Student news round-up: NHS fees for international students, animal rights in Cambridge, and meningitis at Strathclyde

 

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The Independent Online

International students to pay NHS fees

The NHS could charge international students to use the health services from as soon as next year, an investigation by Cardiff student paper Gair Rhydd has revealed.

The "health surcharge" of £150 a year will be introduced as part of the changes the Government is making to student visas in an effort to avoid 'health tourism'. Those already studying in the UK will not be affected, but new students will have to pay as part of their visa application process. 

The Home Office, which confirmed the plans, had previously described the existing system as "very generous, particularly when compared with international practice".

Sierra Leone student: "I fear for my mom and my friends back home"

A Kingston University student from Sierra Leone has spoken of his difficulties in getting back to the UK and continuing his studies in the midst of the Ebola crisis.

Oscar Conteh, who studies geology, told River Online: "I booked a flight from Freetown to the UK in early September, but it got cancelled. It then became really hard to get out. I eventually got on a flight to Senegal, and then another one to Morocco, before getting back to London."

Mr Conteh, who was screened numerous times to ensure he wasn't carrying the virus, had previously worked as a volunteer informing people of the risks. "Educating the people is a key feature to stop the spreading," he said, explaining how in the capital "everybody is very conscious and concerned about their health. No one even dares to shake another person’s hand anymore."

He knows of people who have caught the virus: "[A neighbour] got confirmed Ebola and the last thing I heard was that he was vomiting blood. I don’t know if he is still alive or not."

Cambridge students encouraged to report colleagues

Students in Cambridge are being offered money in exchange for informing on their peers who are involved with animal research.

Varsity reports how the activist group National Operation Anti-Vivisection placed posters around the city advertising rewards in exchange for information about students conducting animal experiments in the course of their studies.

The posters, which offer the chance to "earn easy cash" and "earn some beer money", ask for students to provide their colleagues' personal information including names, pictures, addresses and phone numbers.

A spokesperson for the group, William Evans, said this was so NOAV could "contact students conducting experiments and explain the reasons for using human relevant methods rather than animal testing" and promised "our approach is based on social as opposed to physical pressure".

Meningitis warning at Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde has issued a warning after two students were diagnosed with meningitis, according to the Strathclyde Telegraph.

The email, which was sent to every member of the university, was intended as a "precaution" and detailed the signs and symptoms of the disease.

The student president, Gary Paterson, said: "We are encouraged by the university's pro-active response to this issue and are happy that they have informed students at the earliest instance."

An NHS spokespersons said: "As a student you are more at risk of getting meningitis just after starting university as you will be mixing closely with lots of new people."

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