Chinese students excelled in maths and reading, with the Shanghai region winning in both categories

The Pisa global league table overlooks cultural factors that incentivize learning

It is cultural norms in communities that orient children towards education

Steve Waugh (C) has criticised David Warner (R) for his comments about Jonathtan Trott (L)

Ashes 2013-14: Former Australia captain Steve Waugh says David Warner 'crossed the line' with Jonathan Trott criticism

Waugh believes Warner was 'out of order' for making personal comments about Trott before his Ashes departure

New Zealand's Sonny Bill Williams will pose a huge threat to the Australians in tthes World Cup final at Old Trafford – but can he help them retain their crown?

Rugby League World Cup final: Australia eager for revenge against New Zealand

While the New Zealand coach, Stephen Kearney, is doing his best to give his world champions the tag of underdogs before Saturday’s World Cup final against Australia, Kangaroos forward Greg Bird is having none of it.

Rory McIlroy admitted his sympathy for Jonathan Trott and expressed his concern at the growing pressure that sport has on the mental state of participants

Rory McIlroy opens himself up to scrutiny after admitting dismay at growing pressures of sport after Jonathan Trott's Ashes exit

The Northern Irish golfer admits Trott's departure represents the growing ever-increasing toll that sport can have on the mental state of those who compete

Sarah Teelow: Leading Australian waterskier dies following endurance race crash near Sydney

The 20-year-old was taking part in a 75 mile race

The Sport Matrix: Thursday 21 November 2013

Gerrard welcomes negativity as Terry return played down

Ashes 2013-14: England warm up for first real Test with a seven wicket win over Australia XI

Australia XI v England, tour match, SCG, fourth day

England's Stuart Broad bowls during day one of the tour match against the CA Invitational XI

The Ashes: Stuart Broad quickly hits stride but rival pacemen come up short

England still do not seem to know their Test team after frustrating day in the field

England captain Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry salute the crowd as they leave the field at the end of day one of the tour match between Australia A and England

Travel Q&A

Flights to Sydney without a stopover

Michael Clarke has got the Ashes mind games underway by announcing the England team for the first Test

The Ashes 2013-14: Australia captain Michael Clarke begins the mind games by announcing England team for first Test

Clarke made the tongue-in-cheek comment after meeting opposite number Alastair Cook at a Remembrance Day ceremony and claimed he told him their starting XI for the first match

An iPad Air - Apple’s latest tablet - reportedly exploded in a Vodafone store in Australia prompting an evacuation

iPad Air 'explodes' in Australian phone store

The shop was filled with smoke prompting an evacuation and fire brigade call out

Less than a year ago Pieterson first complained of a sore knee, leading to him flying home and missing the remainder of the English season

The Ashes: Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior doubtful for First Test

Injury may prevent both players facing Australia in Brisbane in 11 days' time

England forward Sam Burgess has been named in the England squad for their match with Fiji after serving a one-game suspension

Rugby League World Cup: Three changes for England as Sam Burgess returns after suspension for Fiji clash

Steve McNamara could also give Michael McIlorum his first start of the tournament after naming him in place of James Roby

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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk