Student

For us, the generation which in 2012 took that crucial, final step ahead towards higher education, the changes and challenges of the system came in waves. The first one, and perhaps the one with the biggest impact, was the rise in tuition fees.

Leading article: Great university expectations

On the face of things, it looks bad that a number of students leaving British universities this year are marginally less happy with their experiences on campus than last year's leavers. But it may be a good thing, because the substantial minority who were not satisfied constitutes a potent force for change.

Balls sacks governors over £1.6m bonus payments

The entire governing body of a comprehensive school was sacked yesterday by Children's Secretary Ed Balls following a row over bonus payments to its head and senior staff.

Waiter, this wine tastes like cat pee

New Zealand's crisp white wines are justly famed, particularly those from the South Island's Marlborough region. Now a study has analysed the taste of the country's most popular wine, sauvignon blanc – and those who quaff it might wish they hadn't.

Postgrad Lives: 'At the end, you get two Masters degrees, in just two years'

Sophia Buckley, 22, is halfway through the two-year Global Leadership Program offered by Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia. By the end of the course – which includes time studying at Northeastern University in Boston – students have gained two separate Masters degrees: an MA in business and an MSc in leadership.

Last Night's Television: Right to Die? Sky Real Lives

A dignified departure

Diary of a Fresher: 'I've an eclectic bunch of friends – and all my lecturers are dotty'

After a tumultuous start, life here is beginning to settle down. The frantic jockeying for position in the first few weeks is over, and it's no longer acceptable to introduce yourself to random people or shamelessly ask for names. Socially, the beginning of the year was a slow burn for me – I ended up meeting one potentially good friend a day, until I was able to enter the dining hall on my own and always find someone I wanted to sit with. By then the time for meeting new people had suddenly and mysteriously drawn to a close. Everyone is now pretty much stuck with whatever friends they've made, and I'm left with several moderately good mates and countless acquaintances whose names I can't quite remember. Such is life. The first weeks of university would be a fascinating social experiment if I weren't in the middle of it.

The seven ages of love: 30s

It's a Saturday afternoon and I've been cleaning the kitchen listening to Bonnie Tyler's "Holding out for a Hero". "Where have all the good men gone, and where are all the gods? Where's the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?" My lodger comes in and purses his lips, Mrs Danvers style. He's getting a little fed up of playing the gay best friend. I turn off the music with suitable shame. "You don't need a hero, Joy. You need a nice boy who wears Converse boots and listens to music," says my lodger. "Is it really that difficult?"

Diary Of A Supply Teacher: 'I have to smooth his way in disputes'

I have a day as a Teaching Assistant, supporting an autistic lad whose regular TA is ill. He is due to move house in two weeks, so is already stressed, but he has seen me around before, and seems disposed to accept me with good grace.

Lecturers revolt over 'rate your tutor' website

As feedback goes it's a bit on the harsh side. "She is very kind and can be helpful but, boy, is she insane. The insanity leads to volatility sometimes which leads to her being not very kind."

Mary Bousted: The truth behind those A-level grades

Like other education ministers before him, Ed Balls has been badly briefed about tests. Every teacher knows that it's necessary to test pupils. The problems start when they have the wrong kinds of tests, and the results are used for too many purposes – at least 18 in England according to one senior figure. When tests are used for high-stakes targets, things start to go badly wrong.

Dog Years: A memoir, By Mark Doty

A dog-loving poet's memoir tackles the sadness of losing a pet and a partner

Some Came Running (PG)

I think I need to get to know the novels of James Jones better: he provided the source material not only for From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line, but this marvellously baroque, overblown drama. Frank Sinatra is a dried-up writer returning to the Midwest town where he spent a miserable boyhood, pursued by a fluff-brained floozy (Shirley MacLaine).

Professor Denis Cosgrove: Cultural and historical geographer

Denis Cosgrove was widely viewed as the pre-eminent cultural and historical geographer of his generation. He was a polymath reminiscent of the Renaissance humanists he admired, and his innovative and sparkling studies immeasurably deepened understanding of how changing Western perceptions have viewed, interpreted and transformed the world around them. His gifted teaching and dedicated supervision, no less than his dozen books and scores of essays, inspired colleagues and students throughout the humanities and the natural and social sciences, well beyond his chosen discipline. Indeed, interdisciplinarity was for him an article of faith.

Teachers demand blacklist of pupils making false allegations

A blacklist of pupils who have made malicious allegations of sexual abuse or assault against teachers should be compiled and made available to any school to which the pupil subsequently moves, union leaders have demanded.

You write the reviews: The Second Plane, by Martin Amis

I'm beginning to worry about Martin Amis. Make no mistake, this new book of 12 essays and two short stories shows that his writing powers are far from being on the wane, as some commentators suggest. The long story included here, "The Last Days of Muhammad Atta", lacks the focus and energy of the shorter story, "In the Palace of the End", but the essays are well researched and presented in Amis's typically provocative style. There are subjects, not just here but in other essays by Amis, that you would usually resist reading about, but not when Amis is the writer. You know that what you are going to get will be entertaining, witty, thoughtful and sometimes discomforting.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links