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Get the Most Out of University Open Days

University open days are a great opportunity to get a feel for what a particular institution offers, both in terms of its taught modules and its social life. They can also be overwhelming: there's sometimes so much to see and do at an open day that you're not sure where to start, especially if you haven't decided on what course you're taking yet.

You can usually find out more about what to expect from open days by visiting the university's website, but here are some general tips for getting the most out of a day at your chosen institution:

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King Richard III’s Skeleton Discovered in Car Park

There was some unusual royal news in Britain yesterday, as a 600-year-old skeleton was found to be the remains of King Richard III. The University of Leicester led the project to find the lost bones and eventually narrowed them down to the most royal of settings- a nearby car park.

Richard III became king of England in 1483, but his reign was tumultuous and short-lived, and he was killed in battle just two years later in 1485. The skeleton shows the extent of the injuries that killed him, with 10 in total found, including eight injuries to the skull. On top of that, the spine has also been found to be badly curved, confirming reports from Tudor historians that Richard had a severely hunched back.

On the Trail of Richard's Body

For a team of historians, scientists and archaeologists this marks the successful end to the search for Richard's body that's been going on for years. They started armed simply with the knowledge that he had been buried underneath the church of Greyfriars in the centre of Leicester. After being demolished in the 16th century, the exact location of the church had been forgotten, but the team was able to gradually narrow it down to a probable area.

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Loop Hole Means Retirees on Pension Annuity Incomes get ‘Free’ University

A free degree may sound like a thing of the past in the UK but that is not the case for the majority of the country's retirees. Research has shown that most of Britain's retirees are eligible for student's loans that they will never have to back, and many are taking advantage of this to study for a degree in later life.

Prudential Insurance group released figures showing that retirees in 2013 will have an average income of £15,300 per year from their pension annuities payments. This means the majority of retired Britons fall considerably short of the £21,000 threshold that must be exceed before student loan repayments are eligible.

With no age limit on tuition fee loans, which are paid directly to the higher education institution that the student is studying at, growing numbers of retirees are choosing to go to university. There is also no requirement on whether the course is taken full time or part time.

There is, however, an age limit of 60 years of age on maintenance loans, which are used to cover everyday costs of living, such as rent and food.

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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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