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_imgThis past weekend Batesville’s SEI United U11 boys team played in the Fusion Fall Classic tournament in Indianapolis.We are so very proud of our boys who played 4 hard games won everyone of them and came home First Place Champs!Courtesy of Amanda Scott.last_img


first_imgAs photos and stories from Haiti continue to catch the public eye, students and professors on campus have undertaken various efforts to provide whatever help they can.Much of Haiti has been ravaged and hundreds of thousands left dead by the large-scale earthquake that struck last week. To honor those lost and to help those in need of aid, the USC Office of Religious Life hosted a vigil Tuesday and the Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism hosted a CrisisCamp volunteer session Sunday.Photo courtesy of The Los Angeles TimesStudents and community members came together Tuesday at the interfaith vigil.“The event was all about healing and grief, but it’s also about learning, and getting background,” said Rev. Jim Burklo. “Education is a big part of it; we want to get people interested in the history of the country as well as a spiritual response.”The vigil began with Varun Soni, the dean for the Office of Religious Life, who gave the audience of about 25 a brief recap of what occurred in Haiti and of the earthquake’s destruction and its effects.“Today we come together to support the people of Haiti and to support each other,” Soni said in his opening speech. “Today we bring together the spiritual and scholarly resources of our university in order to raise money and awareness for Haiti.”Allyson Salinger Ferrante, a graduate student who is working on her dissertation on Caribbean literature, followed with a poem by René Dépestre titled Ballad of a Little Lamp.“As students and members of a privileged community who have access to education among other basic things like food, clothes and shelter, we may feel that we are too small to really effect any change, but that’s not true,” Ferrante said. “Every dollar counts and the spread of information counts, and that doesn’t cost anything.”Students who attended the event said they felt it was important to show support as a group.“I think its important to unite our campus because a lot of us know people whose family members have been affected,” said Jillian Angeline, a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. “As the Haitian community is uniting, the students on campus should as well.”Erica Edwards, a senior majoring in English who attended the event, said she hopes other students understand what happened.“It’s important to take some time to reflect on Haiti, it’s really important to look at the larger picture and to see the world and see life globally as opposed to just our own life,” said Edwards. “It is important to make time for those who are in need. One day it could be us.”Beyond the vigil, faculty and community members met Sunday to use their technological skills to help the relief effort as part of CrisisCamp Haiti, a program hosted by Annenberg.More than 40 volunteers worked on various projects, including an open street map of Haiti and a family locator system. Others helped by translating messages into French and Haitian Creole.“The idea was just to get people together and see what we can do,” said Andrew Lih, the Annenberg faculty member who organized the event in Los Angeles. “It’s tough to figure out the impact of what is going on here in Haiti, but at least we can use the technology to help.”Lih said he is trying to organize another event but emphasized that volunteers should also undertake crisis-relief projects on their own.“Events like this are really time sensitive, and some people say that even waiting a week to meet is too late,” Lih said.last_img read more