Whatever people do make of nanodegrees, I'm pleased to note that very few are using 'online distance learning' itself as a criticism of the concept. I believe this is a reflection of increasing mainstream acceptance of this study mechanism but also an acknowledgement of the changing face of online students.
Here's the resounding message: 'Don't get raped!'. Why is there no talk telling people not to rape, and teaching them what constitutes rape? Considering that most victims of sexual assault are assaulted by somebody they know, the 'don't walk home alone' message is proving to be falling short in protecting students. We need something more.
When our course leader presented this year's FAD brief to us, I didn't hesitate to enter as I know what a great opportunity it can be for fashion students to show their work - as finalists, we get to showcase our mini collections at London Fashion Week in February. That's also when I'll find out if I've won!
I was speaking at the 30% Club from "Schoolroom to Boardroom" seminar: an afternoon where new initiatives which target young women, at school, university and early careers, were being launched. Needless to say, I was a small fish in a very big pond. Or, to continue the rowing analogy, a novice in a Blues boat.
You've got so much to look forward to. You naïve little fresher, keep safe, don't overdo it on nights out, do not buy a hip flask or order mayonnaise on chips after nights out. Have fun, relax, try not to worry too much, apply for that work experience you think you won't get. Make the most of university how you want to spend your time. I'm sending you lots of love. You'll be fine. I know you will.
If we are to grow and prosper as a country - we must invest in our youth. With university graduates racking up an average of more than £30,000 worth of debt, apprenticeships provide a great alternative of structured and hands on learning, not to mention that the financial incentive that students can earn whilst they learn.
If I could offer someone on the cusp of their twenties any advice, I would say don't just go with a generic life plan because it 'looks right' or because it's 'what everyone else is doing.' Take time to think about what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there... Sometimes you have to sidestep the safe option and take a risk.
The fact is that maddening fatuous narcissist left wing zealots run student unions, societies, groups, and the whole activism complex. For them, the primary duty isn't to represent students' interests, rather contrary, it's to ensure that their interests are in tact since it's "for the greater good."
Record numbers of students are attending university this year and young people choosing to further their education is something that I'm hugely in favour of. What I can't support, however, is a free for all in universities which simply don't have the infrastructure to deal with the rising numbers, but who are happy to benefit financially from them...