Debating success

The KCL Debating Society held a rapturous debate in the Old Anatomy Lecture Theatre this month. The proposition was, ‘This House regrets the increase in tuition fees to £9,000′ and the Labour contingent won by a slender margin, despite a large contingent of Tories being present.

Highlights from the debate included the non-ironic use of the terms ‘proletariat’ and ‘class war rhetoric’ and a member of the audience requesting a point of information, only to be told the audience aren’t permitted to do that.

KCLSU President Thomas Clayton was also present, making the case for the legitimacy of non-elite universities and courses:

‘We at Kings are very fortunate to attend one of the most prestigious universities in the country. However, and this may come as a shock, there are other universities out there beyond the Russell Group. Such universities are under very real threat. They’re suffering disproportionately from Government cuts to Higher Education and they’re made to compete in a market for which they did not ask. To make matters worse they are forced to play by different rules to their elite cousins thanks to the government’s decision to remove the cap on how many students each university can take, but only if those students achieve A-level grades of AAB or better.

The old argument goes that such places are full of people who really shouldn’t be going to university. But that simply isn’t true. They’re full of people who haven’t had the advantages in life that some of us have had. Study after study has shown that more than anything else it is parental income that affects A-level grades most. A-levels are simply not a good enough way of measuring academic potential or even intelligence. It is a scandal that, with the notable exception of a few courses, Kings doesn’t tailor its grade-offer to each individual’s circumstances. It is for this reason that we must continue to invest in non-elite universities, for it is there that bright, yet disadvantaged, students can make something of themselves.’

Afterwards, the cliquey Conservatives were found in the Knights Templar pub on Chancery Lane, where prominent members of the Conservative Societies of KCL, UCL and the LSE congregated for a few rounds.

Later however, a French student attempted to infiltrate the group as a faux-Tory, declaring his love for ‘peasant-shooting’ and a general dislike for poor people. Before a scene could break out, the Conservatives made a quick departure and a potentially embarrassing situation was averted.

You can follow Ben Jackson on Twitter at @bjacksonuk

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