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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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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital