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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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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