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Mahatma Gandhi once said:

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes we can!

Dear Ivor
Got your text and no I don’t think that Barack Obama would appreciate a crate of your home brew to celebrate his victory. That vintage rhubarb wine has quite a kick and we don’t want him to be unconscious over the next couple of days. I have however sent him our warmest wishes. Although a little tired from the late night am feeling extremely elated today and riding on a wave of American optimism! Could this be the change we have been waiting for, signalling the way forward for our job share PM leadership bid? Can we do it, yes we can!

With the concerns about EMAs and university students staging a protest about top-up fees today, think we ought to vote in our candidate for the Head of Education and Innovation next. Have been browsing the web under the guise of searching for a new broadband provider (Robin is lurking about and has been a little sulky since I mentioned my intention to look for a virtual job) and discovered that approximately 2 million students from the UK go to university each year, of which about a third seem to qualify. Got these figures from the Office for National Statistics so they must be right, but the qualifiers seem a little low, am I reading it correctly, need your clear vision to be applied to this on your return? If each student is paying per year £3145 in top-up fees this adds up to approximately £6.3 billion of which about £2.8 billion (very rough calculation) is provided in grants. Now what we now need to find out is how much it costs to administer the fairly complex grant scheme, which at this stage I cannot seem to discover, even with the help of trusty Google. The overall annual budget for the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills is nearly £19 billion, how is this divided up? Once we discover this our Head of department can calculate if it would be better to abolish the whole scheme and just pay money from the government direct to the universities, perhaps reducing everyone’s top-up fees by a considerable amount, or even abolish them all together. Also need to find out why students don’t come away with any qualifications, are they feeling under pressure to go to university, are they choosing the wrong courses or do they get lost in a fog of alcohol? Perhaps you could assist with this study as it is a topic close to your heart?

Am going to continue with a little cost saving research of my own, am looking into reducing the length of some university courses by increasing the number of lectures each week and shortening the holidays, not sure if it will be a popular move, perhaps to soften the blow we could add on a few more gigs at the student union and lengthen happy hour?

Don’t get lost in the mist!

Poll xx

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