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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links