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Barefacts (2005-2006) - 7

Barefacts (2005-2006) - 7

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UniS Staff To Strike?
24 January 2006
Konsumer Revolt | Is There A
Perfect Pizza? | Page 7
Arts Section |Film, Music, etc.
|Page 14
Puzzles| What is a Search-for-
words anyway? | Page 23
action Health week Find out

more about the big week of healthy action that’s coming to campus very soon indeed! Don’t worry, it’s not just about lentils & jogging | Page 11

Debate!Saturday saw the

first of USSU’s ‘Just Can’t Wait ‘til Saturday’ events with a debate night taking place in Chancellors - Read about it here! | Page 21

You weren’t much of a muse, but then I weren’t much of a poet
By Chris Ward

Staff at the University of Surrey may take industrial action
after talks broke down on staff salary improvement. The
Surrey Assocation of University Teachers (AUT) have at-
tacked employers at the University for failing to keep their
promise to Parliament that the extra money available from
top up fees would be used to increase staff pay. Industrial
action could mean that final year students at the University
of Surrey will not graduate this summer due to unmarked

The AUT stresses that vice-chancellors promised the
higher education minister at the time, Alan Johnson, that a
“substantial proportion” of the extra money available would
be allocated towards improving pay conditions of university
teachers, and has expressed anger that these promises have
not been kept.

Simon Ungar, Secretary of Surrey AUT said: “The em-
ployers had made it clear to us and to the government that
extra money would and should be made available to staff. It
was a central part of their case for top-up fees, and we know
that the money is there now.

“We opposed top-up
fees then, and we op-
pose them now. We don’t
believe that they are an
appropriate way to fund
higher education. But we
will not allow the em-
ployers to renege on their
promises. We hope that
they will stand by their
responsibilities, and will
start to negotiate properly
and fairly. Disrupting the
studies of hardworking
students is a last resort,
but one which we may be
forced to take. The ball is
in their court.”

The general secretary of AUT added: “I am really disap-
pointed that the employers have not taken this opportunity to
prove all the cynics wrong. This was their chance to dem-
onstrate that decades of telling us they wanted to pay staff

more, but couldn’t because of a lack of money, were not just
empty promises, and they have blown it.”.
Tories Plan To Keep Top Up Fees
By Chris Ward

Earlier this month, the new leader of the Conservatives,
David Cameron, announced a U-turn on the Tory student
finance policy, stating that the party will now support tuition
fees, stating that “the money’s got to come from some-

Prior to the general election, Michael Howard introduced a
policy whereby fees would be scrapped and higher education
would be paid for by placing a commercial interest rate on
the student loan. This was met by staunch opposition from
the National Union of Students, who have recently called for
David Cameron to reconsider his stance on fees.

Julian Nicholds, NUS Vice President Education said: “The
impact of any policies on students and potential students
must not be underestimated. In recent correspondence with
NUS, Cameron has admitted that a Conservative govern-
ment would not pursue continued opposition to variable fees.
We are extremely concerned that access to education will be

limited under a Tory government and would urge all parties
to rethink their stance on the future of education.”
Anne Milton, Guildford’s Conservative MP was asked by
barefacts to comment on David Cameron’s recent speech.

She said: “The question of university funding, student debt,
tuition fees and whether they can continue to be enough to
fund university education and also affordability for the less
well off is all under review in the Party. I will listen and
contribute – student debt is of particular concern. It would
be a mistake to make up my mind before I’ve heard all the
evidence and at this stage I would love to hear from any stu-
dents or University of Surrey staff and will feed their views
into the policy review.”

USSU have consistently rejected plans to charge students top up fees, as it would both restrict access to university for those who are financially incapable of covering the cost, and would introduce a market into higher education.

2Retractions / Errors

In the last edition ofb a re f a c t s before Christmas,
an entry was published in the personals pages
that a few people found offensive due to the
fact that one interpretation suggested the
personal eluded to a joke about child abuse.
The editorial team would like to apologise if
any offense was caused by this, and would like
to stress that although our editorial process is
usually rigorous, the content of this submission
unfortunately fell through the net.

Also, we do know how to spell “jeopardised”.
barefacts is an editorially independant newspa-

per and is published by The University of Sur-
rey Students’ Union Communications Office.
The views expressed within the paper are those
of the individual authors and do not neces-
sarily represent the views of the Editor, the
University of Surrey Students’ Union or the
University of Surrey.

barefacts reserves the right to edit submissions

Copyright USSU Communications Office 2006

Contributions must be submitted
by the Monday before publication
date to guarantee publication and
may be edited at the discretion of the
editorial team. Please send them to


Union House
University of Surrey Students’ Union

Doctor Doctor... gimme the news!
Editorial Team
All these addresses are @surrey.ac.uk
(unless otherwise mentioned). Funny that.
Neil Boulton: ussu.comms@
Chris Ward: cs21cw@
Deputy Editor
Joshua Bates: cs52jb@
Deputy Editor
Sophia Hawkins: li52sh@
News Editor
Marcin Stylski: li12ms@
Features Editor
Lia Parker: ps41lp@
Arts Editor
Beth Heale: bf.arts@gmail.com
Arts Editor
Nicole Heel bf.arts@gmail.com
Fashion Editor
Natalie Dowle: ms42nd@
Fashion Editor
Jamila Gangadeen: ms41jg@
Webmaster & Puzzlelord
Colin Everett: ma41ce@
Postgraduate Editor
Position Vacant
Adverts & the like
Aaron Salins: a.salins@
by Marcin Stylski

The introduction of tuition top up
fees has led to a drop in University
applications for the first time in eight
years, the government has admitted.

The deadline for applications closes
next week and the minister for higher
education, Bill Rammell estimates
that the number starting university
in autumn will fall by 2%. Ministers
have constantly stated that with the
introduction of top up fees, of around
£3000 would not put off prospective students. Bill Rammell
maintained that a 2% drop in applications represents a “strong
performance” with the increase of applications last year.

Bill Rammell went on to say “This was to be expected, given
the very large increase last year of something like 9%, I am not
anticipating a change from that. I most certainly do not believe
that we are going to see a major downturn in applications.” He
continued by saying that “Many students would be better off
under the new system, with more generous grants and bursa-
ries.” This was disputed by the National Union of Students said
ministers had to admit that the introduction of tuition fees was a
deterrent. Julian Nicholds, NUS vice president, education, said:
“Education must not become a commodity reserved for those
who can afford it. However, that is exactly what will happen if
the government won’t admit the deterrent effect of top-up fees.

We are extremely worried. So
should the government be.”

Career advisors at colleges have
warned that there will be a drop in
applications with the introduction
of tuition fees, with many students
not understanding the new finan-
cial arrangements. These claims
were refuted by Mr Rammell who
said the drop in applications was
momentary “When tuition fees first
came in 1998, there was something
like a 2.5% reduction in the first

year - a marginal decrease - and then the trend continued up-
wards. I’m not into the prediction business but I think it may well
be the case that you will see a similar kind of pattern. But thus
far a 2% reduction on the back of a 9% increase is not anything
other than a strong performance in terms of applications.”

Ministers have set a 50% target for 18-30 to attend univer-
sity by 2010. Many universities will be charging the maximum
amount of £3000 in fees, which is more than double the present
amount. The difference being that the fees will only have to be
repaid after the students start working and that there are more
generous grants now available. Mr Nicholds still insisted that
“The prospect of top-up fees for courses beginning next autumn
will further harm the government’s stated aim of widening par-
ticipation to meet their target of 50%.”

University Applications Fall
By Marcin Stylski

A £97,500 grant from the funding council Hefce has gone
towards an online resource that helps 16-19 year olds with their
finances while at university.

The online resource, ‘All About U’ (developed by the
independent students’ charity Uniaid) stated that the money will
be used to create teaching materials. The aim of ‘All About U’
is to help students deal with the confusion of student finance
and with the sometime difficult change from school/college to

This venture is in cooperation with a government funded
scheme called Aim Higher, whose main aim is to increase the
number of young people from under-represented groups entering
higher education. It is hoped that the materials will be used
during higher education awareness raising days, summer schools,
social and health education lessons and other outreach activities.

All About U was launched by Uniaid last October. The main
aim of the programme is to take students on a virtual year at
university, with the intention of balancing their academic goals,
finances, time and social scene. Uniaid’s chairman, and vice-
chancellor and chief executive of London South Bank University,
Deian Hopkin, said “This project is another invaluable building
block as we continue to construct an effective, national
partnership so that young people and their advisers can be
given the best tools and the best information for understanding
finance.” The higher education minister, Bill Rammell, said
“It is our priority to increase understanding of student finance,
and I am delighted to see such innovative partnership work. I
have been extremely impressed with Uniaid’s creativity and
innovation, and I would encourage other organisations to work
with them.”

Cash Program for Students Extended
Do you have a complaint against this newspaper?

If you have a complaint about any item in this newspaper which contains inaccuracy, harrassment, intrusion, or discrimination write to our edito- rial team about it. If you remain dissatisfied please contact theP re s s

Complaints Commission - an independent organisation established to
uphold an editorial Code of Practice for the Press. This newspaper will
abide by their decision.
Press Complains Commission
1 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JB
Telephone: 020 7353 1248
Facsimile: 020 7353 8351
Letters to barefacts
What would barefacts be without a two-way communication system for readers to rant and have their say on our glorious newspa-
per? Letters may be edited for length or clarity | barefacts@ussu.co.uk
Outlook on France
Dear barefacts

I was very disappointed to read that Ajiri
has had a bad experience in France.
Let me start by saying that I am a French
person and I have been living in the UK for
the past 5 years. I have studied in France,
Ireland, Germany and the UK, all of which I
enjoyed a lot, for different reasons.

I am surprised reading Ajiri’s recollection
that he did not know about electric bills,
tenancy agreements etc… Surely, he should
have checked those details before going? (I
don’t know a country where the previous
owner/tenant is ready to pay for the bills
of the subsequent one –duh! Of course you
should advise them you are the new tenant.
They will not chase this up on your behalf!)
France is known as a country plagued by red
tape, and yes, sometimes it’s cumbersome,
but in fairness, as all prejudices go, if you
dig deeper, you will find that ALL prejudices
are exaggerated...

All this has been explained to him by the
lady in charge of his course in France, so
what else does he need? For them to be at
his beck and call, no doubt...

The mention of them not being available
because ‘they were having lunch’ made
me think that Ajiri is not one to agree that
people need to eat (in France, just like here

in England... Even more so over there shall I
add; food is an important part of the French
culture, it goes without saying... another
thing he should have known before visiting
the country!) At Surrey, administrative staff
DO need to close for lunch too, don’t you

I agree on one point though: dog poo is
unfortunately a recurrence in the streets of
France; it’s improving, but more needs to
be done. Unlike here, no dog owners will
disgrace themselves by picking it up. I do
not own a dog, but if I did, I would make an
effort. It is so antisocial! In comparison to
Britain, it is less good, but on the other end,
we rarely see litter in the street (whereas it is
rife in this country!) So, you win some, you
lose some. It is part of life!

In short, I was unimpressed by the general
mood Ajiri describes my country. Lyon is
not a city I love, but I think he painted a
rather dull and unattractive picture, for a city
which you could compare to Manchester or
Leeds. It is a big city, and with that comes
an amount of drawbacks that are to be
somewhat expected: a shortage of students’
flats/studios and generally, an uninviting
first impression to name but a few things on
arrival; but was this not his job and aim to
go and discover what France has to offer?
Instead, he is deliberately avoiding French
students and rallies himself to all foreigners
and exchange students... He is NOT going
to enjoy what French people can do well
(eating, socialising and make people of

every nationality welcome) if he does not
open his mind and speak to them... Trust me,
I have been there (as an exchange student
in a foreign country) and there is REALLY
much more than meets the eye if you trust
that you will have a better time by simply
relaxing and by making friends with the

Carole (address details provided on demand)
GU2 forced upon

Dear barefacts
I would like to express my disappointment
over the recent outside broadcast by GU2 on
Friday 20 January from the Lecture Theatres
building. As a Battersea Court resident, my
housemates and I have grown accustomed to
the fact we live in perhaps one of the more
livelier places of University accommodation
and quite often will have to put up with
some kind of disturbance – whether this
comes from the nearby Cathedral, other
residents or students making their way back
believing they can sing having been to the
Union until the early hours of the morning.
However, my housemates and I feel that at
times the outside broadcast reached levels
of noise that simply were not acceptable
– especially given it is not unusual to be

attempting work during the day between
lectures or even simply wanting a more
peaceful, quiet time! Whilst I am conscious
it will no doubt raise awareness of GU2
across campus and particularly freshers, I
cannot help but feel that Friday’s broadcast
has increased the amount of students
disillusioned with our University’s radio
station by forcing it upon us in such an
intrusive way rather than concentrating on
actually giving people a real reason to tune
in. It would be unfair of me to criticise GU2
without adding something more positive
– but the impression I get from other
students is that not as many people listen as
they potentially could. Therefore, perhaps if
GU2 communicated more with its intended
audience it would allow them not only
to cater to better to them (thus increasing
listeners – surely a good thing?), but it
would also allow others to avoid annoyance
if outside broadcasts directly affecting
those living centrally on campus could be
better advertised and give them a better
opportunity to plan their day. Having been
ill on the aforementioned Friday, I was not
particularly happy to be listening to radio
chatter or music (that randomly seemed to
increase in volume from time to time?). I
hope my comments (on behalf of myself & a
number of my housemates) will be received
in the constructive manner they are intended.

Name and address supplied.
By Sophia Hawkins

Many universities are set to follow in the
footsteps of Warwick, Oxford and Cam-
bridge and boycott the National Student Sur-
vey next year as reported by Liz Ford for the
Guardian. It has emerged that as many as 19
universities may boycott the Survey if suf-
ficient changes are not made. The Aldwych
Group who questions the way the survey has
been structured has raised concerns. They
query, ‘how the information is collected, the
depth of the questions and the make-up of
the survey’s steering group.’

The National Students Survey (NSS) was
answered by 170,00 final year students. It
was a bid to find out students opinion on
everything from their course, their union to
library facilities. The aim was for students
to get a more rounded view of what univer-
sity life is really like, instead of information
given by league tables. It was immediately

criticized, however and was boycotted by the above universities last year. They are expected to do the same this year.

It was revealed that, ‘students taking part
last year were harassed with telephone calls
if they did not complete the survey online,
sometimes while they were revising for
final exams.’ Thus, the group are encourag-
ing their ‘parent universities not to provide
NSS organisers with students’ mobile phone

Kat Stark, a spokesperson for Warwick
union spoke in favour of the NSS idea, but
that the only reason why her university had
boycotted was because of the structuring.

It seems clear that the students want a sur-
vey that is going to be accurate, and presents
a clear idea of what a university is like and
how good it is. And as Miss Stark says, ‘We
[are looking] forward to the day when we
can support [the] NSS.’

National Student Survey - Useless?
College Keeps Veil Ban
By Joshua Bates

Security fears, heightened by the July 7
bombings in London and animal rights pro-
tests, has led to the Imperial College insist-
ing that all visitors, students and employees
are identifiable by comparison of their face
to the photograph on their college identity
card. The move means that the college’s
revised dress code will still not permit the
veils worn by some Muslim women in spite
of protests from students.

Hooded tops, scarves or hats are however
not excluded by the code although security
concerns may be raised if they are to be
worn tightly across the face.

Saris, skullcaps, turbans, clerical collars
and kippahs are all however welcome on
campus and in the revised code (as agreed
with the student union), the college states
that it applauds the variety of appearance
brought by individual choices and styles of


Sameena Misbahuddin, the Student Union
President (Imperial College), commented
that “the college has been really helpful and
cooperative” saying that although students
will need to have visible ID cards although
they would not have to be worn around their

The policy states: “If the college’s dress
code produces a conflict with [for example]
an individual’s religious belief, the individu-
al’s line manager or the student’s supervisor
will, with the aim of finding a satisfactory
compromise, sympathetically consider the

The college says it aims to create a climate
where diverse cultural, religious and non-
religious beliefs are respected. Therefore,
the code also bans racist, sexist, sectarian
or obscene slogans and symbols form being
worn – “offensive dress” – with failure to
comply resulting in disciplinary action.

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