The annual Student Experience Survey carried out by Times Higher Education has placed Oxford fourth of 111 UK universities.The poll saw over 14,000 undergraduates quizzed on aspects such as lecture provision, societies, welfare and facilities.It placed the University of Sheffield at the top of the table, up from its position in third last year. Sheffield’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for learning and teaching, Paul White, said, “It shows that we have a good all-round offer, excelling on both the academic and social sides”.White cited the University’s move to provide academic skills classes and the opportunity to learn a foreign language – available across the whole university – as helping Sheffield grab the top spot.The report on the Times Higher Education website also noted that students and staff at Sheffield hold the Guinness World Record for the most people simultaneously flipping pancakes.Second-year Sheffield student Chris Musgrave told Cherwell, “The opportunities are infinite, it’s such a welcoming environment.”Coming joint fourth with the University of Dundee, with a score of 82.8, Oxford ranks just above Cambridge, which came a close fifth. Oxford scored highly in the academic categories, notably getting at 6.5 in the category of ‘high quality staff/lecturers’ and a 6.4 in the category of ‘helpful/interested staff’.However, in the category of ‘fair workload’ both Oxford and Cambridge universities came at the bottom of the table. Another mutual weak point was ‘good students’ union’ with Oxford scoring a very low 4.1. Both also scored very low in the category of ‘cheap bar/shop amenities’, an understandable result given the March 2014 Lloyd’s bank report, which found that Oxford was the UK’s least affordable city.Oxford scored very highly in the category ‘good social life’, clocking up an average six points from a seven-point scale, on par with universities such as Birmingham, Glasgow and Liverpool. Cambridge, on the other hand, came in with a shoddy 5.6 – the lowest of the twenty-five top-ranked universities. Oxford also scored very highly was in ‘good sports facilities’. Here the university scored a 5.6 compared to Cambridge’s 5.3.A fresher studying Physical Natural Sciences at Cambridge said, “It’s not true that Cambridge students don’t have a life. I went to a JCR meeting last week. It was really good”.The survey also asked students whether they would recommend their university to a friend. Oxford scored a reasonably high 6.4, coming in slightly lower than Cambridge and Sheffield’s 6.5.Oxford students were eager to corroborate the survey’s findings. Second year English student Kate Guariento remarked, “I’m very pleased that the table reflects the outstanding social provision for which Oxford is famous – nay, venerated. In the words of my favourite stomping ground – let the good times roll!”A first-year History student at Magdalen commented, “The University’s on point with the teaching, I would just say that it is the variety of cheap amenities and accommodation that is the problem. I love Oxford but it is definitely expensive.”A first-year Law student noted, “I don’t need a survey to tell me life is better here than in Cambridge, but generally I have little to complain about except the rain.” However, an anonymous fresher at Hertford College complained, “I still have too much work.”A spokesperson from the University of Oxford commented, “We’re always pleased to be listed highly in any table like this”.
After months of rumors and anticipation, Phish has officially announced their 11th multi-day festival, named Curveball. Curveball will take place August 17-19, 2018 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY.Curveball fits neatly into Phish’s previously announced summer 2018 tour schedule, which until now featured a two-week gap between their run at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Maryland (August 11th and 12th), and their annual Labor Day Weekend celebration at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO.Located amidst the rolling hills of central New York’s Finger Lakes region, the site offers an abundance of campsites and is just a short drive from numerous Northeastern cities. Curveball continues a tradition that began with The Clifford Ball in August, 1996, and will mark Phish’s third weekend festival at Watkin’s Glen, following Super Ball IX in 2011 and Magnaball in 2015. Prior to Super Ball, the NASCAR track hadn’t hosted a concert event since the famous Summer Jam in 1973, a single-day concert by The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band, and The Band which saw 600,000 fans descend on the venue.Tickets for Curveball go on sale this Friday, March 2nd at noon ET. While tickets will allow individuals to access the camping areas, every vehicle entering the festival site will require a separate camping vehicle pass. These passes are sold on a per vehicle basis, so you can save money and reduce your environmental impact by carpooling. All Glen Close camping and on-site accommodation packages include a vehicle pass. Details about Weekend passes, camping, on-site accommodations, and travel packages are available here. The first wave of information about the festival and will continue to update with “travel info, FAQs, guidelines, event info, Russian propaganda, and much much more,” so make sure to keep checking back for more information. Until then, throw on this video of Phish’s unforgettable “Tweezer” > “Prince Caspian” jam from Magnaball, one of the most memorable musical highlights from the band’s last big party at Watkin’s Glen:Phish – “Tweezer” > “Prince Caspian” – Magnaball[Video: LivePhish]
PUMA today announced it has signed an endorsement deal with Jamaican hurdler Kaliese Spencer. The 28 year-old 400m hurdles standout will join PUMA’s roster of athletes as they prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Kaliese joins the Global Sport brand’s growing female portfolio that includes 2015 US NCAA 100m Champion, Jenna Prandini and Australian sprint hurdler, Michelle Jenneke. Kaliese has been at the top of the game for years, with an impressive and lengthy list of personal achievements. Her 400m hurdles career highlights include gold at the World Junior Championships in 2006 and fourth place at the 2012 Olympics Games in London six years later. As the fastest performer in the world coming out of 2014, Spencer is only getting started; and will push for gold this summer. Talking about the signing, Kaliese Spencer said, “I have known PUMA for many years throughout their partnership with the JAAA, I like them and their people; they are great support to have around, more like a family really! I am excited to be a part of PUMA as it increases its focus on women, and I hope that involving female athletes in the campaign will inspire young girls to hit the track. I look forward to doing great things with my new PUMA family.” Pascal Rolling, Head of Sports Marketing, Running at PUMA added, “Kaliese is another great addition to PUMA as she embodies the brand’s distinctive attitude, especially through her determination to succeed. She has been competing internationally for 10 years now and is at the top of her game. This combined with her likeable nature and personality make her a perfect fit for PUMA.”