A think tank has proposed giving every young person in the UK a one-off gift of £10,000 on their 25th birthday. The Resolution Foundation argues that the ‘citizen’s inheritance’ would help combat the economic disparity between baby boomers and millennials (and the younger Generation Z’ers).
The idea was developed by the foundation’s intergenerational commission, which spent two years assessing solutions to a variety of challenges facing young people, many of whom have little hope of getting on the property ladder. Funding would come through a reshuffling of inheritance tax policy. The commission responded to criticism that the money might be wasted by many 25-year-old’s by stating that it could only be spent on housing, education, enterprise, or on a pension plan.
Critics have argued that real solutions are needed to resolve Britain’s housing crisis and that, for many young people, the £10,000 would simply be used to pay off student debt. A recent poll found that around half of British youth expect to have a lower standing of living than their parents. In France the figure was more than 70%, although in China and India, the vast majority of youth expect to have better lives.
Charlemagne Youth Prize
The 2018 Charlemagne Youth Prize was awarded to Worcation – a project which encourages young Europeans to work on a Second World War-era German prisoner-of-war camp. The annual prize has been given out since 2008 to young people aged 16-30 who are engaged in projects which promote integration between different cultures.
Worcation was named the best of 18 national projects whose members were invited to Aachen, Germany for the award ceremony. The initiative – which sees young volunteers clean and maintain Stalag VIII A, an old PoW camp in Gorlitz and Zgorzelec – was granted €7,500 in prize money for winning first place.
Second place and €5,000 was awarded to Juvenilia, an Italian project that promotes ballet, opera and theatre among young people by organising cultural exchanges across Europe and subsidised tickets for classical performances.
Never Arrive 2 – a project developed by a young Somalian refugee resident in Malta – scooped third spot and €2,500. Farah Abdullahi Abdi has travelled the European continent to counteract prejudice and encourage young Europeans and young refugees to embrace one another.
The award ceremony took place just a few days before French president Emmanuel Macron arrived in Aachen to receive the 2018 Charlemagne Prize. The winners of the Youth Prize were able to meet briefly with the president, while German chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish king Felipe VI were also in attendance.
Young people aged 16-30 who are interested in competing for the 2019 Charlemagne Youth Prize can submit their projects online. They must be citizens of EU member states and have an individual or group project that aspires to develop a shared European identity among the continent’s youth.
Top student cities
A new ranking of the world’s best student cities has been produced by the QS World University Rankings. Surveying the opinions of 50,000 students worldwide on a range of issues – from culture to affordability – QS had London as the top student city, followed by Tokyo and Melbourne in second and third place.
Interestingly there were no US cities among the student city elite. Only fourth-placed Montreal represented the Americas in the top ten – which was dominated by European cities. Paris, Munich, Berlin, and Zurich were joined in the top ten by Seoul and Sydney.
Despite scoring low on affordability, London took top spot thanks to its high density of world-class universities, cultural landscape, tolerance and diversity, and graduate job opportunities. It is the first time London has been named number 1, which has previously gone to Montreal and Paris.
Tokyo, Toronto and Amsterdam all ranked highly for their desirability – seen by students as clean and safe places to study with high living standards. Australia’s biggest cities – Melbourne and Sydney – scored well on openness and encouraging international students to mix with local ones.
Budapest and Kuala Lumpur were noted for their affordability, while students in Seoul were delighted with the South Korean capital’s leading research institutions. Among US cities, only Boston and New York cracked the top 30.