The Oxbridge interview is a daunting event. There's so much mystique around it. Everyone knows that these esteemed universities want you to have amazing exam grades and an enormous capacity for hard work. But, other than this, no-one seems to be clear on what they're looking for.
Is the Union running out of 'interesting' speakers? Or are they so preoccupied by the tired narrative Assange offers that they are turning back on their promise to update their structure and their substance?
Last Thursday was deadline day for applying to study at Oxford and Cambridge. Each applicant will face the daunting prospect of a grilling by some of the world's most formidable academics, within the ivory towers and grand surroundings that will feel familiar only to those who attend the country's top private schools.
Much was exactly the same for a Fresher in Cambridge then, as it is now. Pigeon holes, hand-written names above doors, queues for the showers, toast-related gyp room fire alarms, occasional vomiting in the Scholar's Garden, pub crawls, and total confusion about how to cross from Pembroke St into Mill Lane without getting killed by a cheese delivery lorry.
2015 is a year that I dearly hope will be remembered as a turning point in our determination to assure the long-term health, wealth and security of pe...
The controversy surrounding Assange is complex, and whilst his retreat is not to be held as conclusive evidence that he is a rapist, his refusal to return to Sweden, for whatever reason, is certainly ironic when he is speaking at an institution that prides itself on the promotion of free speech. His self-imposed imprisonment represents a denial of exactly that.
It's time politicians from all parties woke up to the need for a fairer voting system. First Past the Post is hurting our democracy - and now we've discovered it's a financial disaster, too.
If I can do it, almost anyone else can...
Let me tell you about some of the things that I know our students were attracted by when they chose Churchill. In this way I might assist those worrying about college choice by providing some pointers about what may be important. I don't promise to be entirely unbiased!
More than any other COP that has gone before COP21 will place greater emphasis for action at the door of business. But why should businesses be expected to take a lead, and can they be trusted to do so?
Students who know that Oxbridge isn't engaged in a mission to create spend-a-holic graduates with world domination as their goal - which necessarily mean those students either with family who have attended Cambridge, or experienced life at Cambridge through one of the excellent access schemes - will continue to apply. The status quo will endure.
One thing that's important to say is how grateful I am to Cambridge. My time at University has done wonders for me that I am endlessly grateful for: the education I received has without a shadow of a doubt completely changed my life, and many things I learnt from people I met and experiences I had while at University have had an intractable impact on my being.
After about a year something strange happened. Wearing a suit no longer held the same resonance it had back in fresher's week. Being served food by people the same age as me was no longer embarrassing. And although my financial situation had in no way changed, spending £130 on a May Ball no longer made me wince. And herein lies the problem.
The aftermath of the Budget will be dominated by talk of who is better or worse off, but will it come too late for some of the most vulnerable people in our society? Support for youth homelessness is not on the verge of a funding crisis. It's already in one.
For many ambitious students at the end of their school career, the ideal next step is often studying their degree of choice at either Oxford or Cambridge. Whilst for some students studying specialist subjects it may be argued that other institutions may be better, and for some students the lure away from the UK to a perhaps more well-rounded academic experience at a US college may appeal, for the vast majority, the Oxbridge admissions maze looms large.
enying people the right of association based on an ideological factor, among other things, sets a dangerous precedent. To conclude, I do regret various factors connected with organised religion, but that does not mean that the very principle of it is regrettable.