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.
The Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) has issued the following statement on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union
CPHC Statement on UK withdrawal from the European Union
Before last week’s referendum, commentators expressed serious concerns about the impact of the UK withdrawal from the EU, and the inevitable uncertainty leading up to it, on the UK’s academic and industrial computer science sectors. CPHC believes it is vital that withdrawal negotiations are based on the best possible information about the current state of the various sectors and what is at stake under various options. The withdrawal of the UK from the Union could have a potentially profound impact on UK Computer Science education, research and industry. CPHC recognises that the referendum was the first step in a potential withdrawal from the EU, and that many discussions, decisions and negotiations are required before any exit is complete, indeed before Article 50 is even invoked. We aim to contribute to the information that will form the basis of any discussions and below we provide an overview of the potential impact of UK withdrawal, issues to be considered in any post-exit plan, and issues to consider in withdrawal negotiations.
EPSRC has asked institutions for evidence to help in its review of its “Balancing Capability” framework. The call closes on 3rd June.
Colleagues will be aware that EPSRC is currently updating its Balancing Capabilities framework. This involves a relatively small amount of structural change (introducing or merging areas and changing definitions). It is also re-examining the classifications into grow, maintain and shrink.
As part of this, institutions have been asked to supply evidence. Please note, the call is to institutions, and the request is for a fairly tightly defined form of evidence. Put simply, evidence is a report (preferably published) written by somebody else. It is not a statement from an individual, no matter how knowledgeable or persuasive.
If you have knowledge of such a report, and would like it to be considered in the process, then:
CPHC is planning to make a small submission, and in the event that you can’t submit evidence through your own institution, then you are welcome to request that we forward it on your behalf. The phrasing is intended to discourage you from taking this route as easier than communicating with individuals at your own institution. And note that we are not guaranteeing to submit everything passed on to us.
The Review of Computer Sciences Degree Accreditation and Graduate Employability, by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, has been published and identifies significant roles for CPHC.
Shadbolt Review – FINAL REPORT – 20 April 2016
The 91-page report sets out ten recommendations and notes that: “It is important that reforms and recommendations across education and within industry are coordinated and meet the needs of different types of employers as well as enabling graduates to enjoy a career that will span many more scientific and technological advances.” CPHC is identified as a leading force in a number of these recmmendations, particularly in relation to “Improving data” (Recommendation 1), “Work experience” (Recommendation 2), “Careers advice and graduate opportunities” (Recommendation 5) and “Horizon scanning” (Recommendation 8).