The News From The Dark Blues

TIM WIGMORE brings you the latest from Oxford where exams haven’t made such an impact, some news about arms investors, a little more.

Cambridge cherwell money survey Oxford St Peter's

Everyone loves shameless imitation, and this week saw the OxStu’s money survey (parts 1 and 2), definitely not a shameless copy of The Tab’s. The results were eerily similar, proving that roughly the same proportion of people took the piss; yet again Oxford and Cambridge really are two peas in a pod. As in Cambridge, guys spend noticeably more than girls. Oxford students spend a little more than Cambridge ones.

Everyone knows Cambridge sleeps during the summer term. Oxford is a little better, but hardly immune to the exam stress. Happily, this was captured in such headlines as Cherwell’s “Finalists feel the pain”, which made the jaw-dropping revelation that students in search of sugar to fuel their revision “eat increased amounts of junk food while studying.” Even more staggeringly, “78% of students believe that the results of their exams will influence their career prospects upon leaving university.” Who’d have thought it? As if finalists didn’t already have enough to stress about (well, perhaps not the other 22%), those at St Peter’s have had to contend with a moth infestation in their college accommodation in the run up to their exams. One student was so plagued by them that: “Some days I have killed literally hundreds of moths.”

As in Cambridge, there’s been a huge outcry against the New College for the Humanities. One tutor at New College described the new institution as “both appalling and frightening.” The President of the student union went further still, commenting: “The New College of the Humanities is a clear foretaste of the dystopian future the Coalition Government’s policies will lead the higher education sector into.” Oxford has also been vigorous in its opposition to David Willetts, with a no-confidence motion being passed 283-5 by its ‘parliament’ – giving him approximately as much support in Oxford as he has hairs.

Reflecting rather less well on Oxford were discoveries made about the nature of the University’s investment in arms. Between 2008 and 2010, around £9 million was invested in arms, the journal The Lancet uncovered. Particularly contentious was the holding of £1.4 million worth of shares in a US company that manufactures cluster munitions – which are illegal in the UK. Presumably this is one area Cambridge won’t be keen to imitate.