From today's UK papers

November 7, 2001

Mankind's 'first tools' unearthed
A tool kit carved from bone 70,000 years ago provides the strongest evidence yet that Africa was the birthplace of complex technology. Christopher Henshilwood of the State University of New York at Stonybrook led a team to south Africa, and published its findings in the Journal of Human Evolution . (Telegraph, Times, Independent)

Computing students downgrade
The technology sector is going through its worst crisis since the 1980s. The next generation of IT professionals, currently studying at university, are now fearing the worst, some are beginning to rethink their career priorities. Students studying computer sciences have grown by 30 per cent between 1996 and 2000, but career openings and salaries are tending to contract. (Financial Times)

AS-levels standards set too high, say teachers
The government's AS-level reforms have pushed sixth-formers into the wrong courses and overloaded them with work, according to a survey by the National Union of Teachers. (Independent)

Learning accounts a 13-month disaster, say Tories
The government was accused yesterday of "wilfully ignoring" warnings that its individual learning accounts (ILAs) were open to fraud a year before the scheme was suspended. Damian Green, the Tory education spokesman, said ILA's were a "13-month disaster". (Independent)

Warwick University in close ties with Ford
Ford's Premier Automotive Group has announced a deal with Warwick University that will create an unusually close collaboration between a business and an academic institution. The university, already praised by Tony Blair for its strong links with business, will help PAG develop new models. (Financial Times)

Father's role at bath time can be crucial
Fathers who do not bathe their babies risk having to deal with anti-social teenagers in later life, according to a study carried out by Howard Steele, of University College London. (Telegraph, Guardian)

Weighing workers' worth
Ed Crooks considers the growing popularity of the analysis of human assets for economic researchers, citing Nobel prizewinner Gary Becker of the University of Chicago, who won the prize in 1992 for his pioneering work on the human capital.  (Financial Times)

Scientists closer to solving mystery of sunspots.
Astronomers using the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (Soho) have been able to measure sound waves passing through the sun to analyse the inner workings of a sunspot. Thomas Duvall, an astrophysicist from Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre, in Maryland, said: "Until now, we've looked down at the top of sunspots like we might look down at the leaves in tree tops. For the first time we're able to observe the branches and trunk of the tree that gives it structure, but the roots are still a mystery." (Independent)

Extra help for pupils 'backfires'
A study by Durham University discovered that youngsters singled out as needing extra encouragement to stay in education ended up with lower GCSE grades than peers with similar abilities.  (Daily Mail)

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