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Students to Fight University of London Union Closure

Students at universities in London are facing a battle to keep the city's student union after senior academics decided it was to close next year. The University of London Union (or ULU) represents the students from all of the 18 different institutions that make up the University of London, including LSE and UCL. However, facing tougher and tougher cuts, the university's collegiate council decided that from 2014 the individual colleges would cease paying the current £750,000 a year each to ULU.

Social & Political Hub

In its current form, ULU is the largest association of its kind in Europe and is central to the social and political life of 120,000 students in the Bloomsbury area and throughout London. The new plan will maintain the social facilities "including the swimming pool, gym, shops, cafes, bars, venues and the administrative support for intercollegiate sporting events".

However, it is the political side of the union that many fear losing. ULU has traditionally been the hub for student politics and activism, uniting all students across London in events such as the fees protests over the last few years. In the new plans, there will be no elected officers and therefore no student representation.

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Sporting Spirit vs Commercial Culture

In my country, rugby has no tradition at all, which is pity, because I think it is one of the best games in the world. I like it, although I have never actually played it.

Recently, during my Cambridge visit, I saw a bunch of guys playing rugby in a park. They reminded my of my high school P.E. lessons, when we would play football outside regardless of the harsh conditions. Although rugby does not have any tradition in Slovakia, in passion we matched the guys from Cambridge. And that matters. Such sports should teach young men fair play, build fortitude and improve physique. They are part of the curriculum of most of the schools in England. In Slovakia, the most popular school game is football (soccer).

There are only a few American Football teams in Slovakia. Actually, many people back there do not differentiate between Rugby and its "commercial" brother - American Football. Once someone allowed the players to pass the ball forward, dressed them in protective gear so that they look like Darth Vader and filled their heads with pre-learned tactics. And this is how American Football was born. I can not help, but to me it comes across as a game more connected with the commercial culture of eating up hamburgers than the original spirit of sport.

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Erik's View: Migration, Alcohol & Feminism

Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Each week he gives his view on the events of the last seven days. This week, he looks at migration policy, binge drinking and feminism.

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The Rise of the Student Cinema

At universities up and down the UK lovers of film are joining together and setting up their own cinemas. Though they have been around for years, student cinemas are on the rise. With high definition projectors cheaper than ever, it has never been easier for student societies to create a cinema: for students, by students.

Some student cinemas are run by huge societies, with daily screenings in large lecture theatres. Others are far smaller, intimate groups of people who put on their own weekly screenings for other fanatics. Either way, there is no great secret why student cinemas are so popular- they have loads of benefits over traditional chains.

Cheaper Tickets

The most obvious benefit is the price. Cinema tickets seem to be going up in price all the time, and chances are you're going to have to shell out over a tenner for a ticket at most cinemas these days. In contrast, you can go and watch a film at a student cinema from just £2. Most student cinemas also have membership schemes, making tickets even cheaper for regular filmgoers.

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Student Photos of ‘Their London’

Students at Central Saint Martins college as well as other Londoners were asked to enter photos of ‘their London'. Thousands of entries of everything from iconic landmarks to English fry-ups were deliberated over by photography experts at the college. Twenty winners were then chosen, each with its own little story.

The competition was run by iconic London brand Beefeater Gin and the winning entries will all appear on a limited edition bottle later this year. Have a look for yourself at some of our favourites below.

Above: SANDRA: "#MyLondon is always busy with traffic.... An iconic London bus pulls up outside the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben...."

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