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.

Your guide to spare Ucas places

THE Independent and the Independent on Sunday again have exclusive rights to publish the official Universities and Colleges Admissions Service listings for students, giving details of vacant places on higher education courses.

Graduates shun industry

University graduates are shunning industry, according to figures published today by the Universities Statistical Record. The proportion entering industry has fallen sharply in the last 10 years. In 1982-83, one-third of graduates entered industry, but in 1992-93 this had fallen to 21 per cent.

CBI in call to combat shortage of graduates

BRITISH industry is to press the Government for a major expansion into higher education to combat an expected shortage of graduates over the next decade, writes Ben Bradley.

Colleges to face wait for upgrading: Correction

Following a report in yesterday's Independent about colleges aspiring to become universities, the Bolton Institute of Higher Education has asked us to make it clear that no decision has been reached on its application for research degree status.

Letter: Research on violent videos inconclusive

Sir: Many claims are being made about links between the viewing of video nasties and criminality. In your article 'Censor criticises plan to ban violent videos' (11 April), you cite research done by the Policy Studies Institute into the viewing tastes of a sample of 78 young offenders and controls finding remarkably similar viewing preferences. I would however advise caution before drawing any conclusion about the issue up for debate for at least two reasons:

Letter: College excellence assessed first-hand

Sir: The article ('Flaws found in assessment of universities', 18 March) on the review of the Higher Education Funding Council for England's assessment of the quality of education misrepresents the present arrangements. It is untrue to say that a university can be assessed as excellent, if it can substantiate the claim on paper. Such a judgement can only be made after a three-day visit.

University rescued from 'undue criticism of itself'

LIVERPOOL John Moores University supplied documentation which showed 'unexpectedly high levels of student dissatisfaction with their overall experience'.

Race inquiry delay

A Commission for Racial Equality inquiry into allegations of racial discrimination at the Bar's law school has been suspended until next year.

Letter: Feminine touch

Sir: In October 1992 we attended our daughter's graduation ceremony in Oxford. Many young women received degrees that afternoon. Of the university officials conducting the ceremony and presenting the graduates, only one was female, and she accompanied the group from Somerville, the only college to remain exclusively for women. The event spoke louder than words.

Dundee University

The Modern History Department of Dundee University is undertaking a study of the Bengal jute industry and its connections with Dundee. Anyone who worked in the Bengal mills and offices, or has materials relating to the industry - diaries, letters, photographs or memorabilia - is invited to contact Christopher Whatley or David Swinfen, Department of Modern History, Dundee University, Dundee DD1 4HN, telephone 0382 23181, ext 4512.

Obituary: Professor Charles Geddes Coull Chesters

Professor Charles Geddes Coull Chesters, botanist, died 13 February. Professor of Botany Nottingham University 1944-69.

Letter: University politics

Sir: Political bias ('Universities fear political bias by funding councils', 1 February) has been a real threat for some time. The Observer reported as far back as mid-1988 how Sir John Harvey-Jones, the former chairman of ICI, was told he was 'politically unsuitable' for the chairmanship of the University Funding Council.

Letter: University priorities

Sir: Regarding your article 'Universities 'need shift of emphasis' ' (26 January), if academics do not actively carry out research, then what will they have to teach? It's about time that university heads stood up both for the vital link between research and teaching, and for the more general values which are understood anywhere but Britain, to be embodied in a university education, instead of collaborating with those who would seek their destruction.

Education: What are they looking for?

THOUSANDS of students will be interviewed for places in higher education in the next few months. According to admissions officers, some still arrive ill-prepared for the ordeal.
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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

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Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'