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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.”

An army of altruists: VSO boosted by record rise in recruits

Organisations offering voluntary work in developing countries are being inundated by applications from middle-aged professionals, says Emily Dugan

Buckinghamshire

Secondary School Tables 2009

Queen 'saddened' by Mumbai attacks

The Queen has been "shocked" by the Mumbai terrorist attacks which claimed 130 lives, Buckingham Place said today.

Minister wants to 'lower threshold for complaints' against universities

The Government wants to make it easier for "whistleblowers" to raise complaints about standards in universities.

Another record year for A-level students

Teenagers achieved record results in their A-levels again this year as the national pass rate soared above 97 per cent for the first time.

Leading article: We cannot afford this scientific brain drain

Education is important, but action is needed in other areas too

Cash incentive for science students

Business leaders called today for science graduates to be given a bursary of £1,000 to help boost the number of specialist workers as the UK gears up for a new "industrial revolution".

Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Arnold Wesker, playwright

'I looked up the teacher's skirt'

Teacher shortage threat to physics

The teaching of physics in England's schools is under threat because of a growing lack of specialist teachers, a report warned today.

Terence Kealey: The state should keep its hands off Oxbridge

Every five years, the Higher Education Funding Council for England conducts an assurance review of the universities it funds. Cambridge's one is coming up, and it is rumoured that it will fail. Why might Hefce condemn Cambridge?

Ryan Sharp: 'In the pit lane you're busy – the last place you're looking is in front'

An email conversation with the GT Championship racing driver

Book Extract: Stonehenge by Rosemary Hill

Hill's Stonehenge surveys the endless speculations around this mysterious monument

Diploma plan 'risks disaster'

The Government's new diploma programme threatens to be a disaster that will leave teenagers badly prepared for university or work, a report by the University of Buckingham claims.

Susan Bassnett: It's time for the bold universities to go private

Another of my friends is retiring this summer. She works in one of the many countries where university lecturers all retire at the age of 60, but she will certainly not be giving up teaching or research. She is moving to one of the many private universities that cream off talent from the state sector, either by offering higher salaries and better working conditions or by taking on top-flight academics when they hit the age barrier. Other friends who have done this all say they wish they had moved years ago.

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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

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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