Arts and Entertainment

Bob Dylan, I can take him or leave him. Sorry, but it's true. Oh I get that Bob is a big deal. You can bang on all you like about how he's a peerless songwriter and poet and maverick who changed popular culture for ever, and I will nod sagely in agreement.

Colleges told: raise standards if you want more cash

Universities will have to agree to regular Ofsted-style inspections in exchange for raising the cap on tuition fees

Leading article: Open season

The Open University is booming. And it doesn't require a degree in economics to grasp why. The price of an OU course is less than half that of a degree from a conventional university. It is also said that young people nowadays are so relaxed about absorbing information digitally that an institution like the OU - once regarded as hopelessly old fashioned - is a perfect fit.

From insomniacs to iTunes: rise of the Open University

A cheap, internet-friendly way to get a degree is attracting a record number of applicants.

Six-year-old girl discovers Asian moth in UK

A shrub-eating moth has been discovered in the UK for the first time - thanks to the keen eye of a six-year-old girl.

Worldwide web of cyberstudents: Online study has become truly international

For most freshers starting university this month, the attraction of becoming an undergraduate is as much about the social life as it is about stepping up a level in academic study. But for many students the campus experience is out of reach, either because of cost, or because career or family commitments make leaving home impossible. For this group of people, distance learning provides an ideal answer, where the power of the internet is harnessed to open up course materials and provide a platform for conversations between students and teachers.

Gender dilemma: Was Semenya really first among equals?

Caster Semenya's 800m gold medal at the World Championships has been tarnished by claims she is a man. Steve Connor, Science Editor, explains the elaborate process that will establish her true gender

Richard Garner: From today, it's a brave new world for students

In one of the bitter ironies of life, it looks today as if the Government could have almost clinched its target of getting 50 per cent of young people into higher education – if only it had provided enough university places.

Record scramble for university courses

Soaring A-level results and student applications tighten screw – even for bright pupils

The Weekend's Television: Single-Handed, ITV1, Sun<br/>Happy Birthday OU &ndash; Forty Years of the Open University, BBC4, Sat<br/>Classic Goldie, BBC2 Fri

I do hope the Connemara tourist board didn't get their hopes up too high with regard to Single-Handed, ITV1's new Sunday-night rural-copper drama. Judging on previous form in this genre, they could be forgiven for having got a little excited at the prospect of a prime-time showcase for the glories of their particular patch of Ireland. After all, what would you have predicted for a Sunday-evening drama about a Dublin policemen returning to his childhood home? A bit of bucolic mischief from some lovable old rascal with a potcheen still, perhaps. Storylines about sheep rustling, and an extended will-they-won't-they plotline in which the hero romances the local barmaid. Sentiment and craic by the bucketful, interspersed with postcard shots of the hills and bays. You can almost imagine them sitting down for a joint viewing, notepad on their knees as they prepare to work out how to lever the tourists into paying a personal visit to Single-Handed country.

Alan Johnson: Labour must embrace voting reform

First-past-the-post is a miserably disempowering electoral system

Teachers go back to school in bid to raise classroom standards

Master's degree will be offered free to all teachers under &pound;30m scheme

Steve Richards: Here's how to embolden our MPs

For a stronger House, we need a separation of the executive and the legislature

VC hopes student adviser will help him get back in touch with his undergraduates

Most students know nothing about the people who run their university. They probably don't know who the vice-chancellor is and they may never have met the board of governors, or know what it does. At the University of Hertfordshire, however, the top dogs are trying to break down the "them and us" divide and to find out more about student life – through student mentors.

Close-up: Holliday Grainger

She's battled vampires; now the young actor is fighting off her uncle...
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor