Sir Richard Branson has given sailors a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Virgin's first cruise ship Scarlet Lady. The business mogul took a tour of the ship, one of the most highly-anticipated new cruise ships for 2020 , as she successfully completed her first sea trials, sailing from Genoa to Marseille in November and then vice versa at the end of the month. During the visit, where he was joined by wife Joan and their children Sam and Holly, Richard painted the first red outline of the Virgin flag on the hull of the ship, where the Virgin Voyages logo will appear. Tom McAlpin, Virgin Voyages CEO, said: "We’re thrilled to have completed such a significant milestone with our Sea Trials and have our amazing crew to thank for their passion and tenacity in this achievement. We’re one step closer to getting our Sailors on the Scarlet Lady and are grateful for all that have chosen to join us on this adventure." Want to get a first look for yourself? Virgin Voyages … [Read more...] about Sneak peek at Virgin’s new cruise ship Scarlet Lady as Richard Branson takes tour
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Scrapping tuition fees in England is the biggest and most expensive proposal in Labour's £25bn worth of pledges for education.Instead of fees rising to £9,250 per year in the autumn, Jeremy Corbyn is proposing a complete handbrake turn in saying that university tuition should not cost students anything.It's a bolder step than Labour's previous leader, who two years ago opted for a halfway house of cutting fees to £6,000 - and then was accused of pleasing no-one.This is Labour going for an all-or-nothing approach - asserting free education as a fundamental principle - and creating the starkest choice in university policy for two decades.It's a direct appeal to younger voters - with surveys suggesting that students are more likely to vote Labour.It makes the pitch that no-one should be deterred from university because of the cost or fear of debt.CostLabour has costed the removal of fees - and the reintroduction of maintenance grants - as being worth £11.2bn per … [Read more...] about General election 2017: All or nothing for Labour on tuition fees
Millions of students and former students in England and Wales will face a sharp increase in interest rates on tuition fees and maintenance loans.The interest rates are linked to inflation - and are set to rise by about a third from 4.6% to up to 6.1%.It will come in the autumn alongside an increase in tuition fees to £9,250 for universities in England.The Department for Education is also trying to sell off more student loan debt to private investors.An education department spokeswoman said that rates for the autumn are "not confirmed" until September.Rising costsBut for those taking out loans since 2012, the rate is based on the RPI (retail prices index) measure of inflation in March, which was published on Tuesday.This showed an increase to 3.1% compared with 1.6% last year and 0.9% the previous year.Interest is charged while students are still at university at the level of RPI plus 3% - which would mean charges on tuition fees and maintenance loans of 6.1%.The increase would … [Read more...] about Students face sharp rise in interest on tuition loans
How much will it cost to get a degree in England when tuition fees increase to £9,250 in the autumn?How about £54,000?If that seems high for a three-year degree, that's how much a think tank has calculated a student could have to pay back with interest.And that wouldn't be the full size of the debt. There could be another £40,000 still outstanding when fee loans are written off after 30 years.When fees start increasing from this autumn, it will mean borrowing about £28,600 for three years, with the amount then rising with inflation each year.But while students have battled for years over the headline figure of £9,000 and now £9,250, the Intergenerational Foundation says they're missing the much bigger picture of what it will really cost in repayments.And it's going to publish its findings in a report called The Packhorse Generation.Payback timeThese extra costs start to rack up while a student is still at university, because interest is charged as soon as … [Read more...] about Could tuition fees really cost £54,000?
STORM Atiyah is set to smash the UK on Sunday - bringing gusts of 80mph in the South-West and 50mph in the East. The Met Office have warned that Christmas decorations could become dangerous projectiles in the storm and homeowners should secure ornaments. With its yellow warning for wind, the Met Office said "any loose items" left outdoors should be secured before the storm slams into the UK. Sophie Yeomans, a Met Office meteorologist said: "Christmas markets with loose items, loose structures, it's one of those to check is everything secure - your Christmas lights, inflatable Santas." Gusts of up to 100mph in Cairngorm are expected, and they could reach 70mph around some coasts in western parts of England and Wales. Sponsored Content: How to save £268 a year off your energy billsBEAT energy price rises year after year with Switchcraft. It's free and it could save you an average of £268 a year. Sign up, easily compare tariffs and switch Once you sign up, Switchcraft will … [Read more...] about UK weather forecast – 80mph Storm Atiyah could turn Christmas decorations into dangerous projectiles, Met Office warns