Tuesday 29 November 2011 by Spacey

University application slump could reduce traffic cone theft

The 13% decrease in the number of students applying for university places next year could dramatically reduce the number of traffic cones that end up in the hallways of student houses or on the heads of statues, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts has revealed.

With roadwork crime rife in areas with a high student population, Mr Willetts insists that the number of students who are put off by the tuition fees increase is “a price worth paying”.

“We are facing a shortage of cones that is reaching crisis point,” he claimed.

“Councils are in a situation where they are struggling to close off sections of road for no apparent reason.”

Cone crime

Critics have insisted that pricing young people out of an education is too drastic a step to take in helping reduce traffic cone theft.

“A better solution would be to change the shape and look of traffic cones,” said NUS president Liam Burns.

“Students are currently hypnotized by a cones resemblance to a pointy hat and a loud hailer.”

“If they looked like something that students wouldn’t want to go anywhere near then it might solve the problem – Maybe a text book or an alarm clock,” he suggested.

UCAS chief executive Mary Curnock Cook has warned the government against complacency in its fight against cone crime.

“We are gearing up for a possible late surge in applications close to the 15 January deadline,” she said.

“Students have been initially put off by the increase in fees, but the fact that they won’t have to pay off the debt until they are in work means that for most of them it won’t be for a very, very long time.”

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