Cartmel runs risk of becoming “International College”

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We’ve all been through the exhausting process of trying to choose a college before we get to Lancaster University. County is all about their tree, Lonsdale is the party college, Fylde is for the sport and pretty soon though you’ll only have one option if you’re an international student – and that’s Cartmel.

There has always been controversy concerning the collegiate system with people commenting how it encourages segregation and rivalry between colleges. Though this true, it’s part of the fun. Finding a college you identify with and, especially in Freshers’ Week, telling everyone why your chosen college is the best is pretty much an integral part of being within a college. Will this still be the case, however, when all internationals will be placed together simply on the basis that they are not UK residents?

Rising student fees and increased recruiting in foreign countries have led to a massively increased influx of foreign students to Lancaster University this year. On top of that, the rising status of the University as well as its leading business school has all contributed to rocketing international figures. Because international students are paying so much more than UK resident students, it seems they’re all being placed in Cartmel College. Maybe internationals are being placed in Cartmel because this is the most expensive accommodation on campus at about £110 a week, and have ‘better’ facilities, such as superior en-suite bathrooms.

What will this mean for Cartmel though? As a Cartmelian, rumours that next year Cartmel will be approximately 90% international is worrying. It’s definitely clinched my decision to stay off campus in third year despite the advantages of being on campus. My first year experience of international students wasn’t brilliant either, and this will have definitely influenced my decision. One second year student and a member of Cartmel College said “I definitely won’t come back to Cartmel knowing that it will be pretty much all international students. Last year I found it really hard to make friends as most of my flat bar me and another girl, were Greek and we felt very much segregated and unsettled in our flat.” Other students in Cartmel last year believed that the heavily international flats meant that their expectations of freshers were bitterly disappointed and some even saying they felt left out and marginalised in their own flats.

Another problem of Cartmel being the international dumping ground is segregation. Isn’t the whole point of coming to a new country to do a degree to make friends from England? To immerse yourself within the cultures and traditions and have an experience completely alien to one you’d have in your own country? That would be what I would be looking for if I did a year abroad. I think I’d be bitterly disappointed if I went to America only to find myself drinking tea every day and having a roast every Sunday with a bunch of other Englishmen instead of getting into the spirit of the country.

I would suggest that there should be no more than two international student in every flat in every college. This way they get to make friends with other Lancaster University students indigenous to the country and get a proper experience of what it means to be a student in England, instead of merely living within a bubble  of their own community.

So what does the future hold for Cartmel College? A place of combined learning and mutual experience or repository for non-UK students?

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  1. There are a fair few things wrong with this article. Masked xenophobia, groundless hostility and a lack of tolerance, and a pointlessly exaggerated lexicon (“dumping ground?” Really? This is Scan, not the Daily Mail).
    You’re entitled to your opinions, but opinions which appear to justify and even reproduce segregation within the college (and university) are not acceptable, and should not be published in Scan.
    On which point, I would like to say that “rumours” should be thoroughly checked and sourced before being cited in articles, let alone published. Your 90% figure is far, far off.

  2. This being Comment, I’d argue that actual facts and figures are irrelevant. If the student body has a concern or opinion regarding what they’ve heard then surely this is the place to put it.

  3. Debate is all well and good, but stirring up an issue with such wild allegations can send out the wrong message. I have chatted to some students and quite a few are nervous, home students (mainly thinking Cartmel is being turned into this international college and current 1st year home students are being chucked out) and international students alike (they mainly thinking they will be segregated from the university being put in the college the furthest from campus).

    The language in this article makes it seem like everything is a done deal, that Cartmel College is the ‘dumping ground’. Although only a comment piece, people still rely on SCAN to comment on what is going on in the university, for many it is a critical source of information, so mis-information doesn’t help anyone. Something like this can have real consequences for a college and for people in it!

  4. I can already feel myself being sucked into an internet argument.

    “This being Comment, I?d argue that actual facts and figures are irrelevant.”
    Well… I mean, that just seems strange.
    Particularly if facts and figures are actually taken from thin air and passed off as fact (or rumour).

    “If the student body has a concern or opinion regarding what they?ve heard then surely this is the place to put it.”
    I agree that this – being the ‘Comment’ section – is where the student body can voice concerns. However, concerns that appear to target a specific portion of the student body are not acceptable. And the way in which the author has voiced her concerns I also feel is not appropriate. f they are being published, the author or publisher should first check their sources.

  5. “This being [c]omment, I?d argue that actual facts and figures are irrelevant.”

    I’d like to see how you would argue that, Paul. I bet it’d make a far more interesting piece than the mindless, ignorant rantings we find in SCAN of late.


  6. If colleges put only 2 international students in each flat, where will the rest of them live? off-campus? And how about english students learn something from other cultures other than theirs?
    English unis are filled with international students, and the english should take advantage of that and learn something more, other than booze. International students may not hang out with british, but british don’t hang out with internationals either.

  7. I can’t believe that SCAN would allow this to be posted.
    This is blinkered, narrow minded rubbish. The statistics are made up and it just perpetuates a completely biased idea. Yes, there are more international students but BOTH sides should be encouraged to interact more with each other not “put a minimum of two internationals in any student house”. They’re people, not cattle to be sorted into accommodation. What a load of nonsense.
    That definitely isn’t a solution, how about a little bit of effort and understanding from everyone and, you know, being better people? I’m not afraid of international students, neither is anyone I know. Why is this article?

  8. OK, who is letting trolls on Scan?
    This article is actually worse than Lancs gone Wild. Congrats, because that article was so bad. Why are we singling out international students I want to know? I had someone in my flat in first year who was from down south, at times she was annoying, so why are we not making a dumping ground for people from the south? Granted international students dont want to always join in with the British students (please dont use indigenous) but I’m pretty sure they dont have to, there are no rules about whom you must interact with. Essentially, 88.45% of your stats are wrong (and so is that one, because its 100% but i’m using the logic of the article). I’m supportive of debate and free speech but come now….you’re career as a terrible article writer can do so much better at the Daily Mail, the Express and if you feel like adding an elitist tone; The Daily Telegraph. Lets not have tis garbage on scan.

  9. “This being Comment, I?d argue that actual facts and figures are irrelevant.”

    I was comment editor for over a year, and in my opinion this is just plain dumb. One of the first things I used to tell my writers was that you should have an opinion, but that it should be backed up with research, facts, figures, etc. otherwise your article will just be a poorly-informed, incoherent rant. This is so fucking obvious I’m surprised it needs to be made. Not meaning to backseat drive here, but when you publish something so xenophobic as to be practically racist in its contempt for international students, you should probably be taken to task, especially when you openly admit you didn’t care whether the writer has any substance for such views, but I understand that you’re trying to court controversy, because that’s what opinions are about, right? Controversy? Right? This is actually sub-Daily Mail, because they at least make a pretence of a respectable writing style and paying attention to the reality of facts which you seem to regard as irrelevant. I’d look up the concept of ‘truthiness’ in your spare time, but bear in mind that when Stephen Colbert was talking about it, he was being funny on purpose.

  10. RE: the comment above. I’d like to just add: BOOM.

  11. This was a poorly thought out article I feel. On the one hand I can see a point in Yasmin’s argument that the international students may be being exploited by being placed in expensive accommodation and add to that the risk of them feeling segregated from the rest of the student body by being placed far away from campus, but the language in this article comes very close to intolerance. I don’t think it’s a writer’s place to suggest solutions to whatever problem they see and this certainly wasn’t the right one but let’s not demonise someone for trying to tackle a controversial subject, even if handled poorly. I think the more pressing issue here rather than the inexperience of the writer is the issue of how the university could be in danger of exploiting its international benefactors.

  12. This article is bad and you should feel bad.

  13. Ben, I concur.

  14. “This being Comment, I?d argue that actual facts and figures are irrelevant.”

    It’s genuinely upsetting that a time when the whole institution of the press is being dragged through the mud as a result of a select group of journos effectively making stuff up, the idea that facts are not relevant could find a foothold in SCAN. I can only assume Comment is working under the Richard Desmond model this year, though why anyone would want to do this is honestly beyond me.

    For an editor of SCAN could say that facts are irrelevant is sickening in the same way it is were any journalist to say it. I know SCAN isn’t a professional publication, but just because it’s not professional doesn’t mean it can’t aspire to those standards. The most respected journalism is that which is grounded in research and which presents an intelligent argument, and to do that you need facts. If you want to discount them I suggest setting up a blog, but even the majority of them have realised the futility of trying to structure an debate around half-truths and unsubstantiated rumours.

    First, it’s simply bad journalism and people don’t like bad journalism, not when it’s staring them straight in the face. If you are going to use rumours (lazy journalism though it is) at the very least credit where the rumour was heard. Did the author overhear a member of the JCR/SRC saying it? If so there might be some truth to it, and it probably is worth reporting. Did they over hear on the Spine? Then post it on Overheard at Lancaster for people to laugh at, don’t try to structure an argument – that is already likely to be a controversial one – around it.

    It’s also simply a bad argument style, and what is Comment if not a medium to present an argument. Facts are what are needed to back up an argument, otherwise it can quite rightly be dismissed.

    The article doesn’t present a terrific argument, that’s true, though I think some responses have read more into it than was probably intended. The author does have the right to try and put her opinions across: it takes a certain amount of courage to write your personal views down for all of campus to scrutinise. But, the role of a good editor is to help their writers finesse and water-proof their arguments so they don’t leave themselves open to the very simple criticism of: this is factually inaccurate and therefore easy to dismiss.

    “Comment is free but facts are sacred.” (CP Scott, Guardian Editor, 1921.)

    p.s. I appreciate that no one likes ex-FTOs sticking their nose in, but as a continuing member of the student body who as “a concern or opinion regarding what they?ve [read] then surely this is the place to put it”.

  15. Ah, so THAT’s why Cartmel is known as the ‘quiet college’ – because of the lack of integration!

  16. It’s all beginning to make sense, now.

  17. my article was never an attack on the international students at Lancaster university, but rather an attack on the way students are being housed by the uni and how this is seeming to cause segregation. of course students, international and national, should learn and take things from each other and the problems an international college would present, clearly wouldn’t allow this to happen as freely.

    a lot of the content is from personal experience me and my friends encountered last year whilst being a tenant within the college and this will no doubt have influenced my opinion. i am simply expressing a concern which more than a few cartmelians are feeling at the moment, and for people who have actually read the article, you’d see both sides have been argued.

    on the other hand, i’m glad the article has caused so much debate, maybe the university accommodation office will take these arguments into consideration when deciding what cartmel college’s future will hold.

  18. Debate and condemnation aren’t the same thing.

  19. I?m glad the author clarified, though, I would like to reiterate the sentiment of others: the wording at times seems pretty irresponsible. You?re suggestion at the end shows that it?s not intentional, but phrases such as ?international dumping ground? and the general tone in places: especially when you draw from personal experience, it comes across as a bit narrow-minded and it does seem to single international students out in a negative and hostile way. I?d also like to know where these apparent facts are coming from? But ultimately, I would have thought whoever reviews these articles would have identified this and advised some alterations before publication.

  20. If you actually read it it is actually saying that the university is using cartmel as a ‘dumping ground’ and the authour is saying that this is a bad thing to do throughout the article. Stating that she thinks there should be better intergration through out the uni and colleges so not to cause this gap between english students and international students. She never says her statistic are facts she says ‘rumour is that . . ‘ and consistently comments on how it is not fair on the international students to all be placed in one called.
    So those that have branded the authour racist and a xenophobe need to calm it and read it properly to be honest.
    Anyway cheers for reading my coment.

  21. At least one good thing has come out of this article – I now know that I’m not the only person who reads the SCAN website…

  22. Just the latest in a long line of articles from the new Comment editor, which pass beyond they realm of controversy, and into uninformed rumour-mongering. Time for this ‘Paul Hannah’ to step down

  23. This is not the first poorly written feast of right-wringery that I have read in Comment this year and I fear it might not be the last, particularly by the looks of the current trends being set by the new editor. Disappointing.

  24. @ Loe and Matthew, you two should probably know that from the WordPress dashboard SCAN editors and contributors can see the full names of the people writing comments here, even if you choose to post under a different name.

    And you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to find out who people’s mutual friends are these days. Perhaps you would like to defend yours, instead of doing pisstakes?

  25. Apologies, but defend our what?

  26. So in order to get international students to integrate with fellow students we have to segregate them? Is that not just the perfect example of a paradox.

    Perhaps if the author had bothered to do some PROPER research, she would have known that by proportion, Fylde has the greatest number of international students than any other College.

    But this article misses the point entirely; instead of reporting the facts, you’ve listened to hearsay and rumours; besmirching not only your own reputation, but that of SCAN.

    Perhaps if you refocused your article to best suggest how to integrate international students into the Collegiate system, rather than make them a scapegoat for this University’s decision to expand the international populace on campus to 50% by 2015, then perhaps your article would merit some positive response.

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