Sunday, 31 July 2011

Bits and Bobs from the Sunday Times.

Universities to cut fees for top students

Some sanity in higher education - with a suggestion that students with top A level grades may have their fees cut. Quite right I say, people who really deserve to be there should not be penalised by their financial position.

But not all good - the article implies that students from EU countries get equal access to UK universities, and can apply for UK student loans. This is particularly bad as there is noway of making foreign students repay their loans, and any money lost through non-payment has to be made up by those who *do* pay! So UK citizens born and bred going to a UK university and going on to work in the UK will not only be paying for their own university education, but for those of any EU students who studied here too!!

That't it - our brains are full up

A report suggests that human inteligence is at its peak. It says the brain is already working as fast as it can so there can be no efficiency increase, and that the brain already accounts for 20% of energy used by the body, so there is no scope for the brain to get bigger.

However, I say, looking at all the stories about general obesity in the UK there is *no* problem with providing more energy to bigger brains - humans have access to plenty of extra energy.

Go-getter Asians flock to grammars

As everyone already knows grammar schools get better results that the useless comprehensives that were dumped on my generation. The only question is why the public let government after government do *nothing* about it - more selective schools are needed. There are specialist sports schools, specialist arts schools etc why oh why don't we have a virtual ban on specialist academic schools?!?!

Donor Plea

From now on driving licence applications will be rejected unless the applicant answers a question on whether they want their organs to be donated after their death. Until now the question could just be ignored, but now you have to say 'Yes' or 'Not decided' (funny you can't just say 'no').

I am not against transplants in general, but I am not prepared to let jumped up saw bones hold my organs to ransom for their own glory - I will only donate my organs if my family can decide who gets them. I will not let a surgeon take them to boost his own private surgery, nannying political agenda, and bank balance. If my organs were used, I'd want them to go to the people currently persecuted by our doctors and health service - i.e. Lungs to a smoker, liver to a drinker, heart to a fatty etc.

Veterans threatened by plan to scrap combat stress aid

I think it is about time that 'post traumatic stress' and related issues stopped being treated as exceptional. It seems clear that these are not unusual medical issues, but simply normal human reaction to war and violence related events.

So instead of treatment being seen as an exception, we should assume (and budget) for all soldiers to be look after in this way if they are ever sent into action. Its a cost of war - a cost that our Governments prefer to ignore as they go on their foreign expeditions in the hope of some kind of place in the history books.

Of course they will get in the history books for Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc - but not in the way they hoped...

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