Student There is concern that a ‘perfect storm’ of graduate debt, lack of finance and job insecurity is brewing

This figure rises to 75% for City investment banks, according to a new survey

Only scientist in Commons 'alarmed' at MPs' ignorance

The only scientist in the House of Commons has called for all MPs to be required to take a crash course in basic scientific techniques.

Earth-watch centre approved

An earth-watch centre for monitoring climate change, pollution and natural disasters was been approved by the Science minister David Willetts. The £5m Earth Observation Hub at Harwell in Oxfordshire will serve as a base for controlling satellites as well as conducting research.

The lost generation: Out of work, out of luck - graduates finding it tough

Life could get very hard for this generation of young adults, find Susie Mesure and Andy McCorkell

The feral beast: Smut fails to arouse interest

A curious lack of interest from all national newspapers in the story of Barry Phelps, the Kensington and Chelsea councillor who resigned last week after he was found to have used his council email to send pictures of young boys with smutty captions.

Leading article: The danger of a wasted generation

While some sections of society – homeowners with mortgages, the employees of state-rescued banks – have endured this economic downturn with relatively little pain, the impact on others has been heavy indeed. Recent university graduates have found themselves firmly in the latter category. New research from the Higher Education Policy Institute shows that unemployment among graduates is up from 11.1 per cent in December 2008 to 14 per cent in December 2009 (passing the previous peak of 13.5 per cent seen in 1983).

Theresa May to press ahead with cap on migration

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is to press ahead with moves to impose an annual cap on migration amid disquiet among Cabinet colleagues over its impact on the economy.

Leading Article: Two Brains nails his colours to the mast

The higher education minister David Willetts, also known as Two Brains, is not only brainy but also very well informed, as he showed in his speech last week at Oxford Brookes University. It was, first and foremost, a joy to read. It sounded like a speech that had been written by the minister himself rather than a civil servant because it was not bland and boring but, rather, interesting and full of sharp references to last year's select committee report on higher education, the Dearing report and Ed Balls. He points out that the former schools secretary doesn't seem to understand that tuition fees in England are not paid upfront but are effectively a capped graduate tax.

Hamish McRae: We need new means to control deficits

We cannot go on like this. The new Government has to cut back spending and the only issue is how far and how fast it should go along that path. That is the broad message from the report of the new Office for Budget Responsibility, which has set out the background to next week's Budget.

Most universities 'cutting or freezing places'

Hundreds of thousands of students will be turned away from universities this autumn as institutions cut and freeze places, it was reported today.

Willetts plans 'degrees on the cheap' to cut costs

A radical plan for cut-price degrees was outlined by Universities Secretary David Willetts as a means of solving higher education's economic woes.

Leading article: Mr Willetts's university challenge

David Willetts's first big speech since taking office as Universities Secretary was, as one might have expected, thought-provoking. Mr Willetts is right to point out that the Government cannot rely on increasing fees alone to provide the necessary finance to ensure a world-class university system in the UK. His proposal for cut-price degrees, whereby students can study more cheaply at an institution near their home for an external degree awarded by a leading university, deserves consideration.

Weaker colleges should close in budget overhaul, says CBI chief

Weak universities may have to go to the wall and close to help more successful institutions survive, a business leader said yesterday.

Sixth of students regret going to university

One in six students would have reconsidered going to university if they had known how difficult it would be to secure a job once they graduated, a study has found.

Heads of Student Loans Company quit

The chief executive of the beleaguered Student Loans Company resigned yesterday after the Government made it clear it had no confidence in him.

Student loans company chairman sacked

The chairman of the beleaguered Student Loans Company was sacked by ministers, it emerged today.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there