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Lecturers ‘send off’ students

Some lecturers are resorting to desperate measures to stop and deter disruptive and infantile behaviour in lectures by using a red and yellow card method found on the football pitch, and notably a method often used by primary school teachers.

Professor Caroline Jackson from the University of Lancaster observed and interviewed students between 2011-2013 at a University in the South East of England to observe such behaviour, behaviour that has been deemed ‘laddish’.» >

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24-hour Library opening

At RUSU’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 26 November it was announced that the University have approved 24-hour opening of the Library on campus during term time.

Vice-Chancellor David Bell and RUSU Education Officer Emma Jackson were the people to break the news, which was met with a resounding round of applause.

The 24-hour opening will begin around March/April 2014 and will include the revision and exam period in the summer term, like it did during the trial period last year, but this time the 24-hour opening will resume at the start of the next academic year.» >

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RUSU to work on making campus safer

RUSU are currently working with Reading Buses to consider the feasibility of running a night bus service on campus.

Sophie Davies, RUSU’s Welfare Officer, commented that: “RUSU and the University have worked with Reading buses for a number of years in order to offer an improved service to students. Changes so far have included extending the route of the 20 and 21 services onto campus and the introduction of a student discount cards which offer cheaper prices for students and mean no exact change is needed!» >

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Unistats highlights differences in contact hours

Information published on the Government’s official University database ‘Unistats’ has sparked debate over whether some fee-paying University students are receiving a worse deal than others, particularly in regards to the amount of contact hours offered on individual courses. This information has only recently been made available to the public after education ministers insisted that families had the right to compare the data before choosing which Universities to apply to. According to Unistats, three example Universities (the University of Reading, University College London and York University) all charge students the same annual fees of £9,000 but offer massively varying levels of contact hours for the same subjects.» >

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NUS launch ‘Home fit for study’ survey

According to the nusconnect.org.uk website, the research aims to: “understand the key factors that influence students’ housing choices and the experience they have once living in their accommodation, whether they rent privately, live in halls, stay at home or live elsewhere.” The idea of the survey is to find out more about their experiences of housing whilst they are at University or College.

The survey is open from Thursday 28 November until Wednesday 18 December and will take students around 15 minutes to complete.» >

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Privatisation of Student Loans company

In June of this year Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, confirmed that the government will be privatising student loans as part of a plan to raise up to £15 billion in sales of public assets. Speaking to the House of Commons on 27 June, he said ‘We will take action to sell off £15 billion worth of public assets by 2020. £10 billion of that money will come from corporate and financial assets like the student loan book and the other £5 billion will come from land and property.’

Recently, the Government has sold a group of £900 million’s worth of student loans to a private debt collection company.» >

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University staff in second ‘pay walkout’ strike

Lecturers and support staff at the University of Reading staged a walkout on Tuesday 3rd December as part of nationwide action by the University and College Union (UCU), UNITE, UNISON and the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) over pay.

Unions representing academics and support staff across the UK described the dispute as “increasingly bitter” and said that thousands joined picket lines across the country. University employers however, said that support for the strike was “not widespread” and that disruption was “minimal”.» >

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Heating upgrade

The University of Reading is making a £12million pound investment to replace its ageing steam central boiler system with a brand new Energy Centre and district heating network.  The Energy Centre will house a combined heat and power (CHP) generator and four large high-efficiency boilers.

This system will heat and provide hot water to a total of sixteen buildings on the Whiteknights Campus and will be vastly more efficient than the previous one.» >

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