Leading Article: Degrees of earning

The news that the graduate premium – the extra amount that someone earns from studying for a degree – is holding up will give heart to those who think that students should pay for their higher education. One of the arguments that Tony Blair and others made for introducing tuition fees and later the top-up fee was that students benefit financially from having a degree-level qualification. Their argument was pooh-poohed by those who argued that this graduate premium was being eroded by the fact that so many people were now going into higher education.

Why a degree is still worth the loan

Study shows the student influx has not forced down the value of degrees

Nigsy? Trigger? N-word dilemma bounces on for Dam Busters II

Name of Wing Commander's dog is headache for remake's producers

The British Service Personnel who lost their lives in Iraq

A roll call of the 179 British personnel to have died on service during Operation Telic since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003

Investment Column: Ted Baker not tailored for punters in 2009

Melrose Resources; HR Owen

Page Turner: On the black, green, grey and purple hill

Every so often a book comes in that I simply have to pilfer. Such a one is Alastair Lee's Pendle (Frances Lincoln £14.99), a photographic essay on Lancashire's Uluru, Pendle Hill. You might think that no one but a homesick Lancastrian would be interested in such an obscure topic – and I admit that I grew up with a magnificent view of the hill through my bedroom window – but Lee's Cézanne-like obsession with capturing and recording a rocky feature in all lights, conditions and weathers, make his quest a fascinating one.

Back to the future for buoyant Leeds

Two former Leicester stalwarts are planning to ensure their new side make promotion stick for more than one season next time

The drive of our lives: 50 Years of Britain's motorways

They promised to speed us towards a modern age and rev up the post-war economy. So what happened? Fifty years after Britain's first motorways opened, Simon Usborne finds out how much we owe to our superhighways – and why the wheels had to come off

Album: Byard Lancaster, Funny Funky Rib Crib, (Kindred spirits)

R&B honking and Afrobeat rhythms meet spiritual Coltrane/ Sanders-style Seventies free jazz. Ex-Sun Ra saxophonist Lancaster swapped Philly for Paris in the Nixon era, where this shockingly contemporary-sounding album was recorded.

Home And Away: Jane assures me that table-manner dogmatism like mine is a dad thing

For my birthday last Saturday, Jane bought me A Butler's Guide to Table Manners, written by a fellow called Nicholas Clayton, a member of the Guild of Professional English Butlers. Her inscription was " ...because even an expert needs a handbook", the affectionate but slightly waspish joke being that I have always been something of a sergeant major where our children's table manners are concerned.

Urban gardener: Computer says 'grow'

We've got a stowaway in the garden. It came in a pot of Saruma henryi that Roy Lancaster gave me earlier this year after a visit to his garden. Squeezing up a couple of grass-like shoots and gladioli-like flowers just before we went on holiday, I wondered for a moment whether Roy had inadvertently given me something rare and precious. On sending a photo, he confirmed that the infiltrator was Gladiolus papilio, a variable species from the Transvaal. Despite competition from the saruma it still reached its mature height of one metre but will need planting out in open ground if it is to make a nice clump. The flowers (late summer to early autumn) are like small funnels with subtle shades of purple and yellow that marble to darker maroon, and gold on the lower petals giving the impression of a butterfly, hence the name. It needs cool, moist humus-rich soil in sun to thrive (it will colonise by underground runners) and a good mulch should see it safely through a UK winter.

Knead to know: A masterclass in the art of baking

Baking is a dying art. But making your own bread and cakes is sociable, satisfying – and surprisingly simple

Guy Adams: Music to the ears of local politicians

Regardless of the deepening recession, corporate America is working its socks off to get the nation's suddenly impoverished consumers to part with their hard-earned dollars.

Osbert Lancaster: The original style guru

Osbert Lancaster’s brilliant books and inspired cartoons educated the nation in architecture and design. Next month, his genius is being celebrated in a new exhibition at The Wallace Collection. Not before time, says Peter York

Gareth Malone: 'Music raises people up; they find the best of themselves by performing'

Arriving at Lancaster School in late April 2007, I met a frazzled-looking Helen Collins. As the head of music she was desperate to get the school singing but felt powerless against a tide of disinterest. So, she called me! It was a brave thing to do: asking for help and saying that you would benefit from professional advice takes confidence.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

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Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
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Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific