best Student Sketch Group 2010.

Bristol Revunions

There’s a nice abstract flavour to this show in a lot of the material, there’s a bit of telepathy, some confusion with time and a delightful big finish. For the second year running, Bristol shine in the short form, there are brilliantly conceived mini sketches, plus a couple of opportunities for members of the group to stretch themselves in solo character pieces. It’s a very strong team from Bristol, no weak links, every performer showing great professionalism and working to a very high standard, each one of them is a strong promising talent.

Image:Ollie Millington

de Latitu As Latitude hits 5 years old, does the genteel festival still act as a flagship for the arts? Centred around a pristine lake, with woodland running parallel and the fields beyond populated with the usual festival fare, the site still holds some semblance of nature, even with a 35,000-strong crowd attending. Well, that is, apart from dyed sheep, trees lined with purple uplighting, strange art installations dotted everywhere, and entertainers contained in giant lit orbs wandering by the entrance. The festival never holds back from being a spectacle. Mumford & Sons@ Summer Sundae After an introductory Thursday evening led by Tom Jones, the full programme began on a balmy Friday morning. With ballet by the lakeside, and a sprawling tribute to Philip Larkin at the poetry tent, no one got worked up about the music not starting till early afternoon. The woozy songs of Here We Go Magic did little to wipe away the lethargy at the main Obelisk stage, but later on the laconic rockers Spoon likely added to their fanbase with a taut performance. The oaken voice of Laura Marling drifted perfectly across the afternoon haze, and those choosing to avoid the wailing of Obelisk headliner Florence & The Machine basked in the soothing, maudlin crooning of The National at the Word Stage. Saturday saw the site swell to the point of overcrowding with the influx of day ticket holders. Phil Jupitus resurrected his Porky The Poet moniker at the poetry tent, and Bret Easton Ellis talked a literary crowd through the brutality of his latest novel Imperial Bedrooms. Frightened Rabbit rocked the early evening crowd with a typically keen and sweaty performance, and the Royal Opera House did a baffling take on a theatrical asylum in the glade. The serene Noah And The Whale were backed by a horn section and gospel singers to gracefully play their lovelorn tales, and The XX saw out the evening with swimming, mesmeric melodies. On Sunday morning, comedian Andrew Lawrence shocked the hungover sprawl of festival-goers with his croaking rants. Mumford & Sons spared no rousing effort to muster up a sea of fist pumping, but the arty noodlings of Dirty Projectors failed to impress the majority of stragglers who stayed afterwards. Yeasayer had more success peddling their psychedelic swing, and Vampire Weekend, who offend few and dazzle many, closed out the weekend as perfectly well-mannered Latitude headliners.

Highlights Image:Ollie Millington

Compiled and edited by Dylan Williams

Pixies @ Primavera

re e h p s Soni

er m m u S

ae d n u S

by Dylan Williams

Something felt off at Summer Sundae this year. The focus veered more to the MOR/Radio 2 end of the spectrum and largely omitted the hidden experimental gems I am used to. At no other festival this summer have I felt that I had so much free time with nothing grabbing my attention. Still there was plenty to get us excited. Kirsty Almeida attracted a large crowd with a super-energetic, quirky but ridiculously short set . Classic sounds of jazz, soul, reggae and pop forge to make a series likeable, foot-tapping tunes. Almeida is the kind of natural performer that should be at the top of the pile. Indie-legends Teenage Fanclub’s jangly guitar and perfect harmonies are never dull and should in all fairness be headlining about Seasick Steve, who for all his energy is not a mainstage headliner, his stripped down swamp-blues being more suited to smokey clubs. 2010 was a folk heavy affair with standout sets from Derby’s David Gibb. He and ‘The Pony Club’ [his backing band] play joyous folk-pop with boundless energy, that is easily a match for eventual headliners Mumford and Sons who whip the place in to emotional sing-alongs and prove why it is they have won the hearts of the nation. Aside from the radio-fodder it is always the more cutting edge aspects of the bill that makes Summer Sundae special and this year threw in some prime examples in indie-pop favourites Los Campesinos! The Cardiff guys and galls are an explosion of indie colour and joy – ‘You, Me, Dancing’ remains one of the best songs to see performed live. Errors blew-minds with their dark, seductive electro infused with surging post-rock sounds, that whilst being progressive is still dance-inducing. Frightened Rabbit’s set was near flawless played with such skill and verve that it is hard to believe they are not the biggest rock band in the UK! The underdogs win the day blowing everyone else off stage. In all Summer Sundae in 2010 is a hit and miss affair, but when it’s hit were made they were devastatingly powerful musical blows. Image:Ollie Millington

by Michael Mather

by Chris Marks

Image:Ollie Millington

For two years running Sonisphere has kicked the living bejesus out of the lineups of similar hard rock events (yes you, Download!). We had shock-goth antics from Alice Cooper on Friday, who sounded as weak as a teabag used to make a thousand cuppas. Gary Numan, the electro-pop pioneer, is not unlike NIN these days, with crushing riffs added to the electronic shenanigans. A highlight was Therapy! playing their best album Troublegum in its entirety and proving that there are few rock records as brilliant and fully formed. After powercuts forced them to re-start ‘Knives’ three times, they flawlessly banged through the album. Half of the ‘Big Four’ provided the two stand-out pure metal performances of the weekend. Anthrax now with Joey Belladonna back in tow rocked it hard. Slayer do what Slayer do: uncompromising, fast, and crushing thrash metal – it is loud, it is fast, and simply awesome. More questionably though: were Mötley Crüe ever good? Vince Neil sounds like a smurf and Tommy Lee is a crap drummer so it’s hard to understand the screaming and cheering. It seems strange that electronic/post-rock outfit 65daysofstatic made the bill, but they are, nonetheless, one of Britain’s most incendiary live acts. Nothing all weekend was so moving or downright euphoric. Ragga-metal may seem like an unlikely niche of the metal world, but Skindred’s fusion of sound created a sprawling mass of new converts by the set’s end. The smaller stages also threw up a bevy of new talent including the utterly relentless Throats, and Chickenhawk, who ferociously laid waste to any idea of rock conformity with crazy time-changes and expansive noise. Spectacle-wise, nothing all weekend could challenge Rammstein: their music might be repetitive, industrial metal but the show is something else. An ever changing lighting rig, hundreds of explosions, and more fire than that time London burnt down. They even staged a fake stage invasion by a member of the crowd, who was then set on fire with a flame-thrower. It dropped jaws.

era v a m i Pr The cream of the leftfield crop playing by the sea in Barcelona – it was amazing before a note was even played. Highlights came in abundance. Israeli garage-rock nutters Monotonix are 100% rock n roll power. Peddled by the men from the 118 118 ads if they were acid casualties. And stages are for losers! A reformed Pavement are still (im)perfect: from the first chords of ‘Cut Your Hair’ the slacker indie legends were effortlessly brilliant and the Spanish attempts to sing the scatter-shot lyrics in broken English was heartwarming. Owen Pallett is a bone-fide genius, mesmerising onlookers as his one-man-orchestra filled the place with bedazzling sounds from his violin. There ain’t no party like a Les Savy Fav party! Front-man Tim Harrington is our overweight, balding, bearded hero whose verve knows no bounds. The set ended with the band playing for five minutes until they realised Harrington is not coming back from one of his many crowd jaunts. If you spot him there this autumn, please inform the Barcelona police missing persons department. The sheer outpouring of love for Pavement may only have been topped by the devotion for the Pixies the following night. It is strange that a band putting this little effort in to a show can be so massively entertaining, but there is nothing better than the Pixies playing Pixies songs. For those watching the modern re-incarnation of The Slits the sentence ‘Bass is good for da pom pom’ and its accompanying image will be forever etched on their now damaged psyche. Their car wreck of a set fliped between being wonderfully shambolic and unnervingly naff. By taking the grunge template and forging a more melodic sound, Sunny Day Real Estate changed the path of rock music for good. Their set of emotive, complex rock proved why they are one of the most underrated rock bands of all-time. Finally, a bit of skanking to Jamaican legend Lee Scratch Perry preceded an hour’s kip before the flight home. This is all the sleep you could fit in at this wonderful whirlwind of a festival. Dizzee Rascal@ Leeds

by Chris Marks

s Leed


Pavement@ Primavera

Like a refugee-camp for the fashionistas and hipsters of Shoreditch, and placed in the Essex wilds at the end of the Central Line Offset is a shindig that is overbearingly hip and cool. The line-up may not have beeen full of the kind of mainstream names used to sell most festivals, but it was infinitely more exciting and experimental than most taking in legends of noise such as ambient pioneers Cluster and the exceptionally awesome Liquid Liquid. The punk-funk legends might have been short of equipment [some of it never made it to England]but they still provided a dance-worthy set of dark funky tunes. The bassline to ‘Cavern’ [sampled on hip-hop classic ‘White Lines’] alone was enough to make them amazing. Male Bonding’s surfy, fuzzy, garage-punk is totally flying the flag for how brilliant Sub Pop are as a record label. They didn’t bother with gaps between songs, instead segwaying with walls of noise. Ever the festival accommodating for strange tastes, highlights from our weekend would definitely not appeal to those who think Kings of Leon are exciting. From the complex and beautiful avant-pop of Caribou, to the metal-prog-funk extravanaza of 10-piece Chrome Hoof. Mount Kimbie dropped tunes so downbeat it was almost sleep-inducing [but in a good way], which acted as a strange precurssor to headliners Atari Teenage Riot – who after being late on stage destroyed the place with crushing beats, brutal noise and pure vitriol. ATR are pure music aggression and made violence a communal and enjoyable experience. Brutality featured as standard on the hardcore stage where the progressive sounds of Chickenhawk, pure thrash of Trash Talk and disjointed prog-hardcore of Rolo Tomassi left ears ringing and limps aching. A weekend of strange clothing, strange sounds and open space – Offset was a bizarre, hazy weekend of mind-altering noise. by Michael Mather

This year’s Leeds line-up possessed a decidedly heavier feel than last year, with main stage headliners including poppunk veterans Blink 182 and Guns n Roses. The lure of the Libertines reunion cash-in was talk of the festival. Paying a rumoured £1.2million for a band that never really shone on the festival stage shows the power of the nostalgic hypemachine, with punters lapping up the chance to see the original members reunited for some raucous indie-rock action. The set was a momentous return for the infamous indie four-piece.Coming on stage to a rapturous greeting from the crowd, they quickly laced into ‘Horrorshow’ from their 2002 debut album Up The Bracket. Bursting through their fast-paced, edgy set, it was evident that the Pete Doherty and Carl Barât romance had been rekindled, to the delight of their fans. We Are Scientists played a hit-ridden set which included only a handful of tracks from new album Barbara [perhaps because as front-man Keith Murray jokingly pointed out, the band only rate it as seven out of ten) Their latest single ‘Nice Guys’ was welcomed with a positive reaction before they laced into the riff-heavy ‘The Great Escape’, followed by the softer closing song ‘Afterhours’. Weezer have had a funny career. After delivering two of the best rock records ever their subsequent releases have been hit and miss affairs seeing them loose status in the UK. The band undoubtedly provided the highlight of the festival for thousands with a tongue-in-cheek cover of Wheatus’ 2000 hit single ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, along with their renditions of MGMT’s ‘Kids’ and Lady Gaga’s ‘Pokerface’. Their first UK performance for five years ended with their 1994 hit ‘Buddy Holly’, leaving their old fans ecstatic, whilst inspiring new ones. There is always hype before a Guns N Roses performance. Only slightly more punctual than they had been at Reading the night before [this time a mere 30-minutes late, which in Axl Rose land is pretty much turning up early], Rose and his band of merrymen put in a lacklustre performance that showed the absurdity of the band maintaining their high-profile after not delivering anything of note either on record or on stage, since the early nineties. Chart-topping rapper Dizzee Rascal brought his energetic show successfully to the main stage, offering some variety from the bevvy of punk and rock. Pushing his first solo effort away from Bloc Party Kele Okereke, illustrated his adoption of electro-sounds that had started to adorn the later work of his band. His solo stuff was well received but kept old fans happy with covers of songs from his former band; a megamix consisting of ‘Blue Light’, ‘The Prayer’ and ‘One More Chance’ along with old-favourite and exiting track ‘Flux’. by Tristan Sutton

Reviews Wah Do Dem

On DVD October 25

33333 At first glance Wah Do Dem seems like a chore of a viewing experience – standard film school indie mumblecore fare, shot in self-aware shakey-cam style by amateurish Brooklynite selfactualising-media-nodes, stinking of nepotism and stunt casting of the filmmakers’ hip friends from the music scene. It tells the story of Max, played by musician Sean Bones, whose girlfriend dumps him just before they were due to go on a Caribbean cruise, which he then embarks on alone, angsting over his loss and trying (and failing) to fill the void with romantic or hedonistic encounters, and experience some of the supposed “real Jamaica” once he arrives there. With a situational script put loosely in place for the ‘actors’ to fill in with their own “naturalistic” dialogue (you know, like The Hills, or any other leakage spawned from the arse of MTV), Bones proves himself to be much more musician than actor, displaying roughly the emotional range of a doorknob as he stumbles and stutters through his improvisations in disingenuous and awkward fashion. It means it’s hard to engage with the character as he navigates his way through the grey-haired cruise ship world and onto the island of Jamaica, where soon enough he’s taken to the middle of nowhere and robbed of his money, passport and shoes. BUT (and it’s a big but) while it does to take half the film to get there, it’s at this point where it becomes a new entity entirely: a classic hero’s journey along a perilous road of trials where no one he encounters is necessarily what they seem. Fittingly cut off from

Sean Bones and Norah Jones in Wah Do Dem his former affluence and complacency, Max is now a lone foreigner lost deep in an exotic but alien land, sometimes affable and welcoming, sometimes harsh and dangerous. The audience is plunged right there with him, never quite knowing who to trust or what to expect as he makes his way to Kingston, foreshadowed throughout as a dark land of danger for a lone whiteboy where people would take his life if he

had nothing else to take; “The city that don’t got no pity” as one character describes it. What makes it so involving is the marked difference between the selfconscious American “actors” and their Jamaican counterparts, who are so natural on camera one can’t tell if they’re aware this is a work of fiction or if this is just how and who they are. It’s this mix of fiction and travelogue around the

unfamiliar parts of Jamaica that give a real taste of island life and the abundant characters therein – an involving mix that manages even to draw a more believable performance from Bones by the end. Wah Do Dem (Jamaican patois for “What’s wrong with them”, by the way) would have greatly benefitted from more time spent in the midst of this relatively unknown island, and

most definitely from a more talented lead actor. But a slow and uninvolving beginning becomes something of a modern day, lo-fi odyssey, which goes some way to doing for the lesser-seen parts of Jamaica what Walter Salles’ The Motorcycle Diaries did for South America – though with a lot of ground still to cover.

by Phil Dixon

The National Student, Autumn 2010



......and roll [money]!

Paying for your student existence can be difficult. It might be help full to consider the sources of additional funding, and take serious control of managing your finances. Funding options There are several sources of funding available to students in the UK

Bursaries and Scholarships

It is likely your university offers a means-tested bursary of between £319 and £4,000 a year, and many students don’t take advantage of this. Those receiving the full Maintenance Grant and are being charged a maximum fee of £3,225 a year will recoeve at least £319 of addition cash. Applications are either handled by your university or the appropriate government Student Finance service. Some institutions also offer awards if you study a certain subject, or academic scholarships for high achievers. It is well worth looking into this for your university.

Access to Learning Fund

As a full-time (or part-time) student studying for at least a year this could get you a little extra cash. You need to be on low-income, in financial hardship, or need help to stay in higher education. Your circumstances will be looked at on an individual basis by your university. If successful you will receive the funds as either a lump sum or in installments. For more info visit

Education charities and trusts

Several organisations offer money to very specific groups of students and tend to issue small one off payments to successful applicants.

Maintenance Grant

New full-time students could be eligible for the Maintenance Grant which can

Making a budget Having a budget is a simple and effective way of keeping on top of your spending, and staying on the right side of the bank manager. Where does all that money go? Well a budget will tell you... Control your spending According to the Halifax, only 21% of young people plan a budget. Keeping a note of everything you spend each month, will show you how much cash is going on unexpected items and expose

help with accommodation and other living costs. These grants don’t have to be repaid. You can receive a grant worth up to £2,906 a year. This grant will be paid in three installments, one at the start of each term, just like your student loan

Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)

Students with a disability or learning difficulty (such as dyslexia) are entitled to extra financial help through the DSA. DSA can help pay for specialist learning equipment, a non-medical helper, extra travel expenses and other

costs. To get this you need to provide a letter proving your disability. For a learning disability go to your student information centre and ask for a learning difficulties screening.

those weak spots that you need to reign in. Make a plan Look at what you are spending and be realistic. Can you cut down on what you spend a bit? Make a list of everything you need to buy each month (include rent, food, transport, bills, loan repayments and direct debits) and work out what you have left over. Try and work within this amount for socialising, entertainment and other purchases. A good tip is to add 10% to your total expected outgoings. This gives you a cushion against unexpected extra costs.

Advice produced in conjunction with:

Find more advice on our website:


Careers advice: where to go?

Considering what to do with your career can be difficult task. But if you know where to go, there is plenty of help and advice available to help you make the right choices and get ahead.. University careers office

The Big Choice

Probably your best first port-of-call would be your university careers office. They should have all the information you need and the advisers are dedicated to helping you with your career. They can guide you through the doors your particular degree will open and how you should go about getting started. Each university careers service listing includes a specialist section called ‘Graduate Services’, which lists the level of help & advice graduates can expect from University career advisers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

If you’re looking for a job you could do worse than visiting the Big Choice. The site has hundreds of jobs from everyone from large high-profile recruiters to small and medium size businesses. A simple search could get you the job you are looking for. They also have loads of advice and other useful content geared towards students and graduates seeking employment.

Prospects Prospects is the UK’s official graduate careers site. This is a good place to go for careers advice on everything from writing a CV, interviews and applying for jobs. They also have some job listings.

Just Courses To get ahead you might want to consider gaining some more skills. Just Courses does what it says on the tin – it is everything you need to find the right course for you. You can search a wide range of courses from vocational to postgraduate courses, and find all the information and advice you need in finding the right one for you.

The benefits of a degree With the ever increasing cost of gaining an undergraduate degree and more competition to gain a university place, many people have started to question the worth of a degree. But, there are many benefits to gaining a university degree. The main benefit is that graduates tend to earn more in their careers and have a lower risk of unemployment than non-graduates. But the job quality enjoyed by graduates spreads further than this. With a degree you are more likely to be employed in high-level positions within companies using the skills you have acquired at university. Graduates also have a much higher chance of gaining promotion. Those with a degree are also more likely to have flexibility at work. Research from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) shows that graduates are twice as likely to work from home in their main job as those with level 3 qualifications (those with two or more A-levels or equivalent). Yes, it’s true the path to career success often relies on the foundations of a solid education. However, recent research has shown that the benefits of a degree also extend way beyond the financial and employment opportunities. People with a degree on the whole enjoy a better standard of life than those without. Graduates are more likely to be an important and active part of their communities and research shows a direct association between having a degree and voting. Degree holders are 50% more likely to vote and there is also evidence showing that graduates are significantly more likely to demonstrate a critical awareness of political issues. As such graduates are considered in higher regard. Evidence suggests that graduates are also healthier than their counterparts. Non-graduates are 75% more likely to be a smoker at age 30 and are more likely to exercise than non-graduates. This fact means that graduates are less likely to be obese (with the average

university-leaver having a 3% lower Body Mass Index compared to nongraduates). Those educated to degree level or higher are between 70-80% more likely to report ‘excellent’ health, compared with a similar individual educated to level 2 or below, and those with level 4 sub-degree qualifications are around 40% more likely to report excellent health. As a side effect of this higher standard of living and well-being graduates are much less prone to depression. Degree holders are significantly more likely to have a positive attitude towards diversity and equal opportunities. Graduates are between 30% and 40% more likely to hold positive attitudes to race and gender equality. However, the real benefit of a degree has to be the overall “student experience”. Not only will you have the rare opportunity in life to study a subject that interests you, you are quite likely to widen your life experiences

Why study a Media degree? Graduates with media degrees are in high demand by many industries. As a graduate you will leave with an informed and critical understanding of media and mass communication as well as the practical skills to work in media production. The work-experience and portfolio you are likely to build up is the perfect weapon to have when attacking a career in media, as it will undoubtedly impress the right people. The vocational aspect of some courses will give you an impressive run of skills using digital audio/video recording and editing equipment, so you should have a grasp of skills such as filming an interview, recording dialogue, or putting together a written feature.

There are a range of positions in industries such as television, journalism, radio and film that can only come from obtaining a media degree. Other areas as diverse as public relations, advertising and marketing, and research positions are also looking for graduates in the media field.

and horizons from the people that you meet. People who make friends at university are often making ‘friends for life’ and a small percentage of students also meet their future spouse.

So, not only could you have a better future with more money if you graduate from a university or college in the UK you could also gain a unique social set of friends and experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.


Unpaid internships: worth it or not? Looking to forward her career in journalism Judy Johnson considers the worth of unpaid internships, and questions whether they are worthwhile experience or exploitation from companies looking for work for free.... As of late, the word on everyone’s mouth is the hot topic of - unpaid internships. Most of us bright young things, all are participating or are seeking the perfect internship. Competition is tough, with the recession hitting retail sales, cutting budgets, career prospects are strive for new graduates. Even to just find temporary jobs to get some dosh, or just to fill the time it is looking bleak. Therefore to actually get in a competitive and lucrative career such as journalism; it is dog eat dog. That is partly why I agree with unpaid internships for careers such as journalism, as it based on experience, building contacts and freelance work. Perhaps not so much for other options like, business surely if you studied for business you know the in’s and out’s and therefore do not need as much “work experience”? Whereas with journalism it is necessary to get as much experience as you can. A social media hub, meeting people and getting

your name known is the name of the game. If you have a transferable skill like nursing for example, you have already studied and gained experience as part of your degree course. Similarly to that of the trade of plumbing, or construction. However, I do think it is important for employers not to take advantage of the lowly intern. In hard times, employers are tempted not to pay young eager interns a penny - yet

expect them to do a lot! Judy Johnson, a journalist for Wahanda reports that she is seeing more and more ‘job like’ internships even one for an editorial assistant that doesn’t pay, “I’ve seen some that are listed as Editorial Assistant positions, and then you see the small print: We are unable to offer any remuneration at the time”... This is frustrating, I know”. This is shocking, and obviously is not what we term an internship, but plain exploitation. But if you are willing to take it on, then obviously it is your choice. I think internships are great, and I am on the hunt (as always) for one. But I do hope I won’t be on a never- ending spree of unpaid internships. Because at the end of the day, as much as we all love to write, you still need to put bread and milk on the table, (or whatever that saying is!) Much the predicament I’m in now, I may have found a new job, but it’s every day and permanent, good news for the bank balance. But not so much

for the career prospects. I worry that I will get swept up by the retail veil, and forget how I once had dreams of a different life. (How dramatic). Somehow I hope I will get the balance, between making enough money to keep out the red, and progress with my career. It must be possible as many people manage it, and hopefully it will only be the time being for starting out. All questions, all wonders...what will the future hold? Do I do a masters? The NTCJ? It all seems to be spending a lot of money, before you’ve made anything. Really all I want to do is work and get my teeth into it, so that’s why I think internshipspaid or unpaid are a good idea- if they help you get to where you want to be. It is crucial to get as much experience and work published as possible – if you want to contribute to The National Student feel free to contact the editor – editor@ by Judy Johnson http://judyjohnsonjourno. com/

Intern profile: Ryan Apicella at L’Oreal Where and what you studied

I graduated from Imperial College after having studied a MEng in Mechanical Engineering.

What attracted to you L’Oréal

L’Oreal was present on campus as a graduate recruiter, and I attended one of their career presentations. From this I saw that they had an excellent structure to their graduate scheme, from the rotations available as well as the level of responsibility that Management Trainees could be expected to undertake. The friendly and diverse company culture was also evident, and the chance to work within a fast-paced industry with some of the world’s best-known brands was also a great attraction.

Your experience of your year as an MT, including any particular highlights or challenges you faced and / or the L’Oréal culture.

I’ve experienced various rotations at L’Oreal, from sales to marketing, which involved activities ranging from performing a valuation analysis of past promotions for one of our largest Consumer brands to helping launch a new e-commerce website for one of L’Oreal’s Luxury brands. Right from the start I was extremely receptive to the fact that, at L’Oreal, Management Trainees’ ideas would be heard and actively encouraged during discussions with much more experienced colleagues. This helped me in gaining the necessary confidence and competence in tackling future projects - a highlight of mine from my first rotation was being given the responsibility to present our newest products to a retail customer. I have also found that my degree has been a great advantage when dealing either with the analytical or numerical solutions that I have had to work with. However, a common challenge experienced is adapting from the university to the working environment, and in particular, managing complexity. By this I mean dealing with the many urgent tasks, e-mails, telephone calls, meetings and visits that are needed on a daily basis that would be unlikely to occur at university. Fortunately L’Oreal provide training in managing time and priorities which has aided greatly in this aspect.

Hints and tips for anyone wanting to get into L’Oréal It would be useful to be able to demonstrate any times where you have displayed innovation (for example in a university or work project) and any entrepreneurial activity, and link it in with why that would be a valuable and relevant asset within L’Oreal.

What should you put in your CV? Your CV is pretty important! But working out exactly what to put into it can be confusing. Follow this run down of what employers are looking for from your CV.

Personal details

Education and training

Include your name, address and contact details. Other information like age, marital status and nationality is up to you.

Start with your most recent qualifications and work back to the ones. Include: • the university, college or school you went to • the dates the qualifications were awarded and any grades • any work-related courses, if they’re relevant. Present them in bullet-points and again keep it concise.

Personal profile Your ‘Personal Profile’ should summarise your: • skills and qualities • work background and achievements • career aims Keep it simple and too the point. You need to grab the reader’s attention.

Employment history and work experience How you order this will depend on your working history – if you have been employed for a long time put this first, if you have had few jobs but lots of other work experience prioritise this. Start with you present or most recent job. Include employer, working dates, job titles and your main duties. Expand on this for the jobs that are relevent for the position you are applying for. Avoid unexplained gaps in your employment history. If you had time out travelling, job seeking, volunteering or caring for a relative, include this along with details of what you’ve learned.

Interests and achievements Try and include interests, achievements and hobbies that are relevent to the job but also ones that are a good representation of you as a person. Try and avoid activities that are too general and normal to be of interest to an employer.

Additional information Include this section if you feel you have anything else to add that is relevant to the position, or there is anything else you feel you need to explain.

References At least one referee should be workrelated,or at least some other person that the employer will respect the opinion of. List their contact details and the relationship you had with them.

The National Student, Autumn 2010




You need some cash! We want to give you some! Yes you read correctly - cash, wonga, mullah - whatever you call it, we want to give you some....

We have a first prize of £300 for one lucky winner [and two almost as lucky people will get £100 each]!!

Simply tell us what you would do with the money Send your name, address, university and a daytime telephone number to:


Fill your freezer

We’ve teamed up with Dalepak to help you fill your freezer - well two of you can get £25 of Dalepak freezer packs......

Theo Paphitis recently appeared in a TV series called ‘Theo’s Adventure Capitalists’ produced in partnership with which university? a) Oxford University b) Open University c) Brunel University send your answer to

YOUR PAPER NEEDS YOU! The National Student is your paper and needs your help! We are always looking for contributors to write news, views, features and reviews

To get involved email or call 0207 401 09769

The National Student, Autumn 2010




As ‘the fastest human who has ever lived’ Usain Bolt is a living sporting legend. James Davies caught up with the ‘lightning’ Bolt...


t’s fitting that Usain Bolt’s publicists business card refers to him as ‘Lightning’, there is probably no better way to describe the man commonly recognised as ‘the fastest human who has ever lived’. In a strange turn of events, for his chat with The National Student Bolt is behind schedule – we imagine this is one of the few times he has ever been ‘running’ late. He has a relaxed almost nonchalant attitude to his career, and why shouldn’t he? At just 24 year’s old Bolt isthe fastest man ever – at both one-hundred meters and two-hundred meters. “That’s just me, that’s my personality and that’s who I am”, he said. “I try not to think about the race, because if you try to focus too much then you over think things and you make mistakes, and I don’t want to make a mistake. So I try to be relaxed. When they say on your marks, I refocus. It gives me less time to stress out and to think too much.” Talking to Bolt it was only a matter of time before the subject of world records came up – after all smashing them is what he is renowned for. Casually and with outrageous confidence he boasts, “I wasn’t even giving my all when I broke them.” Although Bolt remains remarkably humble, considering the amount he

has already achieved, he is only too aware of his special status: “Never, ever do I get tired of hearing that I’m the fastest man on earth. If you lined up a hundred people and asked them who the best basketball player in the world is, the best footballer, or the best cricketer, it is unlikely they would give the same answer. But ask any of them ‘Who is the best sprinter in the world?’ and there is only one answerUsain Bolt. Why? Because that is what it says on the clock. There can be no dispute or argument...It doesn’t get any cooler than knowing you are the fastest of them all.” As the best sprinter in the world, there must be a secret as to what makes him such a great runner? Looking blank Bolt says, “Perhaps the height helps and those huge strides.” After a short pause, he continued: “A lot of tall people don’t have good co-ordination, but my coach says the one thing he can relax about is that I learn really quickly.” “Growing up as a child I was full of energy. I loved sports. As soon as I left school for the day I was out playing football, cricket or anything. When I was young I loved to climb trees, I loved to ride bikes, go to the riverjust being a boy, getting into trouble.” Surprisingly it was cricket and not running that was his first love. He

grew up when the West Indies were still a force in the international game, and he wanted to be the new Courtney Walsh or Curtly Ambrose. He was gifted, too, opening the batting and bowling for his local side. “I just happened to run fast,” Usain explained, looking rather puzzled. “It was literally just my teacher saying ‘try track and field’ because really I’m a cricketer and I really love playing cricket. That’s what I grew up on- my father loves cricket and I was very good at playing so I didn’t think about playing about changing because that’s what I wanted to do. But when my teacher said try it, I tried it and started winning, so it was fun and I just continued.” By the time he reached secondary school, he was already ridiculously fast. His dad told him to give up on his beloved cricket and concentrate on track and field. “He (dad) said I should do running because it’s an individual sport, and if you do good, you do good for yourself.” So does Bolt have any regrets? “No. No regrets. I love running.” In true inspirational rags to riches style, despite coming from a poor Jamaican background, where his first races were on a track that had a twofoot dip towards the finish, Image: Harper Collins

Bolt chats with James Davies

Bolt displays one of his Gold’s he explains that hard work and discipline can overcome almost anything. “Anything’s possible for me. That’s one of the things I live by”, he said assertively. “I think it’s very important to have something that you want to strive for. If you want to be the best at anything you do, you have got to really work at it and push yourself to the limit.” One of the perks of being Usain Bolt is that sporting stars love to meet him as much as he likes to meet them. “I do get star struck sometimes (laughs). I’m big on football so when I met Cristiano Ronaldo, Rooney and all these guys it’s an honor.” So, what do all these sporting superstars do

when they get together? “We just try and hang out” he said. “I also get their autographs! But I have some of these guys on my BB (BlackBerry) so we talk and whenever we get a chance we meet up.” What are Usain Bolt’s ambitions? He can’t have much left to achieve in the world of running!He claims he would like to have a go at playing football professionally. “I definitely want to try football. I think I’ll be a good soccer player because I watch these guys and most of them just use speed and I think I’m good at doing that! (laughs)” “If I keep myself in shape, I can definitely play at a high level.”

“I’ve messed around with Cristiano (Ronaldo) a little bit but I play football every Sunday, with all my friends in Jamaica, when I get the chance, so I’m well equiped and ready to play.” But before that, Bolt says, there is so much more he has to achieve on the track. He can’t wait for the 2012 Olympics; he says it will be like a home gig, because there are so many Jamaicans in London. And if he wins double gold there, then he might be prepared to rest on those considerable laurels. “People always say I’m a legend, but I’m not. Not until I’ve defended my Olympic titles.” He smiles. “That’s when I’ve decided I’ll be a legend.”

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The National Student, Autumn 2010



SWEET SMELL OF SUMMER SPORTING SUCCESS The studying may have stopped for the last few months, but on the sport scene it has proved to be as lively as ever. In an eventful summer, University students from across the country have represented both their respected Universities as well as their country to achieve great success stories, break records, catch the headlines and sweep up on medals. Looking back over the summer, Sports Editor Robert Dalling reports on the main stories over this exciting period for British University sport.

Heriot Watt’s Karate Kid gets gold division, Robb beat off stiff competition from some talented fighters in the early rounds from countries such as France and Japan to take him on to the final four, before beating off an Iranian fighter in the Semi finals and an Italian fighter in the final to claim a Gold Medal, and the accompanying World Title. Calum, who has been fighting since he was nine years old and trains at the Meadowbank Karate Club over 20 hours a week, was named BUCS Sportsman of the year in 2009. This victory will certainly enhance his already impressive resume, and without a doubt strengthen his bid to represent the UK at the 2012 Olympics. With the dominant form he is exhibiting at the moment, this can be nothing but good news for the country, and fills us with optimism for our chances.

Heriot Watt University were filled with pride as Comparative Immunology PhD student Calum Robb successfully defended his World Heavyweight Title by claiming gold at the World Wado Karate Championships in Japan. Robb, from Haddington, East Lothian claimed victory in the event which is held once every two years and was the proud soul Scottish representative at the same event two years ago which took place in Canada. The feat is an impressive one, where the hard hitting Robb walked into the birthplace of karate and overcame over thirty countries representatives to claim the top honour in the prestigious event, cementing his place as one of the most formidable karate athletes on the planet. Not bad for a scholarship student. Fighting within the Heavyweight

Calum Robb

Shaw speeds to Racing Triumph The city of Southampton may still be scratching their heads over the dismissal of Football club manager Alan Pardew this summer, but they have had something to smile about. Andy Shaw, double British Universities Match Racing Champion and his crew celebrated a magnificent victory after being crowned World University champions following an excellent outing at the Fifth FISU World Match Racing Championships held in Gazi, Crete in July. The 23-year-old Ship Science student, who studies at Southampton University shone throughout the event consistently,winning 17 of his 19 races.

In other news... •

Two University of Stirling golfers, James White and Kelsey Macdonald finished as the best British performers at the four day 2010 World University Championships in Malaga, Spain. White, a fourth year Business Management student, posted a 72-hole total of 290 (76, 75, 67, 72) to finish fifth overall, whilst second year Sports Studies student Kelsey MacDonald (pictured) recorded scores of 76, 82, 74, 76 for a combined four round total of 308. Newcastle swept the board at the Equestrian Nationals in June at the Equine Centre in Hartpury College. In a dominant outing, along with Team Championships, Fiona Ellwood also won the Overall individual Championship. They were also team champions in both dressage and show jumping, to add to their accolades.

The victory is a monumental one, as no British crew has been able to grasp the crown since Mark Campbell James, who claimed victory in the first event back in 2000. Going into the event, the expectations were to achieve a medal win at the event, so to come away as champions has proven a real coup for the team, and is testament to the hard work and determination instilled within the side. Shaw spoke on his thoughts prior to the event. “We did not know we were number one ranked before we raced so we weren’t going in there expecting a win. We knew our abilities were capable however as we trained quite hard for it so we could do

University of Virginia Student, Dom Inglot along with his partner Chris Eaton caught the headlines competing in Wimbledon’s Mens doubles as they knocked out the number one seeds, a great feat for the 204th ranked team. Edinburgh’s Scott Frasier claimed Silver medal success late July at the 17th World University Orienteering Championships Bolange, Sweden. Leaving the other competitors gasping, he exhibited his physical fitness in the adversary steep hilly conditions to claim second place, finishing narrowly behind hometown Swedish winner Jerker Lysell. Great Britain won bronze medal at the World University Rugby Seven Championships at the end of July. Competing against thirteen other countries for the title, Team GBR

it.” “We came here knowing the competition would be tough, knowing other really good match racers have been here and not won. So to have won is brilliant and feels amazing.” Shaw got off to a great start from the beginning, winning ten of his round robin races advancing to the second round of racing. He then went on to record victories over Frederic Denis of France and Irish Marte O’Leary to clinch his place in the final. In successive wins, Shaw palmed off second place ranked Australian Jay Griffin with ease to round off an exceptional performance and to claim the coveted title.

finished third in the competition which saw the top two from qualifying groups enter the semi final stages. •

Having had a successful group performance with wins against teams such as Hungary, Norway, Canada, Japan and Morocco, Wales were denied against a strong Russian squad in the semis going down 22-12 in a below par performance. Brunel Student and current BUCS 400m and Championship record holder Perri Shakes-Drayton achieved her first senior medals in an impressive performance at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona. Claiming Bronze in her favoured event of the 400m Hurdles and a second bronze in the 4 x 400m relay team event, it was a very successful debut for the 21 year old. Teeside University made history made history in August at

Kelsey Macdonald The European University Futsal Championships, finishing 11th from 16 teams, making them the most successful British University representative in EUSA Futsal history. The success in the competition, which was held in Zagreb, Croatia, sees Teeside surpass the 13th place record previously set by University of Bath. •

University of Birmingham Sport will host the BUCS Cross Country Championships 2011. With an estimated 900 entries every year, it is one of BUCS biggest and most popular events, and provides the opener to the BUCS athletics season. Sennelleys Park in Birmingham will showcase the event.


A sizzling summer of sport

Summer student sport round up - INSIDE

GB rowing team are oarsome

Great Britain’s Rowing team proved triumphant at this year’s World University Championships, claiming second place in the overall medal achievements. The Championships, which took place in Szeged, Hungary saw Team GBR achieve two gold and three silver medals. The success marked their best ever performance in the competition, and one that was only bettered by Italy, who won three gold, one silver and two bronze medals. The winnings were kick started immediately during the first race of the day thanks to the efforts of Reading University’s experienced Lottie Burgess, who recently competed at the recent World U23 Rowing Championships. It was a tightly contested affair, but Burgess claimed a silver medal after overcoming tough opposition in the form of the winner of the race Elaine Waser, representing Switzerland, who reached all three finals at the Senior World Cup Regattas this year.

Next up was the Women’s coxless four race. Having been trained by the acclaimed Olympic Gold Medallist coach Steve Trapmore, the team exhibited a clear winning mentality, leading from start to finish to claim the gold medal, four seconds in front of the Romanian team who finished in second place. The male equivalent was up next, where the lightweight Men’s coxless fours team worked hard to seal a bronze medal win. After trailing in fifth for the first 500m, they pushed on and claimed third place behind the Hungarians who won the race. Steve Trapmore was also responsible in coaching Laura Greenhaigh and Andrea Dennis, who competed within the lightweight Women’s double scull. The experienced pair left the blocks in third place in what was a very back and forth affair between Great Britain, Poland and Germany. The Polish eventually claimed victory, with team GBR claiming another silver medal after trailing a mere second

behind the victors. Ben Rowe from Teesside University represented Great Britain in the lightweight Men’s single sculls. Having tasted recent success with his silver medal win at the recent World Rowing U23 championships, he sculled through the Italian opposition in a similar fashion to match his previous achievements and win silver medal coming in second place. However, it was not all good news for the team. We also saw the unsuccessful efforts of Erica Bodman of Cambridge University, who despite having a strong start in the Women’s single sculls, was unable to sustain the pace and finished in 6th. The last race of the day was the Men’s 8s. The experienced British crew included athletes from the winning Cambridge Blue Boat and also U23 medallists. The experience shone through, as they took the lead from the start and continued to extend the lead, finishing an impressive length ahead of Estonia, whilst Ireland finished in third position.

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USAIN BOLT: “I wasn’t even giving my all when I broke them.”

The National Student - Autumn 2010  

The National Student is the free, independent publication for university students in the UK.