Shadbolt Working Groups Set Up

The UK Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) has formed four working groups in response to recommendations from the recent Shadbolt Report and is now looking for experienced members to join them

The independent review led by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt, published on 16th May 2016, discussed accreditation arrangements for computer science degrees to ensure that they continue to be fit for the future.  It focused on the purpose and role of accreditation and how the system can support the skills requirements of employers and improve graduate employability.

Four of the report’s ten recommendations identified particular roles for CPHC, leading to the establishment of the four working groups below …

Shadbolt Working Groups

Each of the four groups is led by either the CPHC chair or vice-chair and initially includes specialist members of the CPHC committee

WG1: Effective Data to Support UK Computer Sciences Education Strategy and Operations

In response to Shadbolt Recommendation 1 – Improving the data Data on the supply of and demand for Computer Sciences graduates should be timely/up to date, accessible and comprehensive. The Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC), Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS), and Tech Partnership should devise a programme of work to improve the quality, richness and granularity, availability and accessibility of data. This should start by working with HESA to inform their Data Futures review and with Government on the future publication of linked educational and employment record datasets. This will help HE providers, employers, students, graduates and policy makers to better understand the graduate employment landscape and how this meets both the requirements of industry and an increasingly technology-driven economy now and in the future.

Carsten Maple (CPHC Chair)
Edmund Robinson, Iain Phillips, David Duce (CPHC Committee)

WG2: Examining the Effectiveness of Work Experience in Computer Science

In response to Shadbolt Recommendation 2 – Extending and promoting work experience All Computer Sciences students should have opportunities to benefit from the skills and experience that are gained through formal sandwich year placements. This might be through increased provision of different types of work placement or finding ways to transfer the benefits of work placements directly to degree programmes. HE providers and employers should be creative and ambitious in developing mechanisms and routes for students to gain work experience, including summer internships and shorter placements. University Industry Advisory Boards should facilitate genuine engagement between HE and industry to ensure that these opportunities are relevant and provide real-world examples.  The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), CPHC and National Union of Students (NUS) should work together to investigate the barriers (perceived or actual) that different groups of Computer Sciences students face in accessing and undertaking work experience that is unpaid or voluntary.

Sally Fincher (CPHC Vice-Chair)
Balbir Barn, Ian Allison, Ian Wells, Sally Smith (CPHC Committee)

WG3: Analysis and Identification of Career Opportunities and Role Models

In response to Shadbolt Recommendation 5 – Careers advice and visibility of graduate opportunities The AGR and AGCAS should work with CPHC and Tech Partnership to develop a targeted campaign to provide Computer Sciences students with more specific detail on the types of roles and industries that require their skillsets. This should seek to identify role models from alumni and local industry contacts. This should be disseminated and led locally by careers services who should provide support to students in articulating their skills to potential employers. BCS and IET should work with AGR and AGCAS to develop a model for accrediting careers advice provision within Computer Sciences programmes.

Sally Fincher (CPHC Vice-Chair)
Colin Johnson, Rupert Ward, Keith Miller (CPHC Committee)

WG4: Horizon Scanning

In response to Shadbolt Recommendation 8 – Horizon scanning for future demand for skills HE providers, employers, accrediting and professional bodies should work together to horizon-scan for future skills requirements of Computer Sciences graduates. The CPHC, HEFCE, Tech Partnership, NESTA, BCS and the IET should work with, and build on, existing fora to identify future skills needs. The Group should use enhanced data outlined in Recommendation 1 and work together to develop a collaborative model with a clear remit and reporting line. The Group should deliver an annual report on the skills needs of Computer Sciences graduates, delivered through an annual summit/conference on Future Skills and with wider dissemination through local careers services.

Carsten Maple (CPHC Chair)
Vic Grout, Ray Farmer, Miltos Petridis (CPHC Committee)

Each of these groups is now actively seeking to recruit experienced members to support its work

Anyone interested in serving on any of these working groups should contact CPHC as described on the CPHC Shadbolt Working Groups webpage

About Vic Grout

Futurist/Futurologist. Socialist. Vegan. Doomsayer. Professor of Computing Futures. Author of 'CONSCIOUS' View all posts by Vic Grout

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