CPHC’s Learning Development Group is pleased to be supporting Computing Education Practice (CEP), a new UK Computing Education Conference, to be held in Durham in January. The deadline for abstracts is 31st October.
While there are conferences based in the US and around Europe, there is currently no regular UK-based event for HE computing education. CEP will provide an opportunity to discuss with like-minded people the challenges and opportunities that face us, and how these are changing. As well as a platform for presenting, exploring and sharing ideas and new approaches there will also be opportunities for focused discussion on the topics raised. Sally Fincher, Professor of Computing Education at Kent University, will give a keynote address to get the day started and Kay Hack, STEM lead from the HEA, will be starting the afternoon session.
After the summer, some key activity must begin in earnest. CPHC has been in discussions with CASE to explore the benefit of undertaking and producing a joint report on the CS/STEM landscape. Suggestions from members are welcome.
This week the Prime Minister has started to outline a BREXIT timeline. I think it will be important for CPHC to identify opportunities as well as issues. Our approach for identifying such issues and opportunities, and communicating our message, is being considered. It is worth exploring whether we should work in partnership on such a programme.
A Shadbolt Implementation Group has been established by DfE (who will lead the follow up work, reporting to Jo Johnson). Representatives from CPHC, DCMS, Tech Partnership, BCS and HEFCE are on the group. A meeting was held in August, with a follow-up arranged for 5 October. CPHC has been asked to lead on two actions, and support a third. CPHC members will indirectly support the fourth action on Accreditation. A ministerial round table with Jo Johnson has been scheduled for late November.
CPHC Chair’s Statement from 4th July 2016
The most significant event to happen in the last month has been the Referendum on UK membership of the European Union. While the result was somewhat unexpected, the impact has not been. There is currently great uncertainty for the future of the economy and of UK Computer Science. This uncertainty begins with it still being unclear whether we will indeed withdraw from the Union. While the Leave campaign was successful, there have been discussions as to if and when Article 50 should be invoked. All Conservative Party candidates for Prime Minister have stated their respect for the referendum, and that there will be no second referendum, but according to legal experts, Parliament will need legislation to repeal the European Communities Act 1972. Whether the vote will be successful is to be seen, and there are strong thoughts that it is likely that there will either be a different referendum, or an election, to ensure there is a mandate for action. CPHC has already highlighted the potential impact of withdrawal, and remains committed to ensuring that we influence decision-making on withdrawal. In addition to the statement we have already released we will explore composing articles or undertaking primary research.
CPHC Chair’s Statement from 3rd June 2016
I am delighted to take up the position of Chair of CPHC. Having been involved in the Council for over 10 years, and having a substantial period on the Committee, I look forward to taking the Council forward over the next two years. I am excited about the immediate and longer-term future of CPHC, and look forward to working with not only a strong and committed committee, but also engagement with our community. The 2016 Conference was an excellent platform to push forward with promoting partnerships with other organisations to drive the agenda for CS teaching and research, along with UKCRC. We have, over the recent past, established a strong position in the UK Computer Science sector, and it is vital we rise to the challenges we have been set. The first challenge we must address is leading and assisting with actions recommended in Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt’s Review of Computer Science. We will establish four working groups to take forward the recommendations of the review, and membership of these working groups will comprise members of the committee and the wider membership of the Council. I aim, over the next two years, to ensure that we deliver on our charitable mission and aims, and to engage the full membership to achieve this. I have always maintained that the success of CPHC depends upon its engagement with, and representation of, its members. To address this, over the next year I hope to establish regional approaches in tackling national issues, through the establishment of regional sectors of CPHC. To maximise the efficacy of such an approach, we will look to partner with other organisations that have regional representation.