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Professor Robert Coe, from Durham University:  “This seems to underline the view that improvements in GCSEs and some other examinations have had more to do with grade inflation than real sustained improvements over time.”

First UK private medical school to open. The cost? £35,000

The first private medical school in the UK will open its doors to students in January 2015. The Buckingham Milton Keynes Medical School will charge £35,000 per year for a ‘fast-track’ course lasting four-and-a-half years, as opposed to the typical five or six.

‘Old habits’ return to early academies as A-level results slump

Research shows tail-off in performance at the first state schools granted new status

Clearing tips: Be flexible, be prepared and don't panic!

If the final grades are too low but the university hasn’t sent their decision, the student needs to get in touch with them – they might be willing to accept lower grades. If not, then it’s imperative to research other options methodically. As parents, you have a role to play here.

Student finance advice: Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries are discretionary awards which are given by universities themselves and targeted at specific types of student. When a student is making decisions about which universities to apply to at Clearing, it is worth checking whether they are eligible for financial support. Information about what support is available can be found on the university website.

The Universities minister, David Willetts, said the move would focus attention on teaching quality

Profit-making university is just the start, minister says

Lecturers' leaders claim the record of profit making institutions in the United States show they cost students and taxpayers dearly

New research casts doubt on the wisdom of parental generosity

Is this where your tuition fees are going? Vice-Chancellor’s salaries continue to rise

The pay packages of many university vice-chancellors have massively increased recently. Duncan Hopwood investigates

Osmayev after his arrest, his injuries covered with iodine

Trial of public schoolboy behind plot to kill Vladimir Putin is fixed, warns his wife

Russian security services feared to be  behind charges

Open University has the happiest students in Britain

The Open University has the highest student satisfaction rating of all universities in Britain according to new rankings.

Regent’s College London will be able to grant its own degrees from September and aims to have university status by 2013

Private universities: An independent advantage

The increase in tuition fees has made private universities a more popular option

Charles Dickens experts may have uncovered fresh works after completing project to digitise journals

Dickens experts believe they may have uncovered fresh additions to the writer's canon after completing a project to digitise the 19th century weekly journals that the celebrated author once edited.

Bribon remains at top of Audi MedCup leaderboard

Nip and tuck all the way, the fan master in the sky pressed the on button, produced a steadily strengthening breeze, and set up some furiously close racing, three of them, on the third day of the Murcia trophy. He also brought a ration of woe.

Work, rest or play after A-levels? There's a world of opportunity awaiting you

There are more options than ever for post A-level students. Jessica Moore says it's time to plan thoughtfully

Private universities: Why it pays to take the path less travelled

A budding sector that boosts prospects for those who know what they want. By Stephen Hoare

Students name best (and worst) universities

A year is a long time in the world of higher education. A university that has been the most expensive in the country will become one of the best in terms of value for money next year.

Letter from the editor: Great Expectations

The BBC is expected to begin filming the opening scenes of its adaptation of Great Expectations today, on the marshlands of Tollesbury, near Maldon (where the salt comes from).

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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
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore