I feel exhausted. Two 50th birthday parties, one blogging conference and an emotionally draining day with Builder Bloke has left me feeling a little frail. Of course most of it was lovely, birthday parties and catching up with old friends. The children were with their father and the sun was […]
Posted by Family Affairs on 27-06-2011 in BLOG / DIVORCE tagged with 50th birthdays / Blogging / DIVORCE / ex husband / Friends / KIDS / Wife swap Posted by Family Affairs on 27-06-2011 in REVIEWS tagged with review / Richmond Theatre / The Jungle Book / theatre Posted by Family Affairs on 27-06-2011 in BLOG tagged with interest / loans / maintenance / outrage / tuition fees / universities
OK. So suddenly I’m having to get my head around a whole new area. We’ve had a form to fill in from “Student Finance” and not only am I thoroughly confused but I’m mildly alarmed. It’s all changing from next year owing to the fact that the Government are letting universities put up their fees – as far as I can see, although the cap was at £3.5K last year, most universities have chosen to increase them to the new cap of £9K per year (which I assume are just the fees?). Just like that.
SO. What do I know? Not much. It’s all a little bit dry and boring, so ignore unless it’s relevant to you. If there’s anybody out there who can help clarify this murky area then please let me know. I think some information gathering is required.
My son has been offered a loan of £3375 to be paid directly to his university for his tuition fees for the first year. They are also going to pay him £3564 directly to cover maintenance.
So, what happens to the shortfall of £5,625 for his tuition fees once the price has gone up? Where are they all going to find that sort of money from? What about the additional costs like food, books, entertainment, travel and so on?
Apparently the loans themselves have recently changed and will no longer be interest free (or just a small percentage). They are going to be index linked which could therefore mean they will be paying back 7% interest a year. Apparently the loan is to last 30 years and cannot be redeemed early in order to allow all students to start work on an equal footing. IS THAT TRUE? Whilst they don’t have to start paying it off until they are earning a salary of 21K – 40K per year they will be saddled with SO MUCH DEBT. Before they’ve even started. Their tuition fees alone will amount to £27K in three years and that is not including their accommodation and food etc. What if they become high income earners and end up paying 50% tax? In addition to another almost 10% interest per year and they’ll be taking home 40p in the pound. I wouldn’t blame our future generation of workers to leave the country in disgust. Who wants to work for that? I thought the Government were aiming to encourage entrepreneurs? Hardly.
How are most students going to be able to afford to go to university at all? None of them will be able to afford their first home and that situation is already bad enough.
Would it be cheaper to somehow find a way to lend them the money from a separate loan at a lower rate of interest and without all the tie ins?
I thought the idea, in our austerity times was to stop encouraging people to borrow more than they can afford and the government are about to force our students to have to do just that. For years and years. They are pricing our children out of a tertiary education and other richer countries will fill the spaces no doubt. It’s probably not much more expensive to educate our children in the States now – at least there are scholarship options there.
IT’S AN OUTRAGE. Any ideas on what to do about it?
Posted by Family Affairs on 26-06-2011 in BLOG tagged with 2011 / Cybermummy / Hootsuite / tweetdeck / twitter
Kerry Jean Lister from Digital Outlook gave out some brilliant Top Tips about Twitter. Here they are for anybody else interested:- 1. You control the content – it’s a tool for sharing information – don’t get in to many conversations, it’s not very interesting for everybody reading. 2. Be strict […]
Posted by Family Affairs on 26-06-2011 in BLOG / REVIEWS tagged with 2011 / cybermummy conference / Disney / Mauritius / Rachel Johnson / Sarah Brown / twitter
Yesterday’s second Cybermummy conference was a huge success. Bigger and better than their first one last year and clearly enjoyed by all. I met up with lots of my invisible friends and learnt a huge amount from the various workshops provided.
Later Rachel Johnson talked about how bloggers had been responsible for her losing 12 columns in quick succession and warned of the dangers of writing about your nearest and dearest (but with no intention to stop herself at any time soon it seems). Here she is with my friend Jennifer Howze, one of the founder members:-
There were loads of sponsors and lots of swag to give away. This was my favourite stall though – details about holidays in Mauritius – which appealed more than the baby wipes and nappies I have moved on from I have to say:-
We managed to get a group photo of 5 out of the original Disney 7, with the gorgeous Sarah Hodson from Disney:-
I’m going to tell you everything I learnt about Twitter now because I have clearly been doing it all wrong……but I’ll put it on a separate post.
Posted by Family Affairs on 26-06-2011 in BLOG tagged with end of exams / pub crawls / teenagers
As predicted, this photo shows the default position teenage son will be in post exams in my house. I will see him and his friends snoozing on the sofa in between “gatherings” and pub crawls and maybe, if I’m lucky I will see him standing at the door of the fridge looking slightly lost.
Here they are post pub crawl but before Stage 2 of their celebrations:-
Posted by Family Affairs on 24-06-2011 in REVIEWS tagged with Innocent / orange games / orange juice Posted by Family Affairs on 24-06-2011 in TRAVEL tagged with Billiontree Campaign / Costa Navarino / tree planting
Costa Navarino, the new prime sustainable destination in the Mediterranean and Aegean Airlines, Greece’s largest airline, have joined forces to launch Costa Navarino Forest. This new tree planting eco-initiative is in support of the Billion Tree Campaign, led by the United Nations Environment Programme (www.unep.org/billiontreecampaign). Costa Navarino Forest is a […]
Posted by Family Affairs on 23-06-2011 in BLOG tagged with drinking / exams / pizza / sex education Posted by Family Affairs on 23-06-2011 in BLOG / REVIEWS tagged with Joseph Boyden / review / Through Black Spruce
We’ve just finished this book for our book group. Unusually, we all loved it. Just brilliant. I highly recommend it. All about Cree Indians, set in modern day, but the story flits between the past and the present. Beautifully written descriptions about the harsh landscape and life of the Cree Indians and their understanding of nature in their traditional wilderness life style. He interweaves a clever, suspense filled story amongst the two voices he uses – that of Will Bird a successful pilot with a tragic past and Annie, his niece who goes off to New York in search of her sister and encounters yet more difficulty and ugliness amongst the beautiful set.
It is simply beautifully written. Stylish, subtle, unusual and interesting. You will learn how to skin and cut up a moose. How to survive in the wild on your own. How families should come together in times of crisis. How friendships are formed. How strong love can be. How wonderful men can be. How brutal men can be. You will hopefully lose yourself in the richness of it’s prose.
It captures you right from the start – I love his use of short sentences. Lots of full stops. Just my style. I think men would enjoy this book as much as we all did:-
“You know I was a bush pilot. the best. But the best have to crash. And I’ve crashed a plane, me. Three times. I need to explain this all to you. I was a young man when I crashed the first time. the world was wide open. I was scared of nothing. Just before Helen and I had our oldest boy. the first time I crashed I was drunk, but that wasn’t the reason I crashed. I used to fly a bush plane better with a few drinks in me. I actually believe my eyesight improved with whisky goggles on. but sight had nothing to do with my first crash. Wait. It had everything to do with it. Snowstorm. Zero visibility”.
It will make a fantastic film.
Posted by Family Affairs on 23-06-2011 in BLOG tagged with Birmingham / ISA / shot putt / silver medal
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