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Student Grant

Student Grant is a cartoon strip in the British comic Viz. It first appeared in 1992 and featured regularly for the rest of the 1990s. The strip, created by Simon Thorp, features a University student named Grant Wankshaft, a student at the fictional Spunkbridge University. Grant does little or no work for his degree. One strip had him visiting his department (he had to be directed by a friend) to see his personal tutor, who pointed out that he had not handed in a single essay in three years. The terms seem ridiculously short (4 weeks in one case, the Christmas vacation lasting from mid-November to late March). When UK students received a maintenance grant and free tuition Student Grant appeared in most issues. Most students receive neither free tuition nor maintenance grants now, so the joke in the character’s name is out of date. In late 2010/early 2011, Grant reappeared again following the student riots against tuition fees, ending up in a “taxi” that turns out to be a limousine carrying Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Grant thinks of himself as a liberal intellectual, independent and worldly-wise, but frequently shows bigoted opinions, is not especially bright, relies on his parents for money and has little idea about the world outside of campus: he spends (his parents’) money freely but begrudges paying full price for anything because, as he constantly notes “students are really feeling the pinch”. He has a number of friends just like him, eager to express their individuality by wearing the same clothes, fashions, invariably ridiculous, like huge hats, bright yellow dungarees and T-shirts with slogans on them like Thunderbirds Are Go! and, in the late 1990s especially, Teletubbies Say ‘Eh Oh’!. They are opinionated and talk loudly and ignorantly about various subjects, tagging “…actually!” at the end of their sentences, “proving” their intelligence by listing the grades they got in their A-levels. Several of Grant’s collegiate friends have bizarre speech impediments, dental deformities or both.

Grant and his friends often argue about who is the most politically correct of them all: they had a passionate debate about whether it was racist or not to like Ali G (“Well I heard black people do like Ali G, so if you don’t like him, that makes you racist, actually!”). Grant likes to think of himself as in touch with the working classes but has a middle class background and latent contempt for the working classes and non-students in general, regarding them as ill-educated peasants.
This has resulted in a number of savage beatings.

AWWW!!! Gotta Love the Commie Cnuts!

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