Bank staff 'quit' after Lotto win
£625,000 each? I can see how quitting the day job would be attractive :) I don't know that a sum of money that size would keep me out of a regular job for ever, but it'd certainly go some way towards it. Not even I, Gentle Reader, can spend quite that much on books. (Though I'm sure I could try.)
Top uni's plan for higher student fees
Unless there were a lot of bursaries going round, this could equally be read as "Top uni's plan to restrict admittance of students". I was lucky; I went to college in the days of grants for undergraduates, though for a number of reasons I didn't get much - but I did get my tuition fees paid. Likewise I managed to get a grant for my postgraduate studies.
If there had been this sort of fee charged, would I have gone to university? It's not a question I can easily answer. I'm certain that my parents would have put themselves out to pay the fees if needed; I'm less certain I would have let them do so. It's quite possible that I would not have gone to the same university, as I'm pretty sure it would have been one of those charging the fees (come on, it was Oxford; of course it would).
I dislike the idea that people's choice of university should be limited by what they can afford. I suppose to some extent this has been coming in by the back door for some while, as people might live at home where they otherwise wouldn't, or worry more about the cost of living in the city they want to move to.
On the other hand, I also don't really agree with the current government's policy with regard to increasing access to higher education. It's not that I want to deny access to people who could benefit, it's just that - from speaking to friends who work in academia - many of the people coming in now actually can't (or, in some cases, refuse to) benefit. If they aren't up to the work, if they're not willing to study, why should the money be wasted on them?
Note that this isn't necessarily getting at people whose preparation isn't quite up to scratch but who are willing to work harder to make up for it. My sister did not do well at school but decided that she wanted to go to university a few years later; she worked incredibly hard, got a first-class honours degree, and is now in the second year of PhD studies. (And I'm very, very proud of her.)
Charity bank opens for business
At the point where I have money going spare again (probably a few months from now) I am sure some of it will go into this bank. The Charities Aid Foundation have a very good scheme whereby they will handle claiming tax back on charity donations for you - you deposit money with them and they claim back the basic tax, so that you get more to donate to charities. It saves the charities having to do the claiming-back themselves, which I'm sure must be quite hard work if you get a lot of small donations. And you can then do your donating online, too: http://www.allaboutgiving.org/, for those of you in the UK. Take a look, it's worth it.