Newspaper headlines: Future of universities, 'underground schools' and fireworks ban call
"Raise standards or cut fees" is how the Times sums up proposals in the government's White Paper on the future of higher education in England.
Top-rated universities will be allowed to introduce larger fee increases, while students who suffer poor teaching will see reduced charges. And the introduction of a ranking for institutions aims to address criticism of varying standards.
In a leading article, the Times says a "legacy of centuries of academic of excellence... masks serious weaknesses in the quality of undergraduate teaching".
The biggest test for Universities Minister Jo Johnson's reforms, says the Financial Times, is whether they can change employers' perceptions about what constitutes a "good" university.
"Some vice-chancellors will fret that a greater focus on teaching could undermine their place in the world rankings, which are mainly tied to research output," the FT adds. "But there is much to be said for Mr Johnson's ambition."
"It offers nothing new to part-time or older students; and, while it continues to trumpet the benefits to the economy of expanding higher education, it goes on loading the cost on to the individual."
The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail's coverage of the White Paper focuses on the introduction of Sharia loans in a drive to encourage more Muslim students to apply to university.
- Whitby plans to build fake graveyard for Dracula fans - Mock burial ground could be set up to stop goths upsetting church officials and local residents in the town that inspired Bram Stoker's novel: Daily Mail
- Ah, the musty whiff of a truly novel perfume - Manufacturers begin to conjure up a range of scents evoking the smell of old books: Times
- Going to church doesn't just feed the soul, it makes you live longer too - Analysis of data charting the lives of more than 74,000 women over a 16-year period finds the most regular churchgoers were 33% less likely to die during that time: Daily Telegraph
In news about the EU referendum...
- The Daily Express and Sun carry research from campaign group Migration Watch UK challenging government claims last week that EU migration is making a positive fiscal contribution to the economy
- Prime Minister David Cameron has turned to the dating app Tinder and the LadBible website to persuade young people to register to vote on 23 June, says the Times
- The Daily Mail says a leaked letter shows David Cameron was trying to "hammer home the Remain case" while still claiming in public he was prepared to campaign to leave the EU if his renegotiations with Brussels failed. Downing Street says it does not comment on leaked documents
- UKIP leader Nigel Farage tells the Daily Mirror he will fight for a second referendum if the Remain camp wins by a narrow margin - exploiting claims the vote was unfair because of the £9m the government spent on a leaflet promoting its case
- The Times says the Archbishop of York John Sentamu has become the most senior serving clergyman to express his personal view on the vote by indicating he will be backing Remain. He is quoted as saying: "I haven't yet heard a cogent argument for why we should be out"
- German politicians' criticism of Boris Johnson for likening the aims of the EU to Hitler is highlighted in the Guardian
- The Financial Times investigates why five of Cornwall's six MPs are backing Brexit despite the county's high level of funding from Brussels
What the commentators say...
Another education story attracting headlines is an Ofsted report which discovered thousands of children are being taught in unregistered schools across England.
Describing the findings as a "secret schools scandal", the i says chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw's concerns included "unsafe" premises and a "significant risk of harm and indoctrination".
The Daily Telegraph is concerned by the tone of the report, amid government warnings about the threat of Islamist extremism and new laws to tackle "hate preachers" from operating in schools.
"Sir Michael does not explain exactly which harmful ideas could be foisted on those children," it says.
"If even senior officials responsible for overseeing the education system and identifying its problems are unwilling to say openly that the evidence suggests that some British Muslims are rejecting British values, how can the country ever attempt to address that problem?"
The Daily Mail notes inspectors were "deeply alarmed" by the "sub-standard education" uncovered in 100 underground schools - half of which were faith-based, including a third Islamic, and a sixth either Christian or Jewish.
Khan v Johnson
The Daily Telegraph has been running a series of stories as part of a campaign for tighter security at borders. And its splash says a European Commission report is warning proposals to grant visa-free travel to Turkish citizens within continental Europe area could be exploited by terrorists and criminals.
Attacks on European countries are more likely as a result of the controversial deal, which relies on Ankara passing key anti-corruption and terrorism reforms, the Telegraph says.
The Guardian says London Mayor Sadiq Khan is to publish an air quality report from 2010 which found 433 schools in the capital were in locations that exceed EU limits for nitrogen dioxide pollution - with four-fifths of them in deprived areas.
Mr Khan, says the Guardian, is questioning why the report had not been released earlier. But his predecessor at City Hall, Boris Johnson, later issued a statement saying the findings had not been hidden and were used to improve air quality in the capital during his term.
Meanwhile, campaigners against fixed odds betting terminals tell the Daily Mirror they fear the chancellor is resisting demands to clamp down on the machines they dub the "most addictive gambling product in the UK" because of the nearly £13m they bring in tax revenue every week.
A government spokesman is quoted as saying that "tax revenue does not dictate gambling regulation" and ministers are continue to monitor the effectiveness of existing controls.
Finally, the Times carries news of a growing RSPCA petition to ban private firework displays on all but four days of the year.
The charity says thousands of dogs are distressed by fireworks every year and it wants their use restricted to events of special religious or cultural significance - Bonfire Night, New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali.
MPs are due to debate the petition hosted on the government website next month after it reached 100,000 signatures. The RSPCA is also calling for the maximum permitted noise level of fireworks for public sale to be reduced, says the paper.
"Fireworks are undeniably thrilling," says the Times in a leading article. "They are also frightening... This is case for regulation and not only voluntary restraint."
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