Race for places is on as Clearing 2012 deadline nears

As the summer holidays draw to a close, new undergraduate recruits turn their minds to Freshers' Week. For them, the next fortnight will involve a flurry of shopping for student essentials (tin opener, Blu Tack) and a hectic calendar of leaving drinks as old friends go their separate ways.

Changed man: Bill Rammell, the new vice-chancellor of Bedfordshire University

Bill Rammell: 'It's got to be all about the student experience'

As a Labour Higher Education Minister, Bill Rammell presided over the introduction of top-up fees. Now he's a university vice-chancellor – and the hike in fees presents him with a challenge, he tells Richard Garner.

48,892 students waiting for university place decisions

Almost 50,000 students are still waiting for decisions on university places - almost a week after A-level results were published.

Graduate employment gulf revealed

More than a fifth of students at some of England's universities failed to find work after graduating last summer, official figures show.

Quiet life: Sir David Bell, now vice-chancellor of Reading University

On to higher things: 'Sir Humphrey' can now view Michael Gove's reforms from a safe distance

As a Permanent Secretary who served four Education Secretaries – and three Prime Ministers – Sir David Bell can now view Michael Gove's reforms from a safe distance as a university vice-chancellor. How does he think they're going?

Trending: Those who really make the grade

In the US, famous faces give graduating students stirring send offs. Simon Usborne on the secrets of the commencement speech

Student loans chief Ed Lester to stand down

Student Loans Company head Ed Lester will stand down when his contract expires next year in the wake of controversy over his tax arrangements.

Middle man: Michael Farthing (left), chair of the 1994 Group and vice-chancellor of Sussex University

Michael Farthing: 'The 1994 Group represents the sane middle'

Michael Farthing's 1994 Group may not shout as loudly as the Russell Group of universities, but, he tells Richard Garner, it represents the 'sane middle' in the heated debate about the future of higher education.

Chalk Talk: Too many famous lecturers – and not enough time for checking out gigs

It will be interesting to see how Professor AC Grayling's New College for the Humanities (NCH) beds down when it opens its doors to students for the first time this autumn – particularly over the "celebrity" lectures it puts on for them.

Universities still missing state school admission targets

Britain's leading universities are still failing to attract enough state school pupils and students from disadvantaged homes, according to figures published today.

Chalk Talk: The green chancellor who's planning to make his voice heard

Jonathan Porritt is determined to put his time as Chancellor of Keele University to good use. After all, he could be some time in the post – the university has only had three Chancellors since it was granted university status in 1962.

Meeting of minds: a scene from the film 'Educating Rita'

'Today, Rita could have signed up to Open University on Facebook'

The Open University's famous fictional student wouldn't recognise the video-conferencing, social networking, flexible insitution it's grown into.

Ministers have been anxious to crack down on immigration and issued fewer waivers for students

Universities set to lose £5.6bn as overseas applications plummet

Rise in tuition fees a key factor in growing financial threat as UK becomes a 'no-go zone'

City University students attempt to set a world record for the number of people who could splash down into the Trafalgar Square fountains during their Rag Week

Bad behaviour that's all in a good cause: Students are carrying on the RAG tradition

Each year, students raise millions of pounds for charities by doing what students do best – having a good time.

University places to be cut by 15,000

The Government announced last night that university student numbers would be slashed by 15,000 this autumn.

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