In a recent article , the New York Daily News reported that 11 of President Obama's innermost circle were educated at Oxford University... Nestled at the core of the Whitehouse and the Pentagon and wielding the power to influence policy worldwide, they are evidence of one thing: a degree from Oxford or Cambridge commands attention on an international scale.
When we weren't stealing Tiny Tim's crutch in order to light cigars off it, I spent May Week in parks and gardens with friends. Reminiscing over the year that has been, I thought of all the times that my assumptions have been questioned, or I've been shown a whole new way of looking at things, or had my argument reduced to rubble by the careful twitching of a loose end. That is what Cambridge is really about.
If only the Prime Minister had, say, a straight-talking Northerner he could turn to, to lift the party's appeal outside of the South East. Maybe someone who was uninterested in PR spin but was a take-me-as-I-am kind of bloke, educated perhaps at the local comp, maybe even went to polytechnic, the sort of background that would help to balance the coiffeured posh brigade.
Feminism still feels like someone rescuing me from the patriarchy so that I may be told what to do by 'sisters' who need to get their opinions out of my knickers. The banning of jelly wrestling would bother me less if I didn't think it was symptomatic of a feminism that will fight for your right to choose until it no longer trusts you with that right.
Many moons ago, when I was a student, there was a real sense of expectation around students who achieved those elusive top grades at A-Level. If you didn't think it was for you, you were still pushed to place an application to Oxford or Cambridge, especially if, like me, you were more a minority ethnic background.
I appreciate that getting into Oxbridge is extremely competitive and is a 'feat' in its own right, but it really doesn't matter whether Oxford is better than Cambridge and it shouldn't matter whether we go to one or the other or indeed any other university - at least not to the extent that it defines our identity and that is all people see.
Oxford is a politically diverse place. Those backing "the 99%" and radical changes to how society organises itself share common rooms and tutorials with libertarians deeply suspicious of any government involvement, as well as a handful of careerists unashamedly plotting to join the high-earning 1% if they possibly can.
The answer might be a master's degree. An extra year of specialist study to rack up your employability sounds to the uninitiated like a bomb proof idea. The problem is the cost. While students have spent the last three years protesting about undergraduate fees the issue of master's fees has gone unchallenged.
It does not come as a surprise that the media has yet again picked up on Oxbridge prioritising wealthy, private school students, although it is refreshing that someone is taking action against the hierarchy.
We need to rise above our preoccupation with struggling between studies and our non-academic activities. The distinction between work and play is mostly arbitrary, and constrains us to thinking that we need to always maintain a constant balance between the two. University life isn't just about balancing lifestyles.