Let it snow.



When I was seventeen, I spent a week in Geneva.

It’s a beautiful city. I met nice people, I tried fondue for the first time and for the first time in my life I saw snow. I’m from Northern Ireland, we are a mild, wet little corner of Europe and some years in the winter we get snow. But Geneva was the first time I saw snow.

I’m talking about snow that comes up past a grown man’s knees the kind that a city does not simply weather for a few days but that they actively plan for, in the sure and certain knowledge that if they don’t, it’ll grind the city to a halt. What surprised me most was how completely unaffected the city was by a heavy snowfall, they were ready.

Geneva came into my head because of Toby Young. As far as I’m aware, Young isn’t Swiss but then I don’t know very much about him. I read how to lose friends and alienate people a couple of years ago (mostly just to see if there was a theoretical basis for what I was already clearly very good at) but I don’t have particularly strong views on him one way or the other.

Toby Young got me thinking about Geneva because he was, at the start of the year, at the centre of a ‘Twitterstorm’.

You’ve seen a Twitterstorm, there’s one almost every day. In fact the only thing that was remarkable about #Younggate was how unremarkable it was. You can google for the details but to summarise;

  • Toby Young was appointed to the Office for Students (OfS) which is a group the government set up to regulate the higher education market
  • Tweets surfaced of Mr Young saying some regrettable things
  • The proverbial hit the fan
  • The government doubled down and supported Young
  • Eventually Young decided to resign his post after the pressure wouldn’t let up

OfS is invested with a range of powers and responsibilities. One of its most eye catching powers is the power to fine universities that ‘no-platform’ certain speakers  a fairly blunt instrument approach to dealing with a problem that some people think exists.

The “Snowflake” problem.

The term is bandied about these days, primarily by middle aged white men, to decry the stereotypical student or “young people today” as soft and easily offended, too pampered and protected to ever listen to ideas they don’t like.

‘Snowflake’ is a stupid term for two reasons. One, it’s a bit like Justin Bieber jokes, funny at the start but now just lazy. Ironically, considering how it’s used, it’s actually a phrase designed to shut down debate i.e. “I don’t have to listen to you, because you’re a snowflake”.

Secondly it’s being used wrong. I know, there’s a lot of people who want to paint students and young people generally as unwilling and unable to listen to ideas they don’t like. Much has been made of Universities and student group’s no-platforming certain speakers. Milo Yiannopoulos and Germaine Greer are two very different people but both have been refused platforms by different University groups who consider their views offensive. No-platforming is criticised as being anti free speech and cowardly. The argument is that students should be opened up to ideas they might not like in order to challenge them and that all speakers should therefore be entitled to platforms at all University’s.

Have you been on the internet recently? This isn’t the 19th Century, the great debates of our day aren’t taking place in draughty lecture theatres anymore, they rage day and daily online. There are literally thousands of platforms for people to promote any ideas they have. Hard right news organisations like Breitbart are mainstream now. Even if you buy into the echo chamber idea and believe that everyone online is only listening to people they agree with, late last year actual Nazi’s marched through Charlottesville in the USA chanting “Blood and Soil!”. The actual Nazi’s are back in the mainstream news and the real world.

The “snowflake” generation aren’t avoiding hearing ideas they don’t like, if anything they’re inundated with them. Never in the history of humanity have so many people had so much access to so much information. It’s not that “Snowflakes” are incapable of hearing ideas they don’t like, it’s that they hear them and think “Enough”.

This isn’t a sign of weakness it’s a sign of strength.  People are realising that they don’t have to listen to stuff they find offensive silently and that social media provides not only a platform to make their voices heard but also a tool to organise, to amplify those voices.

People might be acting like “Snowflakes”, but only in the sense that they are realising their collective strength. Alone, a snowflake melts easily, but as part of a multitude, they can shut down cities.

So what’s this got to do with a blog that’s supposed to focus on PR and Communications? Well, these “Snowflakes” have the ability to drive news agendas and shape public policy without ever looking up from their phone. The Young example from the start of the year is just one example of how people who were dismissed as “Snowflakes” for finding Toby Young’s old tweets offensive used a social media app to dominate the news cycle and drive a change in the real world.

The genie is out of the bottle now the “Snowflake generation” have seen what happens when they flex their collective muscles and to dismiss them as “weak” or “afraid” is to fundamentally misunderstand them and more dangerously underestimate them. Instead, the lesson for organisations is to be like Geneva. Twitterstorms exist and sometimes they’re going to hit you, the only thing you can do is prepare for them.


Jason Ashford is currently studying an MSc in Public Relations and Communications with political lobbying at the University of Ulster. He can be found on Twitter @jasonashford89

























































Providing Service to be Proud of!

Providing Service to be Proud of!

My name is Nicole Service and I’d like to be Ulster University’s next Campaigns and Communication Vice President.

With almost three years of knowledge built up from studying my degree (Communication management and Public Relations), I feel I am equipped to talk to others confidently, run a strong campaign and have enough artist flair to decorate some campaign bedsheets which will be displayed proudly around the Ulster campuses (just wait and see).

I thought I would write a short blog post answering a few of the commonly asked questions I get before my campaign begins running.

So Nicole, tell me- What is the student election and what does it do?
Simply put, it’s an opportunity for students to better our Students’ Union. It takes place once a year and candidates put their names forward for one of the seven positions available:

· President of the Students’ Union

· Sports President

· Vice-President of Campaigns and Communication (Hey there!)

· Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs, Belfast

· Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs, Coleraine

· Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs, Jordonstown

· Vice-President of Academic and Student Affairs, Magee

These seven Student Officers form the Student Executive, one of the main decision making bodies within the Students’ Union. The role of the Student Executive is to gain feedback from students so that ideas can be discussed, debated and decided upon in order to make the UUSU better for everyone who uses it.

So what exactly is your role as VP of Campaigns and Communication?
Well, I like to think of myself as the middleman between the students and the Student Executive. It will be my job to keep the students of Ulster up to date with what their Union is providing via clubs, events and news. As well as that, as your VP of Campaigns and Communications, I’ll help students provide feedback on how to improve their Union and ensure their feedback is given and listened to. Don’t feel your UUSU is welcoming enough or lacks something important? With your help- If I’m your VP – I aim to fix that. Let’s create a loop to make the Union better and better.

Do I have to come into university to vote?
The answer is a big NOPE. Convenience is key so the process is entirely completed online, from the comfort of the library or as you browse the Netflix library in your halls/home/bed.

You just need to follow these instructions:
1. On the 5th, 6th or 7th of March 2018, go on to http://www.uusuvote.com

2. Enter you B number (B00123456, etc) to verify you are an Ulster University Student

3. Vote for Nicole Service & have a great day!

It’s that simple. Log on and cast a vote for me- one minute could potentially change you or someone else’s university experience for the better.


I will be travelling around the Ulster University campuses, hanging posters, preaching my manifesto to passing by students and giving away treats. So come along and talk to me about what you want from our Students’ Union- you’ll probably be sick of seeing my face around your campus but it’s only because you deserve the best Service you can get! To read my manifesto online check out: http://uusu.org/blog/meet-your-student-officer-candidates



Ps. Whilst you’re here, if you like the drawing of me in my manifesto, check out my friend Lauren’s work. She is insanely talented and is an Animation student at Ulster University as well, her work is fantastic and you can check it all out here: https://laurenbellanimation.wordpress.com/

Nicole Service is a third year student on the BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations at Ulster University. She can be contacted on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-service-056016130.

PR Student Survival Guide

I have just begun my final year of studies as a Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at the Jordanstown campus of Ulster University – scary! I’ve attached a link here for anyone interested in what the course entails. One of the modules in my final year is Critical Perspectives of PR. We have not done a PR module since first year so it all seems pretty new again and, like I’m sure many of you understand, it can be a bit daunting starting something new. Our first task was to write 3 blog posts around the subject of PR. As an avid blog reader, I was excited at the prospect but I wasn’t too sure what I should write about that would be helpful and interesting for you as a reader. So, I figured what better way to start than giving you some of my own (perhaps not all that useful or informative) advice on how to go about being a PR student. Halt all frantic “What am I doing with my life?!” searches on Google as this blog might just have the answers to all your university worries.

In our first PR lecture we were given the simple task of telling the room our name and an interesting fact about ourselves. Seemingly an easy task, especially for a room of people who are aspiring to be our next generation of PR specialists – but no, the dread set in. The first person started with their name and informed the class that they had swallowed a Barbie shoe as a child. One by one, each of my class mates started to tell us all brilliant facts about themselves. When it came to my turn I told the class my name, and the interesting fact I settled for was that over summer I hitchhiked from Slovenia to Italy with a Slovenian man whose only English was “Good music ya?” – but that is a different story for a completely different blog post.


So, this is where my first tip sets in;
Be confident – you are interesting and your voice matters! Don’t sweat the small stuff as the saying goes. It’s easy to hide in a lecture hall full of 100 people, but don’t! Stand out, contribute, challenge your lecturer on everything they tell you. I guarantee you they would rather you be interactive and in debate than sitting in the back-row blank faced thinking about what you’re going to have for lunch from the culinary masterpiece that is the Jordanstown Student Union… It may seem like you are the only clueless person in the room but believe me for 1) You are not as clueless as you think you are and 2) If you’re feeling like this I guarantee you that you are not the only one having these thoughts.

My second tip is one of those learn from your mistakes type scenarios – or rather learn from my mistakes! Start reading. All those articles and textbooks that your lecturers keep telling you to have a look at – start actually looking at them and reading them. Read them twice if you can. We’ve all been guilty of rolling our eyes and thinking ‘I’ll skim read the article just on the off chance my lecturer asks me a question in the seminar’. But start taking interest in the articles they are giving you. You may just surprise yourself at how interesting you will find a lot of them. Also use them to start writing reference lists for your assignments. I always find it far easier to tackle an essay or assignment if I have a list of references ready for me before I even start. Try swapping your Daily Mail updates for a read of a newspaper a few days a week. Understanding what a newspaper looks like and how an article is printed on paper is such a huge part of PR. My older sister currently works in a PR agency and the first thing she does every morning is read the newspapers printed that day – it’s her longest standing companion in the office!

Take breaks. It’s hard to see past the mountain of work and reading gradually piling up but it is so important to close the books, stretch, go for a walk, listen to some music, do whatever you find relaxes you. Clear your head for a few minutes when it all seems too much and come back with fresh eyes and a clear mind. Your education is important, but look after yourself, keep on top of your work and the rest will come. Here’s a link to my personal favourite ‘Study Break Song’ because if Marvin Gaye won’t cheer you up what will?C2

Finally – enjoy! Enjoy your time as a PR student. At the end of this journey you will more than likely be entering the big bad world of work which comes with a huge amount of great experiences but you will never have an experience like you will have at university. So, keep up with the work, read everything you can, make contacts in the industry, strive for that 2.1 or 1st class honours degree because you deserve it! But make time for your friends, take up a new hobby every week and drop it when you realise maybe learning Spanish on Duolingo just isn’t your forte and start learning French – Je m’appelle Claire (as you can see mine is coming along nicely). Find time for everything you want to do, go for a drink or two at the weekend, take time to travel and experience the world. Enjoy these years because they come and go quicker than you may realise and give you some of the best memories you will have in life.


So finally, all that’s left to say is good luck! And if all else fails here’s a link to a wiki how page on how to survive Uni – although, speaking from experience, it may not provide exactly the strategy you need to pass!

Claire Stinton is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on Twitter @clairestintonn and Instagram @clairestinton.


My year in the Weapons Industry

My year in the Weapons Industry

If you had of asked me “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” while I studied for my GCSE’s, the answer would have been somewhere in Liverpool studying Advertising or Graphic Design. All my career prospects revolving around the idea being able to see a Liverpool game whenever I wanted and drawing cartoons. Immature and hopeful thinking, especially as I have never been the best student, “Curtis has plenty of potential but just needs to apply himself” a phrase that my dad was sick of hearing year on year at parent teaching meetings.How things have changed. I never thought back then that I would be where I am today. Although on the surface a lot is still the same; I’m still working in the same job I had when I was 16 (Shout out to Peacocks) My friends are still the same as when I was sitting my GCSE’s (lads, lads, lads) .. But what has changed is how much I’ve grown up and mainly just in the past year. Even my harshest critics in my dad would have to agree somewhat… although I get the feeling he won’t be completely convinced for a while yet.

What has changed in the past year? Well I spent the last year on Placement at Thales UK for my placement. An opportunity I am very grateful to have got. Last August in typical Curtis fashion I had left getting placement until the last minute. Two interviews later and I was starting my chapter as Internal Communications Intern for a company I knew very little about never mind the industry they are in. Thales is a global company with sites located in England, France, Australia, Germany, USA and Northern Ireland. In Thales Belfast or AOW we focused on Air Operations and Weapon Systems. As you may have guessed this is an area in which I have absolutely no background in, unless you count all the hours I dedicated to playing Call of Duty while at school. (It absolutely does not count). Luckily I wasn’t hired to know anything about Engineering or Weapon Systems.


I was tasked with creating the Role of Internal Communications across the business line. I effectively became the point of contact for Internal Communications for 500 plus employees.

For someone who had only ever worked in bars and clothes shops this was a daunting task at first. I found myself frantically re-reading all of my notes and beginning to panic thinking I was not up for the job. To be honest it was those notes that really got me off and running within Thales. I carried a small notebook around with me gathering information on everything from every person I met from different fractions throughout the business. When I say everything, I really mean it literally. I even made note of what people looked like as not forget their name. It was this almost psycho level of detail that allowed me to create an extensive SOSTAC analysis in which to pitch to the leadership team.

The morning of the pitch I suited up got in extra early to arrive in and find that Fridays are actually ‘dress down Fridays’. As I stand there dressed to the nines while literally shaking with nerves, I make my pitch and much to my surprise I am greeted with a wave of compliments and support. It was from that moment on I knew to have confidence in what I was doing, the content I had learned from the lectures in the past two years had actually paid off! (Who knew that paying that £3,000 a year was anything more than an excuse to go out 4 days a week?!).

I then began to implement a series of my ideas, a lot of them through trial and error and it was then I learnt the importance of time keeping and how important it was. For years I have heard teacher moan and cry about these aren’t assignments you can’t do the night before and well I had a very big wakeup call when I had bit off more than I could chew and determined not to let my new employers down, I found myself working straight through the night trying to meet the harsh deadlines I had set for myself and when I found myself nodding off at my desk the next day, I learnt the importance of planning.


While in the most part my time at Thales was plain sailing even with my incredibly cringe worthy and ‘puntastic’ email blasts and embarrassing myself to the tune of ABBA at the staff do.

I then began to grow into my role, becoming more and more involved with every aspect of the job. From seeking more responsibility in joining up with the corporate section of the business; by getting involved with air shows and All Employee Road Shows. To becoming a member of the Charity Group and the Society working group and helping them with their many fundraisers and allowing me to use a more creative side and also get some training from the Graphics team in creating posters and newsletters.

At times working in Thales seemed surreal, I felt like it was a dream that I was going to wake up from at any moment. Meeting Astronaut Tim Peake, Being sent across the water to spend a few days working in London and Southampton, training on a military helicopter simulator, attending an air show, meeting members of the Malaysian government and royal family and not to forget being asked to represent Thales at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards. There would even be model missiles left on my desk in the mornings…


No day was the same and rarely boring! Although I can’t pretend my head wasn’t turned when my housemates made their regular appearance to FLY Monday’s… I’m still a student after all.

I had fully expected to be making Tea and Coffees and doing the jobs that no one wanted, so I was over the moon to be granted the freedom to do my job my way. My manager was supportive from get the go, I can’t thank Thales enough for the role they have played in getting me to this stage of my development as Public Relations professional.

Who knows maybe I’ll be back one day?

Curtis Cregan is a final year BSc in Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be contacted on Twitter: @CurtisCregan17, and Instagram: @CurtisCregan7.

5 things you need to know before starting Study USA


It’s strange to think that this time two years ago I was deciding between the Study USA experience or the year in work placement. I mean, do you choose to have a year of fun or a year that directly helps you get closer to your dream career? I chose the study USA path – fun or work… It was a no brainer really! To give you more of an idea of what it is truly like I’ve comprised a list of 5 things everyone needs to know before starting Study USA.

1.The workload is continuous

You are warned about the workload before you begin but it was still a shock having piles of homework every night after being in class most of the day. It almost feels like you’re back in school but you will soon realise that everyone there is on the same page and everyone has this homework so you find ways to make it more social. Group studying was really popular and often, after class, we would go to Starbucks or Newark’s and do our homework together, which was a much less serious atmosphere. Frappuccino’s make most things better… Right?

2.Don’t pre-judge your college

Another big one! If your successful in the application process, try your best to be really open-minded about your college. I am guilty of pre-judging. After finding out what college I was going to I immediately decided Study USA was no longer for me. Iwas placed at an all-women’s college in South Carolina – who knew these even existed? However, looking back, I couldn’t be happier and I wish I hadn’t spent so much time stressing about Columbia college. It is all part of the experience and the team at study USA matched me up brilliantly. I quickly realised that my new-found friends were the ones who were going to make this experience for me.


3.The ‘freshman fifteen’ is real

This is one of the American terms that I picked up and it refers to freshman (what we call first year students) putting on 15lbs after starting college life and it couldn’t be more real. Between the constant streams of beer and the huge portion sizes if you don’t keep up some form of exercise you will be lucky if it’s only 15lbs you put on. Also with Study USA you get a meal plan which entitles you to three meals a day (all paid for), so surely you shouldn’t waste this… Right? Well, that’s the approach I took anyway.

4.Fraternities and sororities really do exist.

Well, obviously fraternities didn’t exist in my college, and they were only introducing sororities the year I left. But most of my friends went to University of South Carolina (USC), which is a massive college right beside mine which had every type of frat and sorority you could possibly imagine. Our friends were in TKE and I was lucky enough to get to a few of their events. One of which was a mountain weekend, this is where all the members of TKE bring a date and the fraternity rents log cabins up in the Georgia mountains for a weekend. With this invitation, there was the obligation to paint your date an ice cooler to store your drinks in for the weekend (Something I was not aware at the time). Photos of my cooler are featured below, most stressful experience of my life, it took two months to complete!





5.Just go with it

My final and most important point is simply just go with it all. Yes, you will feel uncomfortable to begin with and things might seem a bit odd but I promise it’s all very fun if you just embrace it. I remember my first weekend I was out in the car with the girls heading to my first frat event – a ‘darty’ which is a day party where all drink and food is provided by the frat. The playlist for the car journey involved every rap song under the sun, I had never heard any before in my life, but they knew every word. Shazam (the app which listens to the song and then tells you the name of it) was my answer to this problem, discretely using this on my phone to store the songs being played so I could listen to them in my dorm later. I laugh so much just thinking about doing this, so ridiculous now! But, it’s just how I adjusted. It really was an incredible year and for me it was completely worth every moment. In my eyes, I took the stance that you will be working for the rest of your life so why not take an opportunity to do something different? Below is a short video of my year – see for yourself all the fun and opportunities I had.

Niamh Webb is a final year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on Twitter @1234niamh, and on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/niamh-webb-2b5260107/


PR-ing my way into the future (hopefully)

Often we make decisions not knowing where they will take us and then later regretting the fact that we didn’t take time to study our options and thinking through the decision carefully. For me, I had thought about public relations in detail and thought of where it might take me but was nervous as to whether my perception was actually going to turn into a reality. I knew public relations was going to be about managing an event or occurrence that has taken place within society and how the public would receive the message but I didn’t know how I was going to fit into that equation. I didn’t know if my skills would “fit the bill”, would I be able to be a public relations professional? (That answer is hopefully a yes, being in final year I am hoping that I’m shaping up to “fit the bill”).

When I first started my course I had visions of going into marketing or advertising or PR-ing for an organisation. However, telling other people didn’t work out the way I expected.  Studying to be a “PR” came with a great deal of “slagging”, many people laughed and asked was I going to be outside the clubs trying to drag them in and persuading them to be on the guest list, or was I going to be writing to them on Facebook telling them that this club is amazing and they have to go there on Tuesday night. No became a very frequent word to start my conversations, explaining that my course actually isn’t about “repping” for clubs and that it has a lot of content on communication, language, interpersonal skills, advertising, marketing, politics and lobbying.

As time went on (and fortunately the slagging died down) I started to get more and more interest into how much work takes place in the world of business regarding communication and public presentation. A project given to us that involved evaluating a well-known organisation’s strategy to retain and grow within their target audience really started to get me thinking how much planning is needed to be successful, there is so much knowledge needed to keep the product in the consumers mind and many variables are needed to be kept in consideration. Evaluating skills we had was another project, on a weekly basis we recorded ourselves acting out skills we displayed in certain scenarios. Here you might wonder why is this relevant to public relations, I myself didn’t get the usefulness of this module in the beginning but rather how awkward it was to act like an “ejit” in front of people I barely knew, but again as time passed I discovered how useful it was. Practicing to communicate with people I didn’t know and evaluate my skills was valuable, I realised that in my future job I am going to be communicating on behalf of an organisation to individuals I have never met before on a regular basis, so learning to communicate effectively was important and getting the social awkwardness out of my system now was worthwhile.

Many lectures consisted of professionals coming in and explaining their area of expertise and how they got there, each professional was linked to the lecture topic which was easy to digest as for me the content of the lecture didn’t always register with my brain but getting the material again in a different manner helped.  It was so interesting to know how my course could take me down so many different career paths, public relations was going to open up so many options.

I do feel lucky to have made the right decision, it could have went so wrong and I could have been back at square one wondering what am I going to do with my life. Thankfully I have been kept interested and eager to discover more of what public relations has to offer.

Niall Byrne is a final year BSc in Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be contacted on twitter @NByrne96


Let’s talk about diversity at Oxbridge – from a PR perspective

The UK’s elite universities have a major problem, one that needs to be dealt with now rather than later. It’s a problem that probably won’t come as a major surprise to a lot of people which is a fact that is in itself disturbing and deeply upsetting. Everyone knows that Oxford and Cambridge are the best universities in the UK and that their student intake tends to consist of people from socially privileged backgrounds. A report published recently sparked controversy regarding Oxford and Cambridge University’s student admissions.“As part of a set of data released by the two universities that also revealed a stark regional and socio-economic divide in their intake, the figures showed that just 1.5% of all offers from the two universities to UK A-level students went to black British candidates.” This is completely unacceptable, it does not reflect the true diversity of the United Kingdom. The attitude of both of the Oxbridge universities in reaction to this also leaves a lot to be desired. From a PR perspective it does not seem like Oxford or Cambridge care enough about how this will negatively effect their public perception.

I always assumed that Oxford and Cambridge were universities reserved for those with superior intelligence (which is fine), and for those who come from a wealthy / upper middle class background (which is more problematic). It should not be like this, everyone who is intelligent enough should get the chance to go to Oxford or Cambridge. It is hard to blame students for feeling discouraged from applying to Oxbridge when media coverage of both universities seems to revolve around the lack of students from diverse backgrounds being able to attend these prestigious universities. I mean where is the incentive to apply when you feel that you might end up being marginalised? Thankfully for both Oxford and Cambridge some of their students have been taking their own action to combat this problem.  Student vloggers such as Mohammed Ibrahim (IbzMo), Courtney Daniella and Nissy Tee (who has now graduated) have been uploading videos to Youtube discussing the real issues that arise when attending these universities from a less “traditional” background.

I first stumbled across IbzMo’s channel in March of this year whilst I was finishing my undergraduate degree during a major procrastination session. I don’t know how I found his channel but I am very glad that I did. Mohammed has an enthusiasm for learning which is very infectious. His channel is fantastic, providing a real insight in to what it is like to be a student at the University of Cambridge from an ethnic minority background. From just taking a quick glance upon his twitter feed you can see the very real impact that his channel is having upon secondary school students throughout the UK. It is heartwarming to see how these school students are becoming empowered through Mohammed’s fine example. Representation is a key factor in encouraging students to see beyond the stereotypical view of the Oxbridge, at the end of the day Oxbridge should be for everyone not just privileged groups.

Courtney Daniella also does this on her Youtube channel with one of her most popular videos deals with encouraging young people from ethnic minority backgrounds to apply to Oxbridge universities. Sadly Courtney has been the victim of trolling in the past, receiving hateful comments that she only was able to attend Cambridge due to a diversity “quota” not due to her obviously high intelligence and individual talent. Despite these nasty comments Courtney continues to encourage diversity in higher education institutions and continues to act as a role model to those students who without her guidance and help may never have decided to apply to more prestigious universities. I am certainly very grateful to these student vloggers for highlighting these issues and for being brave enough to try and tackle these injustices. I just hope that Oxford and Cambridge will try and do more to support them in the future as they are carrying out vital PR work for both universities in terms of encouraging students from ethnic minority groups and lower income backgrounds to apply to these institutions, despite what the press and wider society might be saying about their chances in getting there.

Catherine Leonard is studying for a MSc in Communications and Public Relations with Political Lobbying at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter @CLeonard1212