Scotland has nearly 250,000 students enrolled in further and higher education. These students currently, and according to the current government policy, will receive free tuition throughout their lives.
It is an extraordinary day, when the reborn sunlight mercifully shone over this English town. When the constantly wet paths reunite with the plain warmth of care, the meadows and the soil tilt together... Dot, dot, dot.
2013 was the year the NUS decided enough was enough for 'lad culture'. Their "That's what she said" report sparked a new wave of feminism on campuses across the UK, bursting with students ready to put down their razors, bin their copy of The Sun (or at least Page 3) and tell their student union to pull the plug on Blurred Lines.
With a heavy sense of impotence weighing on their shoulders, and in the spirit of 'making a difference', it seems almost inevitable that many will turn to this sort of self-aggrandising gesture politics: ban this, support that; censor this, 'stand in solidarity' with that.
The efficacy of the system and the support it commands still depends on the person in charge. The Queen is above politics, a loyal public servant and as long as she remains in office the monarchy is assured. But her activist son means the prospects for monarchy in the future bodes ill...
Six episodes later, 16 months into teaching and although I'm still exhausted, I'm perpetually rewarded by the incredible students that I'm fortunate enough to teach and learn from. There are moments where students tell me to "go write a song about it in the bathroom", but on the whole, I'm happily rebranded as the Marilyn Gandhi-loving, red chino-donning, Inbetweener-impersonating, over-zealous, Scottish, eccentric teacher.
Playing the notoriously uncool music critic Lester Bangs in Cameron Crowe's 2000 film Almost Famous, Philip Seymour Hoffman remarks, 'great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing'. Found dead, alone, and with a needle of heroin in his arm in his New York apartment this month, the conflict and pain that linked so many of Hoffman's characters began to resonate with the final image of the man himself.
Unpaid internships, especially those in Westminster, have been the focus of much attention over recent years. The image of MPs enjoying huge expenses allowances while their office interns sweat it out for their lunch is one banded around by some areas of the media and campaign groups alike.
Cynicism and apathy. Something we've come to identify not just with students, but wider society at large. It's growing all the time, so we're told. People care less, look out for themselves more and generally try to find fault in everything.
Last night after I got in from work I made my dinner, spoke to my flatmates, watched a BBC iPlayer and went to bed. Tonight I'll get in from work, make my dinner, speak to my flatmates, watch BBC iPlayer and go to bed. Tomorrow I'll more than likely get in from work, make my dinner, speak to my flatmates, watch BBC iPlayer, and then (shock horror) go to bed.
What the ECB did was wrong. Questions were answered, and I guess they still are, but they've done a disservice to someone that put 110% into England cricket. Regardless of the reports, the text messages, hands down he would be on that team sheet, for his sheer brilliance.
In a move beyond parody, London South Bank University's Student Union removed posters from its Atheists Society depicting a god on the grounds that they were offensive. The god in question was the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a deity invented as satire in protest against the teaching of Intelligent Design in Kansas; a god that, quite literally, nobody believes in.
It's been a few months in Britain now and I have had my own share of experiences. The freedom, equality, civility and tranquility has enthralled me beyond words. Never before have I seen a culture so vibrant. I have come to revere the spirit of the Englishmen and developed a deep fascination for the English heritage.
On a recent trip to the Guardian and Observer offices I met a number of International journalists, and was struck by how many different ways there are to get into the industry.
The bottom line is, vocational education which is stretching, rigorous and based on employers' needs is extremely valuable. I know that. Employers know that. Let's get the message out there.
Having spent most of my formative years getting riled up over the fact that my ovaries reduce my pay packet in comparison to my male peers, it's hard to get turned on watching something which is grounded in the idea that women exist for the sexual gratification of men. However, as much as I'd like to claim that I selflessly stopped watching porn because I'm a committed feminist, that's not strictly true.