Arts and Entertainment

The Venetian contralto Sara Mingardo is one of a kind, and the nearest approximation to her clarion sound is to be found in the recordings of countertenor James Bowman in his prime; down in the baritone register her voice has masculine firmness, and when she opens up at the top her timbre is thrilling.

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.

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Observations: Popera act Amore are graduating to the big time

Charlotte Church and Katherine Jenkins have done wonders in changing classical music's reputation as stuffy. But will British operatic group Amore succeed in putting the fun back in opera and be the next big opera band?

He played with 'pure heart and soul': André in 2008

Maurice André: Trumpeter loved by both critics and public

He said modern classical music reminded him of the sounds he used to hear going down the mines

All universities exceed £6,000 in tuition fees

Every English university is to charge students more than £6,000 a year.

Best candidates missed university

Many of the best A-level candidates were beaten to university places this year by those who did worse in their exams, it emerged last night.

The A-Z of Universities and Colleges

Updated for 2011 - our list of institutions across Britain, with all the statistics, info and advice you need to make the right choice

Andrew Buncombe: Was a gay Indian academic driven to take his own life?

Amid the flurry of sad stories that filled the papers today - for instance, the awful, heart-breaking accounts of the Indian troops under deadly fire from Maoist rebels phoning their families to say good-bye - the tale of Shrinivas Ramachandra Siras caught my eye.

Thousands may lose jobs in university funding cuts

Many of the UK's leading universities have stiffened entry requirements in the wake of a flood of applications and funding cuts that could result in the axing of thousands of teaching jobs.

'Reckless' agency threatens college rebuilding scheme

The future of a government scheme to rebuild England's colleges has been left hanging in the balance by the "reckless" behaviour of the agency in charge, according to MPs.

Jerome Taylor: Should universities be doing more to stop hate preachers?

Universities are wonderful places that should always promote the principles of free speech and vibrant intellectual debate - even if the subject matter is highly controversial.

Leading Article: Degrees of difference

You may not have known it, but the Government has been having a debate on the future of higher education for the past year. Last week's plea by the Universities Secretary, John Denham, for universities to offer more vocational degrees was part of his contribution to summing up what has been going on.

University chiefs urge degree grading shake-up

University vice-chancellors acknowledged today that the degree classification system is out of date.

Leading Article: Another funding furore

The news that MPs on the innovation, universities and skills select committee are going to take a long, hard look at higher education is welcome — particularly in the light of the cock-up over grants. Undergraduate support is being cut after poor estimates were made of how many students were eligible for funds. The review will feed into the Government's review of top-up fees, providing some much-needed evidence on the extent to which the fees are hindering access.

Boys beat girls in admissions tests

Boys have finally got the better of girls – by outperforming them in university admissions tests, according to a study published today.

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A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
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Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
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Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
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Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
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Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn