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Under starter's orders - students go behind the scenes at Brighton Racecourse

Brighton Racecourse has had a colourful history. Once frequented by King George IV and his aristocratic pals, it was later portrayed as the haunt of gangsters and racketeers in Graham Greene's book "Brighton Rock".

Now, a group of students have been behind the scenes to find out what it's really like today.

Malcolm Shaw joined the boys for a day at the races, and interviewed Wayne Hardie of the British Horseracing Authority, Colin Brown, tipster and former jockey, and race commentator Richard Hoiles.

Local students to take part in national protest

Thousands are expected to take part in the demonstration which is thought to be the biggest since 2010. They're campaigning against fees and cuts and calling for free education. Two further days of action have been organised for December.

Students from across the South to protest in London Credit: ITV News Meridian

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  1. Christine Alsford

Record numbers apply for university places

A record number of candidates are applying to go to to university this year, seemingly undeterred by fees of up to nine thousand pounds. Overall, figures are up by four per cent - but in the ITV Meridian region there are winners and losers.

Some universities - particularly those offering skills and vocational courses - are proving highly popular. At Surrey applications are up by a staggering 35 percent, Portsmouth is up by 12 percent - and Southampton Solent saw an increase of eight percent.

But the more traditional universities have been hit - Oxford is only up by 1 percent - and Reading says applications are down compared to the same point last year.

ITV Meridian's Social Affairs Correspondent Christine Alsford has been looking at the bigger picture - and finding out if enough is being done to offer teenagers alternatives to taking a degree.

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Student at Mayfield girls school achieves 7 A-levels

More than half of students achieved A*and A grades Credit: Mayfield School

St Leonards, Mayfield School on the East Sussex/Kent border is celebrating an increase in the number of pupils achieving Aand A grades at A-level, after results were published earlier today. The number of pupils achieving Aand A grades was 56 per cent, an eight per cent increase on 2012.

Anna Sozanska sat seven A-levels Credit: Mayfield School

Anna Sozanska, who joined Mayfield on a full scholarship scheme and sat seven A-levels, achieving A*s in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Polish and As in German, Further Mathematics and Physics. She has been accepted to study Medicine at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

Phone lines busy for clearing at Buckinghamshire New University

The phone lines are busy for Clearing at Buckinghamshire New University Credit: Buckinghamshire New University

Buckinghamshire New University is busy taking calls this morning from students looking for places through Clearing after receiving their A-Level results.

Experienced staff at the University, based in Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, are on hand to give careers advice to students who did not get the grades they needed to get into their choice of university.

This year Bucks New University's clearing hotline is open from 8am-8pm today (Thursday 15 August), and between 8am-7pm tomorrow (Friday 16 August) and 9am-3pm on Saturday (17 August).

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