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University of Birmingham: Uni Allows Formation of Controversial Anti-Abortion Society

Despite its highly controversial nature, the University of Birmingham have approved the formation of an anti-abortion society following concerns over free speech. The group, which are called ‘Birmingham Students For Life’ had their application for societal status deferred twice before being given the green light in February 2019.

Their Facebook page has been active since July 2018 and currently has almost 200 likes. On their page they state that they “believe that human life should be protected conception until natural death”, adding that they exist to “promote dialogue on abortion, and make people aware of the alternatives”.

The approval of the society comes just months after a pro-life group was banned from associating with the University of Glasgow’s student union. Similarly, ‘Life’, an anti-abortion charity was banned from having a stall at the 2018 Freshers’ Fairs in Manchester, Liverpool and Warwick.

A group of University of Birmingham students are now attempting to set up a pro-choice society in attempt to prevent a pro-life rhetoric from dominating the conversation.

Charlotte Loughlin

Bath Spa University: Student Fails Module After PDF File Doesn’t Open

The modern student is lost without technology. Even the thought of technological difficulties is enough to bring us out in a cold sweat. Without technology, we might as well give up and go back to bed – if we weren’t on the verge of doing so already.

This sentiment must surely be shared by Liam Creighton, a graphic communications student at Bath Spa University, who was recently given zero marks for his coursework after the university failed to open his PDF file. His tutor was unable to open the 122 page document, meaning Creighton was not given any credit for his work.

Nobody even knows what the three letters stand for, yet we stake our degrees on these files  working properly. Creighton is “outraged and disgusted” with the university’s treatment of him, but has so far not been shown any sympathy by those in the university hierarchy.

He had been on track for a 2:1 but now looks more likely to emerge with just a pass. Nobody would wish such unfairness on a fellow student.

That’s right, double check that you pressed save on that assignment. Maybe quill and parchment is the way forward, after all.

Mark Docherty

Purdue University, USA: Students Offered Alternative to Student Loans

In an effort to find solutions to the crippling student debt in the US, Purdue University has offered an alternative to the current way of paying for university.

Instead of a traditional loan, with interest that builds up over years and becomes unpayable for many people, Purdue are giving the option to pay a percentage of a graduate’s income over the 10 years after they leave university.

At around only 7% of income, this payment method is much more in line with the UK student loan system, and works more like a graduate tax.

Unlike UK student debt, however, student debt in the US can affect credit ratings and so limit a graduate’s ability to buy a house or car years in the future; in the UK, student debt does not affect your credit rating.

If the example set by Purdue University can be shown to work, then it might offer some way to reduce the total graduate debt of over $1.6 trillion and counting in the US.

Michael Keating

University of Bath: Student-Filled Bus Falls Down Manhole

One of the university buses in Bath took a slight detour when it became stuck in a manhole on Thursday, 28th February. It reportedly tried to avoid crashing into another bus that was swinging left from North Parade onto Manvers Street.

The bus was full of university students, heading up to the university campus. Once the driver realised he was stuck, he immediately told all the passengers to evacuate the vehicle.

Amongst the crowd of students, hastily leaving the bus, was William Easdown. He described the situation: “All the students (including me) who’d been on the double decker walked to the bus stop on North Parade by the leisure centre to wait for another bus to pick them up from there. One full bus stopped, the driver called the depot and an empty double decker arrived 5-10 mins later.”

Another passenger told Bath Live that no one was hurt in the incident, however, the students “didn’t look very happy having to get off and get another bus”.

First West of England’s Head of Operations, Chris Hanson reassured that “The incident has been reported to the police and an internal investigation will take place. We apologise to our customers and other road users who may have been delayed by this incident.”

Sophie Denham

Image: [Independent]