How cheap is the booze and where’s the nearest beach? Government’s White Paper puts students at the heart of the system, but do they actually want to be there?

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This week I set about researching a piece for The National Student on students’ reaction to the government’s White Paper on proposed Higher Education reforms.

The paper was finally released six months after its accompanying motion was passed in Parliament last December in the midst of those student protests that dominated headlines across the country.  It sets out proposals which, put simply, are supposed to justify their plans to allow Universities to charge up to £9,000 per year in tuition fees from the academic year 2012/13. Main proposals in the paper include lifting restrictions on the amount of places Universities can give to prospective students with A-Level results of AAB or higher to effectively encourage competition between Universities for the brightest students, and mandating greater transparency of data such as contact hours and graduates’ starting salaries at Universities in order to help potential students decide where they want to apply. More

Begging the Question: Are students equipped to deal with controversial issues as they once were?

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Just last month Universities UK published a report calling for Vice-Chancellors to avoid banning controversial speakers on campuses; consequential debates regarding student extremism and freedom of speech spawned across the web, and, last week the issue could not be more relevant to students in Southampton as controversial former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg gave a lecture to students at the University as part of Islamic Awareness Week.

Freedom of speech is one of the greatest and most taken for granted aspects of democratic societies and, traditionally, students are looked to as champions for its promotion and the advocating of new liberal ideas permitted by this freedom.

Students are seen to lead the revolutions. Campuses are meant to be where intellectual debate is expected at its most broad-minded and advanced, and the next generation are looked to for an understanding of sociological development that the older generation may have overlooked, or have become too accustomed to the traditional that they are unable to understand. Or, at least, this is the common thought. More

Unveiling the Mystery of the Masher: Competition in Student Media

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Students at the University of Southampton were last week all talking about the same thing. The subtle launch of The Wessex Mash had everyone giggling in the library instead of revising, Union insiders gossiping about its content and the possible identity of its creator, and the sensitive of those mentioned on the site offended at its humour. More

My Student News and Journalism Revolution

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With a view to avoid the typical ‘New Year Resolutions’  list, this year, on New Year’s Day, I instead chose to compile a list of goals I intend to achieve within the next 12 months. Setting up a blog with regular engaging content was of course, one of these goals. Now, shamefully, this is something I should’ve done a very long time ago, last September at the acceptable latest. And here’s why… More