Autumn of student activism begins over rising cost of university halls | Education

Most students settling in at university this autumn are worrying about seminars and exams, but Caitlin Ghibout, a second-year anthropology student at Durham, is angry about rents. Specifically, the fact that the high costs of college accommodation leave a student on the maximum maintenance loan just £1,270 to cover living costs for the year. This autumn, in parallel with student activists across the country, Ghibout will be launching a Cut the Rent campaign. She wants to challenge her university over…

Read More

Oxford professor’s children refused visas to join her in UK | Education

Amber Murrey, an American academic, was “ecstatic” about being appointed associate professor in geography at Oxford University last year. But the dream turned sour two weeks ago when the Home Office refused to grant visas for her two daughters, aged four and nine, to live with her in the UK. Dr Murrey used an immigration lawyer to make sure the visa applications for her daughters, who have US passports, went smoothly, and was not anticipating a problem. Her husband has…

Read More

I returned to uni for freshers’ week 20 years after leaving. Here’s what has changed | Education

In the autumn of 1997, I was a fresher at the University of Glasgow. Months after the Labour landslide, weeks after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, I was an 18-year-old British-Indian made up of equal parts teenage kicks, terror and Topshop – and on my way to Scotland for the first time, to live and study in a city I had never even visited. I was a 90s Londoner in every sense: geographically ignorant, cocky, earnestly carrying a…

Read More

Quarter of secondary school pupils have private tuition | Education

More than one in four secondary school pupils have a private tutor, research shows. Young people from wealthier homes are significantly more likely to have additional help than their poorer peers, according to the Sutton Trust report. The social mobility charity is calling on the government to introduce means-tested vouchers to help lower-income families access private tuition for their children. In total, 27% of the 2,800 11- to 16-year-olds questioned said they have had private tuition. This proportion is up…

Read More

John McDonnell pledges shorter working week and no loss of pay | Politics

Workers will enjoy longer holidays under a future Labour government as part of a 10-year plan to see the length of the average full-time working week drop by five hours, the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has announced. Speaking at the party’s conference in Brighton, McDonnell said he wanted to see a marked cut in the average working week from 37 to 32 hours within a decade, with no loss of pay. The shadow chancellor said Labour would adopt a two-pronged…

Read More

Shirking from home: why bosses still insist on pointless presenteeism | Money

Name: “Working from home.” Age: The child-rearing years. Appearance: “Busy.” Seriously “busy”. What’s with all this “quotation business”? Obviously some people need to work from home sometimes to look after their kids or whatever, but … “Working from home” always sounds as though it has quotation marks around it, don’t you think? No. I work from home all the time. Ah, but do you really? Do you sit at your desk when the working day begins, and work just as…

Read More

Charity regulator warns Ucas about marketing loans to students | Education

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service has been rebuked by the Charity Commission over its role in the marketing of private loans to students and school-leavers, with the regulator warning that Ucas needs to rein in its commercial arm. The commission’s intervention followed direct mail and email marketing sent to students last month by Ucas Media – Ucas’s commercial subsidiary – advertising Future Finance, a company offering private loans targeted at students. After a complaint by Martin Lewis, the consumer…

Read More

Cambridge’s one-on-one teaching model is based on exploiting graduates | Education

Recently, I was having coffee with a final year PhD student about to submit his thesis. He was excited because he had just finished giving his first ever lecture. He had finally been able to prove himself and experience what his future job might entail. Yet when we met later, he seemed downcast about the experience. It had taken him five hours to write his first 45-minute lecture – and several more to prepare the handouts and PowerPoint – but…

Read More

University admissions and messy exits | Letters | Education

Bernie Evans asks a critical question about pupils from underprivileged backgrounds and suggests a more generous route into university (Letters, 29 June). We have been in this situation before, decades ago, in the context of adult education. By focusing on women’s return to learning and then access to higher education, we discovered that their children followed them. The answer seemed to lie in the home as much as school. None of my parents or grandparents went to university. After leaving…

Read More

Public anger over private schools | Letters | Education

The headmaster of Colfe’s School says he would welcome a debate about the role of independent schools within our education system (Letters, 18 June). The debate is simple. As long as rightwing governments continue to close state school playing fields, cut the education budget to below first-world standards and generally make life difficult for state schools, they will flounder. By contrast, the well-funded private schools will provide even more state-of-the-art facilities and more middle-class parents will bankrupt themselves in order…

Read More

Danielle Steel is a prolific writer, but is that to be envied? | Oliver Burkeman | Money

The novelist Danielle Steel has written 179 books, releasing them at the rate of seven a year – and for all I know, she’ll have released a few more in the days between my writing this column and you reading it. But how? In an interview this month with Glamour magazine, Steel revealed the productivity trick that is central to her success: she works all the time. No, I mean, all the time: for at least 20 hours a day,…

Read More

Analysing the purpose and value of universities | Letters | Education

Simon Jenkins asserts that: “A university course has barely changed its three-year structure of lectures, essays and exams in a hundred years” (What are our universities for?, Journal, 31 May). It’s true that the sector remains sceptical about two-year degrees, but teaching and assessment methods on most university courses today would be unrecognisable to anyone who was a student 30 years ago. Current politics students at Liverpool still attend lectures, submit essays and take exams. But they also analyse election…

Read More

Cutting tuition fees misses the point. We need to overhaul the whole system | Matt Waddup | Education

There are lots of good proposals in today’s Augar review of post-18 education and funding in England, including the restoration of maintenance grants for the poorest students, new funding opportunities for adult learners, and the expansion of further education colleges. Yet its downfall is that it fundamentally fails to grapple with the contradictions at the core of our marketised education system. As such, it gets some big calls wrong. For starters, the review correctly notes the plight of further education…

Read More

Is it possible to work 22-hour days? Danielle Steel says it is the secret of her success | Books

It says something about the author Danielle Steel’s work ethic that her desk, built to resemble a stack of her own books, is less remarkable than the hours she puts in at it. The 71-year-old romance novelist is notoriously prolific, having published 179 books at a rate of up to seven a year. But a passing reference in a recent profile by Glamour magazine to her 20- to 22-hour workdays – not to mention the 24-hour session “a few times…

Read More

Number of public sector pensioners on £100k trebles in seven years | UK news

The number of people in the public sector’s largest pension schemes retiring on incomes of more than £100,000 has more than tripled in the past seven years, according to figures obtained by a charity promoting intergenerational fairness. Pensions schemes covering the NHS, the civil service and the teaching profession were paying six-figure incomes last year to 375 retirees, up from 117 in 2010. Those in receipt of pensions higher than the UK’s average annual salary of about £28,600 also increased…

Read More

Red Bull wants us to leave work at 4pm. I couldn’t agree more | Opinion

I’m not squeamish, except for one small thing: I cannot repeat rhyming couplets. So I can’t tell you exactly what Red Bull’s latest London Underground advert says because it uses this mawkish lyrical form. I can tell you that it was reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority for promising health benefits that fizzy drinks aren’t allowed to do (nope, not even Shloer). I can even describe that promise, in a roundabout way: Red Bull will make you feel so energetic…

Read More