LIberal Doublespeak – paying more is paying less

Liberal democrats are claiming that students who will pay more for their education in the future will be paying less.

Their argument seems to be that the longer you delay paying back a loan, and the slower you pay it back the better.

I’m a bit worried that politicians can make this argument so easily, I think this is the same way they think about borrowing on the national scale. At least on the national scale one thing they often seem to forget is that the cost of borrowing can change.

I think it is very disingenuous to claim that richer students will pay more for their loans because they will pay them back sooner. Also does this mean no one will have a choice but to borrow to pay for their education, will it be compulsory to take loans from the government, or will students be allowed to pay upfront if they have the money? Paddy Ashdown seemed to claim that no one will pay for their education (only pay it back later).

Did we enter the world of double speak?

If anyone knows where I can read the proposals for this legislation please let me know. Mr Ashdown suggested we should read, but didn’t say where.


Octocentennial Celebrations

Cambridge university began it official octocentennial year on the 17th of January (the beginning of Lent term). This makes the University around 400 years older than America, and 100 years older than Wall-E and the Axiom. We didn’t get cup cakes in a cup, but staff members did get a nifty lapel badge. The highlight of the celebrations so far was the light show projected on to the Universities Senate house.

Cambridge University is the oldest University in the top 3 Universities in the world. That makes it older than Harvard and Stanford. At the same time it is the most modern Oxbridge University in the UK.



Frank Whittle and Aeroengines displayed on Senate house

Frank Whittle and Aeroengines displayed on Senate house




A specially composed bell ringing can be heard playing from the St. Mary’s Church (which featured 800 changes).

Bonus points to any one who can tell me the significance of the dates displayed along with 1209-2009 in the video.


More pictures can be found at the phase transformations web pages: 800 Years of Cambridge University

The university also have a website with footage here: University of Cambridge: 800 Years and here: University of Cambridge 800th Anniversary Light Show. You can even follow the 800 celebrations on twitter at .

Tata Steel Professorship

Congratulations to Prof. Harry Bhadeshia and to Tata Steel on the endowment of the Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy of the University of Cambridge.

Tata Professor

Details from University of Cambridge News feed.

Applying for a Fellow

I’ve yet to be invited to be a fellow/junior research fellow at any of the colleges here… apparently they expect people to apply to them. To encourage them i’ve produced an application form for any colleges that would like me to join. Simply complete the form and return it to me and I will consider you in due course. The deadline for submission is June of each year.

If you are successful in this round, a series of interviews will be conducted, and each college should be prepared to supply a list of references.

10 Downing Street

Here is a picture I was sent of the new 10 Downing Street which has been built since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.

10 Downing Street, Cambridge