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Barefacts (1997-1998) - 1

Barefacts (1997-1998) - 1

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Published by The Stag

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Published by: The Stag on Jun 02, 2010
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IssueNo. 9115th September 1997TheUniversity ofSurrey Students’ Paper
housands of students willbegin University thismonth in a state of confu-sion over how the government’sfunding proposals will affectthem.
The proposals were announced after thepublication in July of the report by SirRon Dearing’s committee which hadbeen conducting a wide-ranging inquiryinto higher education, of which studentfinancial support was just one aspect.To ease the burden on the public purse,the report suggested that studentsshould make a means-tested contribu-tion to their course tuition fees. Dearingsuggested a contribution of up to £1,000to be paid by means of a low-interestloan which would only have to be paidback when a graduate’s income reacheda certain level - similar to the currentstudent loan.The Secretary of State for Education,David Blunkett, was quick to announcethat the government would accept thecommittee’s recommendation on feesfor students starting in 1998, arguingthat it should not deter new students,since means-testing meant that studentsfrom low income families would paylittle or nothing, and those that did paywould only have to re-pay their loansonce they started seeing the financialbenefits of their degree.However, the government delivered asecond blow when it announced thatwas also to scrap the maintenance grantand replace it with 100% loans-basedsystem. The value of the loan would bethe same as the current grant and loanpackage, and would again be meanstested so that parental contributionswould still be expected. The proposalhad been considered by the Dearingcommittee and firmly rejected in favourof a 50% grant and 50% loan package.The announcement of the plan hadseemed clear, until ministers becamebogged down in the detail: wouldstudents who had planned to take a yearout would have to pay fees when theystarted in 1998? At first it seemed theywould, and many admissions tutorsadvised applicants to cancel their yearout. It was eventually announced thatthose planning to do a minimumamount of voluntary work might not berequired to pay fees.As confusion grew over what was to beconsidered appropriate ‘voluntarywork’, the government eventuallybacked down and decided that no appli-cant taking a year out would have topay fees. But by then the damage wasdone - many had cancelled years outand reinstating them was not easy dur-ing the traditionally hectic period afterA’ level results are published. As Dou-glas Trainer, President of the NationalUnion of Studentsdescribed it, the gov-ernment’s plans were still at the “back of a fag-packet stage”.As the new semester starts there are stillmany unresolved issues, and a bill hasyet to be passed. The issue could revealthe first major split in the governmentas ‘Old Labour’ MP’s voice concernsover the plans.Another contentious point is that,despite the introduction of fees, Univer-sities are unlikely to see any significantincrease in funding since funds directfrom the treasury are to be reduced inaccordance with that generated from theintroduction of fees. Also unclear is towhat extent students will be able to holdto account their university for the quali-ty of the education provided.Having been quite quiet over the sum-mer, the student opposition to the plansshould soon become more obvious.Demonstrations and petitions are beingplanned now that students have returnedfor the new academic year.
Andy Gale
Summer of chaosforhigher
he arguments over fundingthe system of Higher Edu-cation that have been rag-ing since the publication of theDearing report in July stillhaven’t stopped
What used to be separate issues havebeen blurred into one long row.Students are now worried: are theygoing to be hit by demands for moneyfrom the Exchequer, from their univer-sities, from loans companies or theirparents? Or all of them together? Uni-versity Vice-Chancellors are alsounhappy. Under current proposals, theirstudents are soon to be paying tuitionfees which look unlikely, for the firstyear at least, to be directed into Univer-sity budgets. Even the government hasmanaged to run with three differentpolicies on HE funding during themonth of August alone.The National Union of Students hasbeen doubly confused: The LabourParty, to which they had pinned all theirhopes, and which they have backedunquestioningly for the last two generalelections, is not behaving quite as theNUS had hoped. Several senior NUSmembers, including the President, Dou-glas Trainer, are also members of theLabour Party, leaving them with divid-ed loyalties and difficult decisions totake about who, and how loudly, to crit-icise. The indecision can only be harm-ful to universities, to industry, and tostudents. An end to the principle of freeeducation may have been inevitable, butits effects have yet to be seen.Over thenext month or so, as the dust begins tosettle, Bare Facts will be bringing youits own coverage of events. You will beable to rely on your paper to bring youindependent analysis, and to keep youupdated on anything that may affectyou. If anyone has information, presscuttings, or propaganda from any sidein the funding row, send it to BareFacts.
With any luck, this will be the last A4edition of Bare Facts you will ever read.After weeks of ‘fixing’ everything,from the printing specification and thecomputers used for layup, right down tothe new letterheads for advertisers, itlooks as if everything is finally ready.Moving onto a new tabloid format hasmany benefits (you’ll be reading a realnewspaper, for a start), but demands agreat deal of change in the way thepaper is produced. The need for con-tributors on the editorial side (writers,photographers, and reviewers) and onthe production side (advertising, finan-cial and computer people) is greaterthan ever, as the new format will work best if the content is spot-on. Editorialmeetings are on Mondays at 6pm. Con-tributions (on disk if possible) can beposted into the Bare Facts box at anytime.The first Tabloid issue will carry twoweeks worth of news (this issue is forweeks 0 and 1, and has been dominatedby the usual start-of-term information-and-notices-bonanza), and should getoff to a great start. Like any studentnewspaper, though, it can only existwith the help of students....
nce upon a time therewas a Wednesday night.It was dark outside, cold,and with a slight twinge in theair. A small owl hooted in thebackground, and somewhere ababy cried. I found myself walk-ing toowards an old building,crumbling on the edges, thename of which escapes me - butwhich the old women know andtalk about as the ‘Union’. I creptinside, and it was dark and dingy.There was a purveying silence,and one of those bushes that youalways see in westerns floatedacross the floor. I shivered and Icould feel my goose bumps ris-ing. What was this creepy place?Why was it so quiet? I couldstand it no longer and I left.
Well, no longer is this the case! TheSILLY NIGHT is here! Watch out thefaint-hearted, Surrey sports clubs areout to play and they take no prisoners!However, if you want to come andlaugh at them then you’d best join thequeue now.I urgently need volunteers to partake inthis mission of silliness. You will arriveat approx. 7:30 pm in time to make aheadstart on the Happy Hour at 8pmwhere much cheapness will be availableif adequate silliness is achieved. Thismission is on a need-to-know basis. Tofind out more, arrive on Wed 10th Sept.Remember, there are no prizes for sec-ond place and the truth is out there.....
he Skills Development Programme offers allstudents the opportunity to enhance theiremployability by taking chance in variousskill workshops. Most of the sessions are open toall students and are ABSOLUTELY FREE!! Theaim is for a skill to be developed through informaland interactive activities, and most of the work-shops take place over 2-3 hours in the evening. Awide range of skills are offered with a variety of trainers and you can go to as many as you like. Allthose who take part receive a certificate of atten-dance, and it’s also a really good way to meet newpeople.
Tues16 Sept 6-8pm Presentation SkillsTues30 Sept 6-8:30pm AssertivenessTues14 Oct 6-8pm Time ManagementThurs16 Oct 6-8pm Action PlanningTues21 Oct 6-8:30pm Stress ManagementTues28 Oct 6-8pm Meeting SkillsTues4 Nov 6-8pm Revision Skills/Exam TechniquesThurs6 Nov 6-8pm Teamwork Tues11 Nov 6-8pm CommunicationTues18 Nov 6-8pm Interpersonal SkillsTo sign up for a workshop or just to find out moreinformation, contact Rodney Bates in Room 15, EducationalLiaison Centre, 5th Floor, Senate House, or telephone ext3177.
Guildford &GodalmingR.F.C
require part-timecasual bar-staffand catering stafffor the newseason whichcommenced onthe 23 August.Please contactMark Read on01483 424946(home) or 01483

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