first_imgIn an official statement available on the University website, and emailed to all students, the Vice-Chancellor also said, \”It is deeply regrettable, as the University has made clear, that the Government is reducing drastically direct public investment in university teaching – and that in a country which already spends less in percentage terms than the OECD average on higher education.\”Many students and tutors have expressed concerns about the University\’s decision. The Oxford University Committee for Higher Education (OUCHE) have been actively campaigning for a complete scrapping of tuition fees and are still working to amend the Council\’s decision.One of the founding members of OUCHE, and a fellow and tutor in Physiological Sciences at Worcester, John Parrington, commented, \”I know the University is planning bursaries, but I fear that the students most in need of them will have the least information and confidence to apply for them.\”Univ Politics tutor, Dr Pablo Beramendi, agreed that there were issues with the proposals. He said, \”The current solution hurts everyone because it combines a compromise that means a lot of effort to middle and low income families and extracts far too little from high income families.\”Beramendi also expressed his view that fees should rise even more for those from higher income backgrounds who were able to afford them, in order \”to avoid this perverse redistribution effect\” and to provide funds \”which fully support talented candidates from middle and low income backgrounds\”.On the other hand, Jon-Paul Spencer, a first year PPE student at Univ, said, \”As long as the University increase bursaries and advertise the fact that graduates rather than parents pay back the fees then the changes won\’t be as bad as they first seem.\”Hannah Booker, the JCR Access and Academic Affairs Officer at Lincoln, commented, \”it would have been a powerful message for Oxford to send by not setting fees at the maximum possible level.\”She added, \”this large raise may put some people off applying who are otherwise very able to get in. I think Oxford need to ensure they publicise the fantastic bursary scheme they have in place to ensure this doesn\’t happen.\”Corpus Christi JCR President, Jack Evans, said, \”While this package doesn\’t go far enough as I would have liked, I think this does show the impact both JCRs and OUSU can have on policy making decisions within the University.\”David Barclay and OUSU must be congratulated by students in leading the way on this issue and making sure Oxford remains a institution which is avaliable for everyone, regardless of their financial position.\”At certain points during this campaign it seemed like the Bursary scheme would be cut, so to get an increase is a massive achievement. Overall this is a day in which, despite the awful situation presented to us by the coalition, Oxford students can be proud.\”The President of OUSU, David Barclay, told the BBC that he supported the steps the University is taking to lessen the blow to the poorest students and said, \”Oxford has sent out a message that we will not leave a generation of bright young students confused and excluded by the new fees system.\”The percentage of successful applicants to Oxford who come from state schools has increased by 3% on last year\’s figures, to 58.5% for 2011 entry. If, as many fear, the increased fees discourage students from poorer backgrounds from applying then it will be widely seen as undoing this progress that has been made in widening access to Oxford.The government has told universities in England that they could be denied the right to charge fees up to the highest level of £9,000 unless they take measures to attract a wider mix of students. Oxford University is going to increase tuition fees to the maximum £9,000 per year from 2012, a decision which came after a meeting of the University\’s ruling council on Monday.The new fees system, which will come into operation from 2012/13, will work on a sliding scale with students from the lowest income households having their tuition fees capped at £3,500 for their first year, and £6,000 in the following years. Students on household incomes of higher than £25,000 will be charged the full £9,000.When the details are finalised on Thursday, this week\’s decision will make Oxford the fourth university to officially decide to increase fees to the new maximum level, along with Cambridge, Imperial and Exeter.The government\’s Office for Fair Access has declared that any universities that choose to increase fees to the new maximum level must invest up to £900 from every £9,000 fee paid in targeting applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds.Oxford has pledged that, out of the £10 million of extra income that the changes will bring in, the university will ring-fence £7 million to be spent on increased outreach schemes, bursaries and student support services.Details of the proposed new bursaries were outlined, which will see around 10% of students receive the highest bursary of £4,300 in their first year of study, and £3,300 thereafter. Bursaries will also extend to students with annual household incomes of up to £42,000, on a sliding scale. The Oxford Opportunity Bursary is currently awarded on a sliding scale to those with household incomes up to £50,020.Cambridge University made a decision in the last few days to offer students a choice of a bursary or a fee waiver, rather than both as outlined in Oxford\’s decision, after protests from academics and students against a proposal to cut bursaries.The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Andrew Hamilton, has said, \”These proposals show the strength of our commitment to being accessible for all, and to attracting the very brightest students, whatever their circumstances.\”last_img read more

first_imgPlanning applications for the main elements of the Mytholmroyd Flood Scheme have now been submitted, according to the Calderdale Council latest update.The residents can view plans of the Flood Alleviation Scheme and talk to the Environment Agency at its surgeries being held in the Community Centre from 12pm to 3pm on Tuesday and from 9am to 12pm Friday, reported the Council.According to the Council, traffic management will now be in place along Burnley Road in phases to complete the various parts of the flood defense scheme including construction of new flood walls, the relocation of Caldene Bridge, widening the river channel at key locations, and strengthening and waterproofing buildings next to the river.The £30 million flood scheme for Mytholmroyd has been developed by the Environment Agency in partnership with Calderdale Council, the local community, and partners.last_img read more

first_imgThe bond between sisters is one of the strongest that can be found in human nature. For the Wisconsin women’s basketball team, the bond between redshirt junior forward Michala Johnson and her younger sister, freshman forward Malayna Johnson, has helped on and off the court. It played a large role two years ago when one of them got the other to come to Wisconsin, and it has improved both of their games on the court and their relationship off the court.Hailing from Bellwood, Ill., a town about 13 miles outside of downtown Chicago, the Johnson sisters took very different paths to get to Madison. Coming out of high school, Michala was a blue-chip prospect who committed to play her collegiate career at powerhouse Connecticut. However, following two seasons in which she averaged just 5.1 minutes per game and wanting to play closer to home, Michala decided to transfer.While Michala was deciding between schools to transfer to, Malayna had already committed to play for the Badgers and head coach Bobbie Kelsey. ESPN gave her a score of 91 out of 100 coming out of high school, making Malayna yet another blue-chip in the Johnson family.And in a bit of a role reversal, the younger Malayna played the role of recruiter, trying to bring Michala’s talents to Madison two years ago.“I committed [to Wisconsin] first, before [Michala] even thought about coming here,” Malayna said. “I like the campus, I like the coaches. I didn’t mind if Michala came here at all. So when she decided to transfer I told her, ‘What about Wisconsin? That would be cool if we got to play together.’”Michala wasn’t originally going to come to Madison, and told Malayna that she would stay away if she didn’t want her on the same team.“I wasn’t going to come [to Wisconsin] because Malayna was here,” Michala said. “I told her if you want me to come, I’ll come, but if not I’ll go somewhere else. In high school and AAU we played on the same team and we had the same coaches and they would always compare us two. They would tell her that she needs to do what your older sister is doing. And I said if you don’t want that again, I’ll go somewhere else, but then she said she wanted me to come with her.”Luckily for Kelsey and the rest of the Badger team, Michala joined her sister and chose Wisconsin.Michala currently leads the Badgers in scoring, averaging 16.9 points per game (6th in the Big Ten) while ranking second on the team with 7.3 rebounds (10th in the Big Ten). Her 55.1 field-goal percentage is also a team-high and good for third best in the conference. Michala’s 6-foot-3 height has wreaked havoc in the post for opposing teams as they usually employ a double-team simply to contain her. She has been instrumental in helping Wisconsin match last year’s win total in Big Ten play.Malayna hasn’t had the impact that her older sister has, but it would be hard to match those numbers as just a freshman. Yet her playing time has increased in Big Ten play, as she now averages 6.1 minutes per game with even more playing time on the horizon.She stands an inch taller than Michala at 6-foot-4, which is what drew Kelsey’s attention to her while Malayna was in high school.“Well she’s 6-4, so it’s not hard to understand how she can affect the game,” Kelsey said. “She can change and alter shots. Other than that she’s smart, she picks up plays and schemes really well.”“Now that [Malayna’s] been here long enough she can understand the basketball language,” Kelsey added. “She’s just finding herself out there more. So we’ll get her more minutes.”What might be the most important thing, for the two sisters that is, is the ability to be with each other almost every day. Although they may not be attached at the hip, a bond between the two certainly exists that translates to the court.Whether it’s watching each other to improve their own games, teaching one another on and off the court, or simply lending a helping hand, the sisterly bond is evident in the Johnsons’ play.“We’re best friends,” Malayna said. “We hang out a lot, even at home. Our mom raised us to be best friends. Since we’re close off the court, we kind of have a vibe on the court too.”“I’ve always tried to help her as best as I could,” Michala said. “She listens to me sometimes, but I can tell that now she’s gotten into college and started playing basketball she now understands what I’ve been telling her for a long time. But she’s stepped a lot. I mean she’s the only freshman that’s playing right now so she’s improved a lot.”“On the court she knows my voice,” Michala added. “She knows I’ll be there to help her if she needs help with a double-team or anything like that.”Next season could feature an all-Johnson front line for the Badgers but until then, they’ll continue to learn from one another. And although Malayna has improved this season with Michala’s help, there is little doubt as to which of the two sisters would win in a game of one-on-one against each other.“Me,” Michala said. “Most definitely. Without a doubt. Every time.”last_img read more