First – I thought this was worth a chuckle: the anonymous sex blogger, who became famous under the pen name Belle Du Jour, recently outed herself. She’s a scientist from Bristol who started working as a high priced prostitute in order to pay for her education. From The Guardian:

[Dr. Brooke] Magnanti, a respected specialist in developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology in a hospital research group in Bristol, has spoken of the time six years ago she worked as a £300 an hour prostitute working through a London escort agency. Magnanti turned to the agency in the final stages of her PhD thesis when she ran out of money.

Yeah, so, keep that one in mind while trying to figure out how to finance the old masters, right?

Second – a discouraging piece about the sickening world of student loans. Also from The Guardian, they report that almost 2 million pounds in bonuses were given out by the Student Loans Company. Now, had it been simply a question of dubious proportionality in compensation for a job well done, that would be one thing. But it’s so much more:

Ministers ordered an inquiry after almost 150,000 students who had applications approved were left without funding at the start of the new academic term.

This year was the first time freshers applied directly to the SLC for grants and loans, and the new arrangement has been beset by problems as the agency struggled to cope with demand.

Liberal Democrat universities spokesman Stephen Williams said: “It is absolutely outrageous that the Student Loans Company, which has acted so incompetently this year, has been paying out these massive bonuses.

“While students have been left struggling to make ends meet, the company’s top executives have been enjoying five-figure bonuses.

“Some of these pay-outs are more than many people earn in a year. Rewarding failure in this way is totally unacceptable.” [emphasis mine]

Just another example of a business that should not be in private hands. A fair distribution of funds (but ideally free higher education) truly for students’ benefit and not for profit, is the only way to go. Anything else is a disgrace, and this shows why.