It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are

Five Steps To Upgrading Your Degree Offer Through Adjustment

Do you believe that all your extra revision sessions will pay off? If you think that your grades will turn out better than expected, you may want to consider using the Adjustment option to trade up to a better university or course.

Although only 1,160 students took advantage of Adjustment last year, according to Ucas figures, you should not dismiss it as a viable option. You can apply to various universities and courses through Adjustment, even those that previously rejected you.

To use Adjustment, follow these steps:

1. Make a list of potential courses and universities before A-level results day on 13 August 2015.

2. Check that you’re eligible for Adjustment and register with Ucas between A-level results day and the Adjustment deadline.

3. Call the universities you’re interested in applying to and state that you are applying through Adjustment. Be prepared to explain why you want to switch courses and universities.

4. Confirm your new place only if you are 100% certain. Do not rush into anything. Look at the courses’ compulsory components, scholarships or bursaries you’ve applied for, accommodation availability, and other relevant factors.

5. Get ahead of accommodation and financing before university begins.

Although there is no centralised list of Adjustments vacancies, using the Ucas clearing search tool can signal institutions that still have spaces to fill. Remember that Adjustment is a very important tool, so take your time to use it carefully.

Sanders suggests making contact with the university that has extended a firm offer to you as a gesture of courtesy, informing them that you will not be attending. Do not fret; they will not interrogate you regarding your choice.

Stay up-to-date with Guardian Students by following us on Twitter at @GdnStudents. Additionally, you can become a member to receive exclusive perks and our weekly newsletter.

Chelsea Takes Offence At Oxford Classmates

Chelsea Clinton, an International Relations student at Oxford University and renowned alumna, has spoken out against her fellow English classmates for displaying insensitivity and offending American sentiments in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks on the United States. The former First Daughter, well-known for her reticence with the media, recently contributed a candid article to Talk magazine’s December/January issue which details her life in Britain as well as her reaction to the events of 9/11.

Expressing difficulties with being abroad, Clinton has noted the daily display of anti-American feeling, coming from students and media alike. She lamented on her initial sentiment of seeking diversity when she sought out non-American friends during the summer, but now feels the need to seek out fellow Americans who share her love for the country. Clinton’s return to the US after 9/11 left her in a state of shock and newfound appreciation for the country she grew up in.

In the Talk article, Clinton rebuts accusations that America entered this particular conflict without given thought and consideration. These unfounded accusations only add to the offensive behavior displayed by her peers. The piece also recounts her emotional journey as she tried to reach her mother, Hillary Clinton, during the devastating terrorist attacks.

Clinton’s article serves as a wake-up call to her fellow students to tread with caution when discussing such sensitive matters. Her insights into the experiences of a typical American student studying abroad are enlightening and highlights the ever-present challenges of assimilation and adaptation.

Gladstone’s Legacy Is Murky – My University Shouldn’t Glorify It

Alisha Raithatha, my friend and I lived in the Roscoe and Gladstone student halls of residence located in Liverpool. Initially, we weren’t perturbed by the name, but as we learned more about the building’s namesake, former prime minister William Gladstone, our opinion changed. Gladstone was a known defender of his father’s slave treatment and authorized forced labor long after the abolition of slavery. Therefore, we launched a petition to change the building’s name, spur conversation about slavery’s legacy in Britain, and give students the opportunity to express their opinions.

Criticism was expected, with Gladstone’s political supporters citing his accomplishments and the commonality of racism in the 19th century. This argument is flawed as we are not questioning his achievements, but his moral actions regarding slavery. Naming the building after Gladstone portrays him in a positive light, ignoring his negatives.

The media has engaged in a long-standing effort to silence young students who speak out about racial issues. Nonetheless, we must take advantage of the opportunity we have on campuses to spark change. We have the right to write petitions, make noise, and put plaques on walls. Remembrance of our history should include the right to honor those who respect human dignity.

A positive outcome of our petition is raising awareness about the university’s decision to hold a poll to decide the building’s new name or placement of a plaque that provides context about the Gladstone name. It’s an encouraging discussion that has taken place, and we hope it continues. Our sincere sentiments about slavery are undeniable, and we’re glad we have started the dialogue.

Famous Goldsmiths Graduates Donate To Charity Auction

Renowned artists who studied at Goldsmiths, University of London, including Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley, Sarah Lucas, Yinka Shonibare, and Michael Craig-Martin, are generously donating their works to raise money for a new art gallery at the university. Additionally, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Julian Opie, and Steve McQueen are contributing pieces to the upcoming Christie’s auction. The auction, featuring pieces such as Hirst’s spot painting and swirl painting, Lucas’ bronze, and Gormley’s cast iron standing man, is expected to raise a significant portion of the £2.8m needed to construct the new public contemporary art space in south London. The gallery will be located in the shell of the Laurie Grove Baths, once a public bathhouse built in the late 1800s, and previously used as a swimming pool and dance floor until its closure in 1991. The winning design by the London-based architecture collective, Assemble, will incorporate the giant black steel tanks that once held the water supply for the baths.

Goldsmiths has a rich artistic legacy, boasting 30 Turner Prize nominees and seven winners among its alumni. The Young British Artists movement of the 1980s emerged from the art school when Hirst presented his exhibition "Freeze" as a second-year student. Craig-Martin was a teacher to many of the young artists, including Hirst. Gormley views the gallery as a valuable resource for both the university and London, stating that Goldsmiths remains one of the most intellectually stimulating and challenging universities in Britain, and that its art department contributes to the evolution of visual culture.

John Hudson Obituary

John Hudson, a distinguished professor of economics at the University of Bath, and a dear collaborator of mine for the past four decades, passed away at the age of 71.

John, born in Saltley, Birmingham, to John Hudson and Daisy Wilson, dutifully followed his father’s footsteps into the engineering industry of the West Midlands after dropping out of school at 16. However, he had a burning passion for learning and enrolled as a mature student at Queen Mary College, University of London, in his mid-20s to study economics. An achievement he took immense pride in was entering academia the "hard way."

During the early 1970s, an age of preoccupation with the problem of controlling inflation, John became deeply interested in the topic. He focused his Ph.D. studies at Warwick on the macroeconomics of wage inflation and started his first permanent academic post at Bath in 1976, where he developed into an applied macroeconomist.

John was in high demand after arriving in Bath, with his remarkable eagerness to try out any promising idea and quantitative expertise. This prompted him to make significant contributions to diverse topics such as international development, bankruptcy, corruption, the black market, the pharmaceutical industry, political leadership, and quality of life, among others.

In addition to a heavy teaching load, John wrote numerous academic publications, among which were notable works such as Inflation: A Theoretical Survey and Synthesis (1982) and Unemployment after Keynes: Towards a New General Theory (1988), which highlight his expertise in the field.

A hard worker, John’s dedication to his work was admirable. I have memories of him arriving at my doorstep before 8 am on a Saturday, carrying a large printout of aid effectiveness results after an 80-mile drive from Bath to Reading, for instance. He was exceptionally patient with everyone, even those with whom he disagreed, demonstrating his kindness and generosity.

John married Annie in the 70s, whom he met at university, but they divorced in 1997. He is survived by his partner, Marta Orviska, an economics professor, and his sons Alexandros and Christos from his previous marriage.

I’m Not Guilty – But My Brain Is

Last month, Patrizia Reggiani’s case was reopened in Italy. The Italian socialite was originally sentenced to 26 years in jail for arranging the murder of her ex-husband, fashion icon Maurizio Gucci. At the 1998 trial, expert witnesses dismissed her legal team’s claims that her brain tumour had changed her personality. However, Reggiani’s lawyers believe that modern brain imaging technology will uncover undetectable damage and lead to a case for an overturn of the earlier verdict.

The notion that individuals who break the law due to an abnormal neural makeup should not be held accountable is not new but remains contentious. Nevertheless, Wolf Singer, a renowned neuroscientist, has caused a stir by suggesting that criminals should be deemed incapable of acting otherwise and crime treated as indicative of brain abnormality. Singer’s proposal, elaborated in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, has been met with condemnation from both science and humanities academics.

Singer maintains that this recommendation is a natural extension of the general theory that free will is an illusion, which he asserts is supported by decades of neuroscience studies. The Director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Singer is best known for his work examining the "binding problem" of perception. The conundrum is why we recognize an object as an integrated whole, knowing that the brain processes the various parts – colors, angles, etc. – separately. He and his team posited that the synchronization of these different elements holds the answer.

Singer expanded on these ideas and theorized that decisions are not made in a fixed brain center but stem from dynamic systems that run interdependently, underpinned by the nerve cells of the brain. He believes that the human brain must be sufficiently complex to process genetic and social factors, as well as impulsive actions and aspirations, among others. Most of these impacting variables are occurring unconsciously, adding a layer to understanding our behavior that is inaccessible to us. Singer believes that we, as humans, can draw on some of these factors and focus on them as the basis of our behavior. We consequently justify them in ways disconnected from our real, subliminal motivations.

Hypnotism offers the most striking example of Singer’s argument. He once instructed a Royal Air Force pilot to unscrew a light bulb and place it in a flowerpot on hearing the word ‘Germany.’ The pilot promptly did so, despite no recollection when Singer revealed the act to him. This act, according to Singer, was due to the pilot’s brain structure and its susceptibility to hypnotism. Singer believes that the legal system is inconsistent in how it treats criminals, and society judges arbitrarily, holding some to account for deviating from the norm.

In his argument, Singer suggests that a change in thinking would not greatly affect the way we treat criminals. He believes that individuals who pose a threat to society should be isolated, rehabilitated where possible, and confined if necessary. However, he thinks that psychiatrists should not bear the entire responsibility of identifying the subtle changes that lead to criminal behavior. Singer claims that as long as we cannot identify all the causes of neurobiological abnormalities, we should acknowledge that everyone has a unique reason behind their abnormal behavior.

Singer does not deny that criminals should be held responsible for their actions or that good and evil concepts should be discarded. He notes that society should continue to assign value to behavior to organize itself. However, he argues that people who commit crimes are not independent of their brain structure and follow deterministic principles. This claim leads Singer to suggest that treatment for offenders should focus on assessing their risk of re-offending given their specific brain structure rather than on revenge and punishment.

Singer also proposes that the consequences of a crime should be considered less important since individuals can only control their actions and not those of others. Thus, justice should focus on the individual’s behavior rather than the outcome. Singer’s ideas have been criticized by both philosophers and neuroscientists. Philosophers mention that Singer’s points have been discussed for centuries and suggest that his ideas are not revolutionary. Neuroscientists criticize Singer for making conclusions without sufficient knowledge of the human brain and the processes that occur within it.

In response, Singer notes that public interest in his ideas has surged as individuals feel increasingly helpless within self-organizing, complex societies that are hard to steer. Singer believes that people are free from authorities and gods but are now realizing that they lack influence over the dynamics of the systems they are in.

An Informal Apprenticeship Led Me To A Career In Gardening – And TV

My professional journey started with a part-time job at a garden centre during my A-level studies. However, I disliked college, and eventually dropped out, which was not well received by my parents. I decided to work full-time at the garden centre over the summer, but by the season’s end, I realized I needed proper training.

While attending day release classes at Sparsholt College, I continued to work at the garden centre. Back then, the college mainly focused on agriculture, with a little bit of horticulture. However, today, Sparsholt College teaches everything, from beekeeping to floristry.

Although I did not pursue a formal apprenticeship, it was much different from the dull and tedious formality of A-level college. I used to cycle back and forth seven miles to work and earned £32.50 a week. It felt great to have my independence.

Working at a garden centre was an enjoyable environment. Everyone is delighted to be there and has a keen interest in the work. It suited me much better than college because, even though I still received instructions, it was not the same as being told what to do by college tutors. I interacted with people of different ages and perspectives, which significantly bolstered my confidence and social skills. It is precisely the type of experience that prepares you for the real world.

While at the garden centre, the lecturers at my college kept mentioning horticultural colleges, so I decided to enroll at Cannington College for three years, and by luck, my placement year was at Chelsea Physic Garden, which was an amazing experience.

Soon after that, I backpacked through New Zealand, working as a check-in clerk for Air New Zealand. It was fun, but I realized that working in an office was not the career path for me.

Upon returning home, I resumed working as a horticulturist at the garden centre and was eventually featured on the TV program Grass Roots. Later on, I got an unexpected call to do a screen test for Ground Force. I presented the show for eight years, but I had to leave my job at the garden centre when my TV career took off.

Sadly, the garden centre no longer exists, but I am still passionate about inspiring people with the love of gardening. When I started out, only those over 45 seemed interested in gardening. However, young people today understand the benefits of working in a garden. Moreover, almost everyone wants a garden that promotes good wildlife.

There is a general societal expectation for young people to attend university, but it is not the only means of education. Parents should remain supportive if their children opt for alternative paths to reach their career goals.

Gove And Cummings Honed Their Dark Arts In Education. Now They’re Using Them To Trash The Country

Once upon a time, there existed a Twitter account by the name of @toryeducation. Its existence was short-lived, due to reasons that will soon be transparent. However, while it existed, it was an influential player in the education policy discourse centered around the former education secretary, Michael Gove, typifying the methodology of the Department for Education at that time. While Gove himself could come off as educated and likable, his social media conduct, as well as his off-the-record operations were pugnacious and personal at times.

Critics and political colleagues would be attacked, with their vulnerabilities, including mental health, being ridiculed. One opponent was infamously labeled as a "lazy, incompetent narcissist obsessed only with self-promotion" for criticizing the management of the department. This often put opposing individuals on the defensive, taking attention away from the significant issues at hand. Petty social media spats would crop up regarding inconsequential policies, allowing significant concerns to be obscured.

Ultimately, the @toryeducation account and the political leaders surrounding it went too far with their personal attacks on critics, political opponents, and journalists, leading to official complaints being filed. The Conservative party was forced to denounce the account, and officials within the DfE were compelled to curtail its operations in an admission that certain individuals surrounding the secretary of state had violated civil service codes.

Gove was fired as education secretary, with the government being accused of becoming toxic to teachers. His special advisers vanished into obscurity temporarily, only to resurface during the referendum campaign, with Dominic Cummings returning to the public consciousness. The apparent double act between Cummings and Gove helped achieve Brexit by October 31st.

Despite the propaganda, seductive rhetoric, and dirty tricks employed by Gove and his team, their period of education policy appears flawed and inconsiderate of children’s futures. Although standards have increased, as have the number of good and outstanding schools, this is no different from labor’s time in office. Exams are more challenging, but the percentage of pupils passing remains almost unchanged due to grade inflation.

The new GCSEs appear to discourage lower-achieving pupils while disadvantaging those with special needs. Creative subjects are on the decline, and free schools that achieve stellar results are being used to justify Gove’s policies, but a few schools do not make a system.

School funding cuts, local government austerity, a demoralized workforce, and an insufficient number of teachers increasingly threaten the futures of disadvantaged children Gove wished to rescue from the "bigotry of soft expectations." According to the Education Policy Institute’s annual report on Education in England, the gap between the best and worst-off children for GCSE results has slowed to a point where it would take 560 years to close. The report predicts that this gap may foster a real risk of expanding in the near future.

Lastly, the mass academization effort is failing to deliver enough school places, given that it is an expensive, inefficient policy experiment rammed hastily through parliament. This has led to "orphan" schools with no takers and pupils being off-rolled, contributing to the loss of local accountability.

In summary, after careful examination, it is evident that the Brexit initiative that Gove and Cummings are unreasonably committed to, will ultimately result in reduced wealth for the nation, consequentially impacting public sector expenditure and creating further disadvantage for the underprivileged. They have emerged as the main obstacles hindering progress. This outcome was anticipated and not unexpected.

Teachers’ Unions Promise New Strike Ballots If Walkout Numbers Miss Threshold

If ministers continue to avoid a “sensible solution” to the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, teaching unions are warning that they will have to re-ballot their members for strike action in the coming months. Three unions had threatened to stage walkouts due to pay issues, which, they claim, have led to teachers and teaching assistants leaving the profession. Last week, despite almost 90% of NASUWT members voting in favour of industrial action, the 42% turnout fell short of the required 50% threshold. On Monday, the NEU and NAHT announce the outcome of their ballots.

While all the unions remain hopeful about the potential for strike action, some are concerned that the high current levels of support for the action will force them to launch a second attempt if pay negotiations do not proceed. According to Paul Whiteman, the NAHT general secretary, both teachers and heads are keen for the unions’ fight to continue.

Whiteman warned that, over the past ten years, pay had fallen so significantly that many teaching staff now felt immense vocational strain, and that deprived children seldom benefit from the skills of subject specialist teachers. Furthermore, major pay increases offered by the retail sector were putting the jobs of highly skilled and trained teaching assistants at risk. As a result, unhappy resignation letters are increasingly common.

Although the health and education sectors are suffering from the same crisis, it is far less apparent in schools, because people do not die there. However, the failure of the education system has long-term consequences for the UK’s global status. As talks continue this week between teaching unions and the Department for Education, the possibility exists that negotiations over this year’s pay deal may also be used to resolve issues from last year’s settlement.

If industrial action is approved, most state schools in England and Wales will close completely for multiple days in both February and March. For NEU members, this would be the largest strike in a generation; whilst the NAHT’s ballot marks its first in 125 years of operation. According to a Department for Education spokesperson, “families will be relieved that teachers from NASUWT did not choose to strike. The education secretary has arranged further meetings with union leaders to avoid harmful strike action…”

Homesickness At University: Is There A Cure?

James Mahoney, a freshman at Glasgow University, recently experienced homesickness triggered by a poor online date. Being reminded of those closest to him back home in Northern Ireland, he couldn’t shake thoughts of his native land. A review of literature from 2015 characterizes homesickness as "minigrief", although it was once considered a noble and serious condition called "nostalgia." According to the Student Housing Company, up to 75% of students suffer from homesickness. The feeling can have serious ramifications and reflect more significant psychological difficulties.

Harriet Harris, from the chaplaincy centre at the University of Edinburgh, suggests that homesickness can manifest as "emotional wobbliness" with no underlying cause. International students, in particular, may struggle, as they often experience culture shock and are separated from familiar surroundings. Stella Matsouka, a Greek student studying in the UK, developed a sense of claustrophobia from homesickness exacerbated by her home culture’s unique customs. Similarly, Rachel Leticia Cahyono, who is originally from Indonesia studying in Australia, missed her family and her home-cooked meals.

However, psychology experts like Cate Campbell recommend talking to others when feeling homesick. Students who discuss their feelings may find that others in their dorms are experiencing the same feelings of being away from home. It’s important to reframe the experience positively and think of life as a series of "chunks." This way, students may find it easier to focus on enjoying their current phase of life as opposed to longing for the past.

When Matsouka experiences homesickness, she reminds herself why she is in the UK in the first place. She expresses her excitement to move towards prosperity in a foreign land.

According to Harris, try to reach a stage where you internalize your concept of home. He emphasizes that this way, you will be at ease wherever you go. While feeling homesick, it is essential not to be harsh to yourself. After all, moving away from home is a significant step that demands resourcefulness and a willingness to adapt to uncertainty.

Mahoney shares that his homesickness reminded him of his place of origin and the people waiting for his eventual return. Although he has made new friends in his current location, he finds comfort in the company of others. Nevertheless, he makes a conscious decision not to pursue any romantic interests until he has entirely adjusted to his new surroundings.

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