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What’s this EU thing about anyway?

If we're expected to vote, we need to know what it is. And what it's becoming is something we may not initially expect


Goodbye London Student and ULU

It's a sad time for the student activist moment as ULU and its one-of-a-kind student newspaper, the London Student, is shuttered by University management.


London Student Newspaper Articles

Government begins to sell-off student loan book

By London Student, National News

Student Loans

The British government has sold student loans with a face value of £890m for just £160m to a private debt purchaser renowned for its persistent debt recovery practices.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced the sale, which covers loans to around 250,000 students who started courses between 1990 and 1998, to a consortium named Erudio Student Loans.

The price paid by Erudio reflects their assessment of the proportion of loans likely to be paid back in full or in part, with the majority of the book in arrears or deferred.

The consortium is led by investment fund manager CarVal Investors and debt purchasing group Arrow Global.
Following this decision, George Osborne announced in his autumn statement that “new loans will be financed by selling the student loan book”.

A spokesperson from BIS confirmed to the Independent that student loans taken out between 1998 and 2012 have “the potential” to be sold “over the next five years”.

If privatised, the sale of the loan book would deliver roughly £10-15 billion to the government over a five-year period, although any future repayments of capital and interest from the loans sold would be lost.

In both instances, BIS have claimed that there will be no change to borrowers’ terms and conditions, including to the interest rates charged.

But Michael Chessum, the University of London Union president, argued students should not be reassured by the government’s promises.

He said: “There is every reason to believe that current and future governments will simply flout commitments on higher education funding, because that is what has happened consistently under both Labour and Tory governments”.

Adrian Polglase, London Student: Issue 5 (09/12/2013)

Queen Mary students angered by price of campus theatre hire

By London Student, University of London News
Queen Mary's Great Hall Theatre

Queen Mary’s Great Hall Theatre

Student societies at Queen Mary are angry at being told that in order to use their campus’ theatre space, they will have to pay the corporate rate of £357 a day.

The Queen Mary Theatre Company (QMTC), a student society, was quoted £2,500 of “internal charges” for a seven-day hire of the recently refurbished great hall.

These prices prevent students from developing their own abilities, according to Wai Wan Choy, co-president of QMTC. He said it is “ridiculous considering it’s a college-owned venue but has been priced out of range for many student societies and groups”.

The rates compare unfavourably to those of other University of London colleges. University College London (UCL) offers twelve weeks of free student and staff use for their equivalent-sized venue.

Queen Mary’s theatre space, which seats up to 770 people, was officially re-opened in February following a £6.3 million refurbishment, but has since been mainly used for college lectures and commercial out-of-college hire.

The college was also only willing to offer corporate rates when the Queen Mary Student’s Union (QMSU) attempted to book the venue for their upcoming winter ball.

According to a member of the winter ball committee, the union attempted “to negotiate prices”, but the quote given by the college forced the union to resort to hiring a third-party venue off-campus which was less expensive and had a higher capacity.

Sarah Sarwar, president of QMSU, said it was important that the space “can be available to student groups”.

She added: “The union doesn’t have any official comment on [the pricing] yet, but the internal charges strike me as so bizarre”.

The college defended the internal hire charges by claiming that the venue requires considerable resources to maintain and that consequently “internal users need to contribute financially to its upkeep and the cost of hosting events”.

Adrian Polglase, London Student: Issue 4 (18/11/2013)

News In Brief – 28th October Issue

By London Student, News In Brief

London Student Header

Firefighters March Against Cuts

Firefights demonstrated in London this month against fire service cuts and changed in pension arrangements.

A march on 16 October, arranged by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), started on Malet Street, near the University of London Union, and made its way through the city to Westminster Central Hall.

Some in the crowd, who braved wet weather conditions, brandished signs saying “hands off our pensions”. Other wore T-shirts with the caption “elderly firefighters at work”, in a parody of the elderly crossing the road sign.

The protesters oppose government plans to cut funding to fire services and change pension arrangements so that firefighter will have to work until they are 60, rather than the current age of 55.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, told demonstrators that the coalition was putting the country at risk by slashing funding and “forcing firefighters to work beyond the age at which they can physically do the job”.

Police tried to stop anti-facist club night, organisers say

The Metropolitan Police have been accused of attempting to cancel an anti-facist event held at the University of London Union on 12 October.

The organisers of the night told the Leopard newspaper that police tried to “pressure” acts not to attend and rang the venue to warn “unsavoury characters” would attend. They suggested that police faction might have been triggered by the offer of free entry to attendants with a bail-sheet from the anti-facist demonstration in Whitechapel last month.

Adrian Polglase, London Student: Issue 3 (28/10/2013)

Notes on images

All main Adrian’s Word articles are works of Adrian Polglase with all rights reserved. London Student articles are also works of Adrian Polglase, and sometimes other news reporters on the paper, rights of which are reserved to the writers and the now defunct ULU London Student publication.

Images used on Adrian’s Word are either by Adrian Polglase with all rights reserved, in which case no credit is shown, or Creative Commons images. In these cases, the images are credited in the corner by viewing the full image. The license for these images can be found here. Please note that Creative Commons licenses only apply to images and media on Adrian’s Word not owned by Adrian Polglase, not Adrian’s Word actual and original content.