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Why Britain Isn’t So Great?

It has emerged that government ministers are considering taking drastic steps to try and reduce immigration to the UK- a negative advert campaign. The plan would be to emphasise everything that is bad about Britain to try and encourage possible immigrants to stay living in their own countries.

Apparently, in the words of one minister, such a campaign would "correct the impression that the streets here are paved with gold". The measures would be aimed especially at Bulgaria and Romania, where changes in law at the end of this year will allow free immigration from these two new EU countries.

Whilst this is probably just an easy news story and pretty unlikely to ever happen, in true British style it has spawned a whole host of mock advert suggestions. News sources from the Guardian, to the Huffington Post have been asking the British to create their own self-deprecating posters about the bad bits of the UK.

Ranging from the weather, to the drinking culture, and back to the weather, some of them are pretty funny. However, there have also been some genuine adverts over the years playing on this idea.

Below we've gathered a selection of some of the best real and fake adverts questioning the greatness of Britain, all with their tongue very firmly in their cheek:

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Negative Language of UK Higher Education Criticised

A number of high profile figures in British higher education have added their voices to the growing concern at the language being used by the government. A few weeks ago, head of Universities UK Nicola Dandridge attacked the "damaging" rhetoric being used politicians when talking about international students coming to study in the UK.

Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of the University of East Anglia is the latest to question the wisdom of taking a hard line when it comes to international students:

"It has never been more urgent to underline the warmth of the UK welcome to overseas students," he said. Negative Home Office rhetoric needs to be vigorously countered by bringing home the quality and the personal care available at British universities."

There is the perception that tougher visa restrictions have made it harder for international students to study in the UK over the last couple of years. Whilst this is true to an extent, the reforms have been greatly exaggerated through the rhetoric used by politicians.

Promoting Higher Education

This series of attacks comes after statistics released earlier this month showed a slight fall in international students applying to the UK, with some alarming trends- including a 24% drop in the number of Indian students.

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Syrian Students Face Expulsion from UK Courses

Hundreds of Syrian students in the UK face being deported before they complete their studies after many have seen their funding withdrawn due to the crisis in their home country. This has left their university fees unpaid, and the possibility of early expulsion from their courses.

There are 670 Syrian students in the UK, all facing the very real possibility of being thrown off their courses and forced to move back to Syria. There are a number of reasons why the payment of fees for Syrian students has become all but impossible.

The Syrian Ministry of Higher Education was funding a large proportion of the students in the UK, but, with the government in turmoil, has since stopped payment of their fees. What's more, any funding that does reach the UK must be processed by the Syrian Embassy, which is now effectively non-existent after a number of defections and expulsions.

Even those students who were funding themselves are now struggling to pay the fees after the Syrian currency (the lira) collapsed and sanctions on Syrian banks make transferring money almost impossible.

All this adds up tuition fees being left unpaid, which has led to a number of universities threatening to expel their Syrian students. The University of Edinburgh is one notable exception- telling their students that they do not face expulsion given the circumstances.

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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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Bratislava From a Visitor's Point of View

Pleased by the fact that the airport transfer bus was on time, and the pilot's announcement that the weather conditions in Bratislava were suitable for landing, I could really start to enjoy my holiday. I hadn't been to Slovakia for 5 months and so I've taken the opportunity toreview the capital from the point of view of a visitor.

It took us about five minutes to get on the bus to undergo the 30 second transfer to theairport gate. There are not many flights at the Bratislava airport, therefore they cherish every single landing and like to give passengers the ride. The totally empty arrival lounge testifies to the idle periods between flights.

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