lamanai_blue
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#1
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#1
Hi, I'm trying to pick between Exeter and Durham for my insurance choice. My offer grades are the same for both so that's not an issue. Can anyone help me please with the answers to any of these questions?

1. Any thoughts on which Classics course is better? I get the impression that Durham is more prestigious, and I've heard some offputting rumours about lectures on who the Greek gods are at Exeter (is it true some first year lectures are really basic?) but I really like the more modern aspects of the Exeter course.

2. Which uni feels more diverse (in terms of ethnicity, international students, north/south, class, politics, lgbt+)? Both unis seem very posh, and very white, but are they noticably different? I know that statistically Exeter is practically the least diverse uni in the country, but when I was in Durham, without wanting to sound too *****y, I wasn't loving the vibe I was getting from most of the students I saw. It felt very much like the majority of people were a very specific type of private school kid who dress similarly, sound like they grew up in West London. etc. How accurate an impression was this? Is Exeter any better? Is there a dominant clique at either? Is one more arty than the other? How prominent are the international/poc/Latin American communities at either university? Also, I've heard some weird stuff about anti-choice stuff happening in Exeter, and lots about spiking in Durham. Is the culture at one more/less sexist than at the other?

3. How does St Aidan's college (Durham) compare to other colleges, especially in terms of the people? I've heard it's the gay college, is that true? I'm pretty happy with my allocation there, if a bit disappointed it's not Castle, lol

4. What are the music scenes like?

5. How wide a range of uni clubs are there and how common is it to participate in them?

6. Do people spend more time working at one than the other?

7. Just on the off-chance a rower is reading this, is Durham rowing really much better than Exeter?

8. Any reason one of them would make a better insurance choice? Should I forget them both and choose Edinburgh instead? Ok, I'll stop now, lol

Thanks so much if you've made it this far
Last edited by lamanai_blue; 4 weeks ago
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PQ
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#2
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#2
From your post it doesn’t sound like you really like either of them.

You don’t have to have an insurance choice.
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swanseajack1
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#3
Report 4 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by lamanai_blue)
Hi, I'm trying to pick between Exeter and Durham for my insurance choice. My offer grades are the same for both so that's not an issue. Can anyone help me please with the answers to any of these questions?

1. Any thoughts on which Classics course is better? I get the impression that Durham is more prestigious, and I've heard some offputting rumours about lectures on who the Greek gods are at Exeter (is it true some first year lectures are really basic?) but I really like the more modern aspects of the Exeter course.

2. Which uni feels more diverse (in terms of ethnicity, international students, north/south, class, politics, lgbt+)? Both unis seem very posh, and very white, but are they noticably different? I know that statistically Exeter is practically the least diverse uni in the country, but when I was in Durham, without wanting to sound too *****y, I wasn't loving the vibe I was getting from most of the students I saw. It felt very much like the majority of people were a very specific type of private school kid who dress similarly, sound like they grew up in West London. etc. How accurate an impression was this? Is Exeter any better? Is there a dominant clique at either? Is one more arty than the other? How prominent are the international/poc/Latin American communities at either university? Also, I've heard some weird stuff about anti-choice stuff happening in Exeter, and lots about spiking in Durham. Is the culture at one more/less sexist than at the other?

3. How does St Aidan's college (Durham) compare to other colleges, especially in terms of the people? I've heard it's the gay college, is that true? I'm pretty happy with my allocation there, if a bit disappointed it's not Castle, lol

4. What are the music scenes like?

5. How wide a range of uni clubs are there and how common is it to participate in them?

6. Do people spend more time working at one than the other?

7. Just on the off-chance a rower is reading this, is Durham rowing really much better than Exeter?

8. Any reason one of them would make a better insurance choice? Should I forget them both and choose Edinburgh instead? Ok, I'll stop now, lol

Thanks so much if you've made it this far
This is almost impossible to answer. Both universities will have high proportion of public school pupils. The last figures I read showed that Durham had more of them than Exeter but to be honest the difference wasnt that great.

I have just googled the ethnicity data for Exeter and it shows that for 2012/13 nearly 20% of the students there BAME and this had risen from 11.7% in 2008/9. Durham's figures which are more recent suggest roughly a third are BAME although there are very few actual Black students.

The figure for Exeter shows a massive difference depending on the course being studied. 44.3% of all students in the business school were BAME compared to 6.6% in humanities. I suspect this will be similar in most universitites as overseas students tend to study, Business Engineering or Medicine.

The truth is wherever you go there will be a large proportion of Asian students and far fewer black students. Universities in larger cities like London and Birmingham are likely to have far higher rates as many overseas students settle in bigger cities. Both Durham and Exeter cities are predominently white.

As far as the music scene is concerned I suspect Exeter will have more as it is a bigger city. It does have its own theatre on campus so I suspect there will be more of a music/drama scene. Edinburgh does have a very well kknown music/ film scene

I know a few years ago that Durham had the highest proportion of any university for participation in sport. This is because the colleges compete against each other.

If you are looking for a racially diverse area you would be better looking for a larger city. I dont know how diverse Edinburgh will be but the likes of London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester will be far more diverse than Durham or Exeter.

Finally I dont know about rowing but do suspect it is likely to have mainly white students. In the real world we all have to live together irrespective of race andthe number of BAME students shouldnt influence where you study.

Table 1 shows the percentage of Black Minority Ethnic (BME) students for each academic
year from 2008/09 to 2012/13.
Table 2 provides a summary of the ethnicity profile of students by College for 2012/13.
Table 1 – All Student Ethnicity Profile
Year % BME Students
2012/13 19.9
2011/12 19.0
2010/11 17.4
2009/10 16.8
2008/09 11.7
Table 2 – Student Ethnicity Profile by College
Student Ethnicity Profile by College 2012/13
Campus College BME Non-BME Grand
Total
Exeter The Business School 44.3% 55.7% 100.0%
Engineering, Mathematics & Physical Sciences 14.7% 85.3% 100.0%
Humanities 6.6% 93.4% 100.0%
Life & Environmental Sciences 6.8% 93.2% 100.0%
Social Sciences & International Studies 20.5% 79.5% 100.0%
INTO 88.5% 11.5% 100.0%
University of Exeter Medical School 16.8% 83.2% 100.0%
Joint Students (Ex-PCMD) 30.0% 70.0% 100.0%
Flexible Combined Honours 9.9% 90.1% 100.0%
Exeter Total
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lamanai_blue
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#4
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by PQ)
From your post it doesn’t sound like you really like either of them.

You don’t have to have an insurance choice.
Oop, that's probably true. Thanks for pointing it out. Unfortunately the offer from my would-be firm is very high and I'm unlikely to make it. Maybe this is more about me being burnt out and not feeling very enthusiastic about starting uni in September than it is about either of the unis.
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lamanai_blue
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#5
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by swanseajack1)
This is almost impossible to answer. Both universities will have high proportion of public school pupils. The last figures I read showed that Durham had more of them than Exeter but to be honest the difference wasnt that great.

I have just googled the ethnicity data for Exeter and it shows that for 2012/13 nearly 20% of the students there BAME and this had risen from 11.7% in 2008/9. Durham's figures which are more recent suggest roughly a third are BAME although there are very few actual Black students.

The figure for Exeter shows a massive difference depending on the course being studied. 44.3% of all students in the business school were BAME compared to 6.6% in humanities. I suspect this will be similar in most universitites as overseas students tend to study, Business Engineering or Medicine.

The truth is wherever you go there will be a large proportion of Asian students and far fewer black students. Universities in larger cities like London and Birmingham are likely to have far higher rates as many overseas students settle in bigger cities. Both Durham and Exeter cities are predominently white.

As far as the music scene is concerned I suspect Exeter will have more as it is a bigger city. It does have its own theatre on campus so I suspect there will be more of a music/drama scene. Edinburgh does have a very well kknown music/ film scene

I know a few years ago that Durham had the highest proportion of any university for participation in sport. This is because the colleges compete against each other.

If you are looking for a racially diverse area you would be better looking for a larger city. I dont know how diverse Edinburgh will be but the likes of London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester will be far more diverse than Durham or Exeter.

Finally I dont know about rowing but do suspect it is likely to have mainly white students. In the real world we all have to live together irrespective of race andthe number of BAME students shouldnt influence where you study.

Table 1 shows the percentage of Black Minority Ethnic (BME) students for each academic
year from 2008/09 to 2012/13.
Table 2 provides a summary of the ethnicity profile of students by College for 2012/13.
Table 1 – All Student Ethnicity Profile
Year % BME Students
2012/13 19.9
2011/12 19.0
2010/11 17.4
2009/10 16.8
2008/09 11.7
Table 2 – Student Ethnicity Profile by College
Student Ethnicity Profile by College 2012/13
Campus College BME Non-BME Grand
Total
Exeter The Business School 44.3% 55.7% 100.0%
Engineering, Mathematics & Physical Sciences 14.7% 85.3% 100.0%
Humanities 6.6% 93.4% 100.0%
Life & Environmental Sciences 6.8% 93.2% 100.0%
Social Sciences & International Studies 20.5% 79.5% 100.0%
INTO 88.5% 11.5% 100.0%
University of Exeter Medical School 16.8% 83.2% 100.0%
Joint Students (Ex-PCMD) 30.0% 70.0% 100.0%
Flexible Combined Honours 9.9% 90.1% 100.0%
Exeter Total
Thank you so much for your detailed response and for doing all that research. I hadn't realised there was such a big difference in the percentage of BAME students between different subject groupings at Exeter, so that's useful to know about.
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swanseajack1
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#6
Report 4 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by lamanai_blue)
Thank you so much for your detailed response and for doing all that research. I hadn't realised there was such a big difference in the percentage of BAME students between different subject groupings at Exeter, so that's useful to know about.
You will probably find the same thing in most places. Overseas students heavily favour Business, Medical and Engineering courses. You will find very few asians taking Classics or Humanities.
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ExeterStudentRep
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#7
Report 3 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by lamanai_blue)
Hi, I'm trying to pick between Exeter and Durham for my insurance choice. My offer grades are the same for both so that's not an issue. Can anyone help me please with the answers to any of these questions?

1. Any thoughts on which Classics course is better? I get the impression that Durham is more prestigious, and I've heard some offputting rumours about lectures on who the Greek gods are at Exeter (is it true some first year lectures are really basic?) but I really like the more modern aspects of the Exeter course.

2. Which uni feels more diverse (in terms of ethnicity, international students, north/south, class, politics, lgbt+)? Both unis seem very posh, and very white, but are they noticably different? I know that statistically Exeter is practically the least diverse uni in the country, but when I was in Durham, without wanting to sound too *****y, I wasn't loving the vibe I was getting from most of the students I saw. It felt very much like the majority of people were a very specific type of private school kid who dress similarly, sound like they grew up in West London. etc. How accurate an impression was this? Is Exeter any better? Is there a dominant clique at either? Is one more arty than the other? How prominent are the international/poc/Latin American communities at either university? Also, I've heard some weird stuff about anti-choice stuff happening in Exeter, and lots about spiking in Durham. Is the culture at one more/less sexist than at the other?

3. How does St Aidan's college (Durham) compare to other colleges, especially in terms of the people? I've heard it's the gay college, is that true? I'm pretty happy with my allocation there, if a bit disappointed it's not Castle, lol

4. What are the music scenes like?

5. How wide a range of uni clubs are there and how common is it to participate in them?

6. Do people spend more time working at one than the other?

7. Just on the off-chance a rower is reading this, is Durham rowing really much better than Exeter?

8. Any reason one of them would make a better insurance choice? Should I forget them both and choose Edinburgh instead? Ok, I'll stop now, lol

Thanks so much if you've made it this far
Hi lamanai_blue,

I’m glad to hear you’re considering the University of Exeter as your insurance choice! I’m Kitty, a Student Ambassador for the university, and I hope I can help to answer some of your questions!

First, I would consider taking another look at the modules on offer here: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/undergradua...sics/classics/ Of course, optional modules are subject to change each year, but by and large, this should give you a fairly accurate description of what the course would look like should you join us next year. While I can’t comment on the Classics course in greater detail, as I’m a History student, I can say that lecturers and tutors are always on hand to recommend further areas of study and research.

Second, there is no hiding that the South West is less diverse than other pats of the UK. Nevertheless, as a university we continue to make progress in building a more ethnically diverse UK undergraduate student body, increasing the proportion of home Black, Asian and other minority ethnicities (BAME) students steadily from 5.8% in 2011/12 to 11.1% in 17/18. It is also worth noting that 19% of our student population is international, coming from over 160 different countries. As an institution we want to attract the brightest minds, regardless of their background and personal circumstances. We also have a range of societies in our student union representing a range of different interests highlighting that there is diversity within our student body. Personally, fortunately, I have not encountered any incidences of racism and sexism, and feel a part of a very safe and supportive student community.

With regards to clubs and societies, there are over 300 sports clubs and guild societies to choose from so there really is something for everyone! Being a part of different societies is very common amongst students here at the university, and is something I would really encourage you to get involved with - its a great way to meet like-minded people and develop new interests!

As a final word, I have really enjoyed my time here at Exeter and cannot recommend it enough. The teaching is of a very high standard, the campus is beautiful and very green, an ideal place to enjoy the outdoors in the spring and summer. Above all, there is a real sense of community with other students which makes living and studying at the University of Exeter a really enjoyable experience.

I’m sorry I can’t offer more specific answers for a few of your questions, but I hope this has helped in some way. Please do get in touch if you have any further questions!

Kitty, University of Exeter Student Ambassador.
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artful_lounger
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#8
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#8
Academically for the subject I might suspect Durham is stronger, at least on the language/philological side (Exeter might have more options in the archaeological regime or literature in translation). Demographically Exeter is very much white and upper middle class (or certainly was when I was there), and so if this is the "vibe" you got from Durham then Exeter will be much the same I expect.

Society and club availability I expect will be similar at each - and remember you can always set up your own if you want to do something but it isn't represented yet! On the subject of rowing, I don't recall there even being a rowing/crew team at Exeter. I definitely know it's a reasonably big thing in Durham as a friend of my sister's went there and was on one of the rowing teams (apparently it's pretty brutal too - rowing at 6am in a snowstorm was fully expected it seems!).

Also, having lectures on the Greek gods at the start of a classics course isn't really that unusual per se, particularly as a lot of what might seem to be "common knowledge" about them may represent either modern (mis)understandings or interpolations from e.g. medieval scholars (or just Ovid, lol) etc. Learning about them from the original texts (Hesiod mainly I expect), is the point of the field (in fact for all aspects, not just the gods or mythology).

By way of anecdote, UCL has an entire (optional) module on Greek myth, which is not just telling you who which gods or what each myth is, but critically reading the original texts (in translation, in any case), along with relevant secondary scholarship (of which there is a lot, from various approaches e.g. structuralist anthropological approaches, psychoanalytic approaches, etc) and discussing in an academic context. Also providing critical comparative perspectives on it - such as comparing Greek cosmogony with Ancient Near Eastern (mainly Sumerian as I recall) cosmogony (and thus seeing that the entire story of Zeus and Kronus etc is a direct parallel of much earlier ANE texts).
Last edited by artful_lounger; 3 weeks ago
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lamanai_blue
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#9
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by artful_lounger)
Academically for the subject I might suspect Durham is stronger, at least on the language/philological side (Exeter might have more options in the archaeological regime or literature in translation). Demographically Exeter is very much white and upper middle class (or certainly was when I was there), and so if this is the "vibe" you got from Durham then Exeter will be much the same I expect.

Society and club availability I expect will be similar at each - and remember you can always set up your own if you want to do something but it isn't represented yet! On the subject of rowing, I don't recall there even being a rowing/crew team at Exeter. I definitely know it's a reasonably big thing in Durham as a friend of my sister's went there and was on one of the rowing teams (apparently it's pretty brutal too - rowing at 6am in a snowstorm was fully expected it seems!).

Also, having lectures on the Greek gods at the start of a classics course isn't really that unusual per se, particularly as a lot of what might seem to be "common knowledge" about them may represent either modern (mis)understandings or interpolations from e.g. medieval scholars (or just Ovid, lol) etc. Learning about them from the original texts (Hesiod mainly I expect), is the point of the field (in fact for all aspects, not just the gods or mythology).

By way of anecdote, UCL has an entire (optional) module on Greek myth, which is not just telling you who which gods or what each myth is, but critically reading the original texts (in translation, in any case), along with relevant secondary scholarship (of which there is a lot, from various approaches e.g. structuralist anthropological approaches, psychoanalytic approaches, etc) and discussing in an academic context. Also providing critical comparative perspectives on it - such as comparing Greek cosmogony with Ancient Near Eastern (mainly Sumerian as I recall) cosmogony (and thus seeing that the entire story of Zeus and Kronus etc is a direct parallel of much earlier ANE texts).
That's reassuring about the Exeter lectures, thank you. Rowing is a brutal sport, so I'm not too worried about 6am snowstorms! And wow, the UCL module you described sounds incredibly interesting. I've started to regret not applying to UCL, but anyway...
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artful_lounger
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#10
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#10
(Original post by lamanai_blue)
That's reassuring about the Exeter lectures, thank you. Rowing is a brutal sport, so I'm not too worried about 6am snowstorms! And wow, the UCL module you described sounds incredibly interesting. I've started to regret not applying to UCL, but anyway...
My point is, I imagine any coverage of Greek myth and gods etc in other classics courses will be similar in approach

(also it was very interesting and the lecturer was great too )
Last edited by artful_lounger; 3 weeks ago
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McGinger
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#11
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#11
(Original post by swanseajack1)

I know a few years ago that Durham had the highest proportion of any university for participation in sport. This is because the colleges compete against each other.
Along with many of your other claims, this is misleading.

'Partciation on sport' - what does that mean - students who go to the gym once a term, or a Uni that has large numbers who are involed in BUCS sports, or are part of Team GB? The term 'inter-college sport' is about as meaningless as inter-house sport at school. It tells you nothing meaningful at all.
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swanseajack1
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#12
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#12
(Original post by McGinger)
Along with many of your other claims, this is misleading.

'Partciation on sport' - what does that mean - students who go to the gym once a term, or a Uni that has large numbers who are involed in BUCS sports, or are part of Team GB? The term 'inter-college sport' is about as meaningless as inter-house sport at school. It tells you nothing meaningful at all.
In Durham unlike most other universities students are placed into one of a number of colleges. These colleges pay sport against each other and often there might be several teams per college in say football. I know it used to be the case that more students were involved in this inter college or intra mural sport than elsewhere.
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Lemur14
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#13
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#13
(Original post by swanseajack1)
As far as the music scene is concerned I suspect Exeter will have more as it is a bigger city. It does have its own theatre on campus so I suspect there will be more of a music/drama scene. Edinburgh does have a very well kknown music/ film scene
Durham has our own theatre which is used solely for students (in term time) too In fact multiple, because a couple of colleges have them too and are happy to hire out to groups outside of their college. The student music scene in Durham is massive (because again colleges all have multiple groups as well as the uni groups) but the music scene outside of that isn't particularly big, most people go to Newcastle/Sunderland for big music events.
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Trinculo
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#14
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#14
If I’m honest, it’s a bit weird to be concerned about ethnic diversity when you’re on the whitest degree subject ever. It’s almost like divorcing responsibility to everyone else.
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lamanai_blue
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#15
Report Thread starter 2 weeks ago
#15
(Original post by Trinculo)
If I’m honest, it’s a bit weird to be concerned about ethnic diversity when you’re on the whitest degree subject ever. It’s almost like divorcing responsibility to everyone else.
I get what you're saying, and in a way you're right; I'm fixating on ethnic diversity of the wider university communities because I know that if I just stick to the people on my course they will be very white whichever university I go to. But I picked my course because it's what I'm interested in, not because of who else would be doing it. Ironically enough, one of the reasons I'm interested in Classics is because I think there's a very important change happening right now in the ways race and gender are considered within the subject. I hope at least some of my fellow Classics students will think the same.
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Trinculo
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#16
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#16
(Original post by lamanai_blue)
I get what you're saying, and in a way you're right; I'm fixating on ethnic diversity of the wider university communities because I know that if I just stick to the people on my course they will be very white whichever university I go to. But I picked my course because it's what I'm interested in, not because of who else would be doing it. Ironically enough, one of the reasons I'm interested in Classics is because I think there's a very important change happening right now in the ways race and gender are considered within the subject. I hope at least some of my fellow Classics students will think the same.
To be honest - trying to apply hollow 21st century critiques to Antiquity sounds appalling.

If you want to read Classics, I can only applaud that as it’s one of the cornerstones of western civilisation- but the idea that it can somehow be reconciled with somehow purchasing race credits from other courses seems an absurdity to me. We don’t go around asking why there are so many BAME people in accountancy and medicine and try to balance that in geography or physics.
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