Category / Training

British Council Research Links Workshops

As well as the opportunities to apply for funding from the Researcher Links Programme, there is also the possibility of attending the workshops that are supported by this funding.

Current opportunities are:

Enhancing regional water security in semi-arid regions through improved metropolitan design

  • Date of workshop: 14–17 November 2017
  • Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Application deadline: 18 August 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here.   

Developing an agenda for Fintech research in emerging economies

  • Date of workshop: 31 October-2 November 2017
  • Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Application deadline: 20 August 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here .

Role of small holder agroforestry systems in the arid and semi-arid region in combating climate change

  • Date of workshop: 18-21 December 2017
  • Location: Kisumu, Kenya
  • Application deadline: 30 August 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here

India-UK Workshop on Thermoelectric Materials for Waste-Heat Harvesting

  • Date of workshop: 8-10 January 2018
  • Location: Bangalore, India
  • Application deadline: 1 September 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here.

Workshop on Increasing Climate Resilience of Urban Infrastructure 

  • Date of workshop: 15-17 January 2018
  • Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Application deadline: 14 September 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here

India-UK Workshop on Working at the Chemistry Microbiology Interface to Develop New Antibiotics   

  • Date of workshop: 14-18 December 2017
  • Location: Bengaluru, India
  • Application deadline: 15 September 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links match-funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here .  

Phytomedical Compounds For Diabetes And Diabetes-Related Complications (DRC)

  • Date of workshop: 12-16 December 2017
  • Location: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Application deadline: 18 September 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here  

Localising strategies for making cities resilient to disasters

  • Date of workshop: 22-26 January 2018
  • Location: De La Salle University, Philippines
  • Application deadline: 30 September 2017
  • Programme: Newton Fund Researcher Links
  • Eligibility and further information can be found here  

 

Further workshops will be promoted by the British Council.

 

 

 

RKEO Academic and Researcher Induction

The Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) invite all ‘new to BU’ academics and researchers to an induction.

Signpost with the words Help, Support, Advice, Guidance and Assistance on the direction arrows, against a bright blue cloudy sky.This event provides an overview of all the practical information staff need to begin developing their research plans at BU, using both internal and external networks; to develop and disseminate research outcomes; and maximising the available funding opportunities.

Objectives

  • The primary aim of this event is to raise participants’ awareness of how to get started in research at BU or, for more established staff, how to take their research to the next level
  • To provide participants with essential, practical information and orientation in key stages and processes of research and knowledge exchange at BU

Indicative content

  • An overview of research at BU and how R&KEO can help/support academic staff
  • The importance of horizon-scanning, signposting relevant internal and external funding opportunities and clarifying the applications process
  • How to grow a R&KE portfolio, including academic development schemes
  • How to develop internal and external research networks
  • Key points on research ethics and developing research outputs
  • Getting started with Knowledge Exchange and business engagement

For more information about the event, please see the following link: https://staffintranet.bournemouth.ac.uk/workingatbu/staffdevelopmentandengagement/rolecareerdevelopment/academiccareerdevelopment/rkeoinduction/

The seventh induction will be held on Wednesday, 27th September 2017 on the 4th floor of Melbury House.

Title Date Time Location
Research & Knowledge Exchange Office (R&KEO) Research Induction Wednesday 27th September 2017 9.00 – 12.00 Lansdowne Campus

9.00-9.15 – Coffee/tea and cake/fruit will be available on arrival

9.15 – RKEO academic induction (with a break at 10.45)

11.25 – Organisational Development upcoming development opportunities

11.30 – Opportunity for one to one interaction with RKEO staff

12.00 – Close

There will also be literature and information packs available.

If you would like to attend the induction then please book your place through Organisational Development and you can also visit their pages here. We will directly contact those who have started at BU in the last five months.

We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you.

Regards,

The RKEO teamRKEO

How to be a Productivity Ninja™

The ThinkProductive Team will be visiting BU next Wednesday to deliver a 90 minute action-packed seminar on How to be a Productivity Ninja™ . They will share with you the 9 Characteristics of the Productivity Ninja™ and help you to identify specific ways you can implement them.

If you want to learn the way of the Productivity Ninja™ then book on here!

 

 

NIHR Webinar: CRN Study Support Service – 2-3pm Tuesday 25 July 2017

The NIHR is the UK’s major funder of applied health research. The NIHR develops and supports the people who conduct and contribute to health research and equally supports the training of the next generation of health researchers. NIHR training programmes provide a unique opportunity for all professionals to improve the health of patients in their care through research.

Training and career development awards from the NIHR range from undergraduate level through to opportunities for established investigators and research leaders. They are open to a wide range of professions and designed to suit different working arrangements and career pathways and offer full support for dedicated research and clinical development.

This is a webinar for current and aspiring NIHR trainees that want to find out more about the support available from the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN). The NIHR CRN Study Support Service helps researchers and the life sciences industry plan, set up and deliver high quality research to time and target in the NHS in England.

The one hour webinar will include:

  • An explanation of who/which research is eligible to access CRN’s services
  • An overview of the support available from the NIHR CRN
  • Guidance on when and how to get in touch – and the importance of early engagement
  • Real examples of how NIHR trainees and other researchers have used the services
  • A live Q&A session

The webinar will be presented by Sine Littlewood, Head of Business Development & Marketing (non-commercial) at the NIHR CRN and Helen Harris-Joseph, Senior Programme Manager at the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre.

You can register for the webinar via the following link: bit.ly/studysupportservicewebinar

If you have any issues when registering please email tcc@nihr.ac.uk.

FMC will be a hosting a series of researcher skills development training in June

The Faculty of Media and Communication will be welcoming Dr. John Willison from the University of Adelaide for a series of researcher development training open to all academic staff, PGR’s and colleagues in RKEO.

Dr Willison is a highly engaged and widely published academic whose expertise include the creative blending of teaching and research, researcher development and the evolution of research-oriented curricula. He is a senior lecturer in the Department of Higher Education, School of Education at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, where he coordinates the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE) for academics from all faculties. He is currently leading a major initiative funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching considering Research Skill Development (RSD) and assessment in undergraduate and postgraduate degrees across disciplines from all faculties.

Dr Willison’s principal research interest centres on the ways that academics conceptualise and implement the development of their students’ research skills in content-rich courses. He examines the close conceptual connection between the skills associated with research in a discipline, and the skills required and developed in problem-solving, critical thinking, clinical reasoning and Work Integrated Learning. His research with graduates from various disciplinary contexts is pointing to the value graduates place on research skills once they are employed.

Click here for further details and a range of resources.

FMC have scheduled a series of tailored training events. The faculty are keen to hear the discussion and share new thinking widely across BU.

All events will take place in the Fusion Building, Talbot Campus – Room F201

The sessions are outlined below:

Thursday 29th June

Session 1: 10.00-12.00: Research Skill Development First Year to PhD

This workshop will be of interest to all academics at BU. It provides an introduction to the Research Skills Development (RSD) framework, which provides a systematic approach to the scaffolding of research into learning for students at all levels. The session will also look at how RSD can be integrated into and complement the Research Development Framework developed by Vitae, which is currently used at BU for PGT and PGR training

Session 2: 14.00 – 16.00 Enabling Research Skill Development for Higher Degree Researchers and Early Career Academics

This workshop will be of primary interest to Deputy and Associate Deans, Heads of Department, Heads of Research, Research Centre Directors, and colleagues in RKEO, amongst others who have a role in the support of postgraduate students and early career academics. It examines how the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework can be used to assist PGR students and ECRs to achieve successful outcomes at these most crucial stages in their academic careers.

Friday 30th June

Session 3: 10.00-12.00: Models for Engaged Learning and Teaching (MELT): MELT your students’ minds

This workshop will be of interest to all academics at BU. It provides an introduction to the Research Skills Development (RSD) framework, which provides a systematic approach to the scaffolding of research into learning for student at all levels. Its main focus is on the adaptation of the RSD framework to meet the particular needs of different disciplines. It will demonstrate how this adaptation can be carried out to enhance the student experience in different disciplines without losing the core strengths and consistency that the framework provides for scaffolding student learning.

Session 4: 14.00 – 16.00 Engaging teachers to enable dynamic student learning

This workshop will be of primary interest to Deputy and Associate Deans, Heads of Department, Heads of Education, Programme Leaders, and colleagues in CEL, amongst others, who have a role in the support of curriculum design, the enhancement of the student learning experience, and the conduct of research into university education. It examines how the Research Skill Development (RSD) framework can be used to scaffold learning and assessment design across curricula at all course levels. It will use data from a series of large-scale research projects that provide a critical analysis of the use of RSD in a wide range of disciplines.

Workshop: Building resilience in Research and Knowledge Exchange – June 15th 2017

Professor Heather Hartwell will be delivering a workshop on June 15th, 2017,  that will help participants gain insight into how it is possible to build resilience in the area of Research and Knowledge Exchange. This session will explore how it may be possible to build resilience in the area of research and knowledge exchange, where rejection for funding and from publishers is common. The speaker will offer their views of how resilience can be built and how to overcome obstacles.

There will be the opportunity for discussion around the topic. For those interested in booking onto the course, please follow the link here. If you would like further information about the workshop, please contact Ehren Milner (emilner@bournemouth.ac.uk)

Standing up for Science workshop in June

sense about science logo

Calling all early career researchers- Sense about Science will be running a Standing up for Science media workshop this June.

The workshop will take place on Friday 30 June at the University of Warwick. This free to attend event is a great opportunity for early career researchers and scientists to learn how to make their voices heard in public debates about science.

Attendees will hear from scientists who have engaged with the media, learn from these distinguished scientists about how the media works, how to comment and what journalists expect from scientists. This is a free event and is open to all early career researchers and scientists- PhD students, post-docs or equivalent- in all sciences, engineering and medicine.

The deadline for applications is 14 June. You can find out more information here.

The previous workshop was held in Manchester in April. You can find out what attendees Jade and James thought of the workshop and view photos here.

If  you have any questions please email Joanne from Sense about Science.

Delivering DEALTS 2!

 

 

 

 

Health Education England  (HEE) has commissioned Bournemouth University to deliver a new ‘‘Train the Trainers’ enhanced education programme called ‘Dementia Education and Learning Through Simulation’  2 (DEALTS 2). This builds on previous work undertaken in 2013/14 by HEE to ensure healthcare professionals understand and can deliver key competencies according to the Dementia Core Skills Education and Training Framework at TIER 2 (Skills for Health and Health Education England, 2015).

Prof Jane Murphy, Dr Michele Board, Dr Michelle Heward and Ashley Spriggs from the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) delivered the first pilot session in Oxford on 10th May 2017.  This interactive day was really well received and included attendance by Jan Zietara, Head of Operational Delivery, HEE; Jacqueline Fairburn-Platt, Associate Dean Quality Improvement, HEE Thames Valley as well as Dementia and Quality Improvement Leads.   Over the next 2 months another 12 sessions will be delivered to trainers across the HEE regions in England. The delivery of the programme will be evaluated as well as the roll-out across England by the trainers themselves to staff to understand the impact the education is having on practice for the delivery of dementia care.  In June the early evaluation work will be supported with the help of a Student Research Assistant, Laurie Emerson.  Laurie is currently a final year psychology student in Faculty Sci Tech.

Alternative Career Pathways after your PhD – 8 June

Live online event on the 8th June 2017

The academic jobs market is becoming more challenging and competitive post-PhD. With the number of PhD holders increasing, there is enormous pressure on the academic job market and declining academic job prospects for doctoral graduates.

What can I do after my PhD? It is a difficult decision for any PhD student on whether to pursue a career in academia, or consider alternative careers. In our dedicated live Q&A we are bringing forth a panel of experts who have moved outside of academia, to share their top tips and advice on alternate career pathways following PhD studies.

To help all those who are considering options after doctoral studies, jobs.ac.uk is holding a FREE 60-minute live video event via a live YouTube Q&A called ‘Alternative Career Pathways After Your PhD’. Find out more and register today.

More details are at: http://bit.ly/altcareersevent

RKEDF Survey – 3 days to go!

It’s been over six months since Bournemouth University launched its new Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework, which was designed to offer academics at all stages of their career opportunities to develop their skills, knowledge and capabilities.

Since its launch, over 30 sessions have taken place, including sandpits designed to develop solutions to key research challenges, workshops with funders such as the British Academy and the Medical Research Council and skills sessions to help researchers engage with the media and policy makers.

The Research & Knowledge Exchange Office is currently planning activities and sessions for next year’s training programme and would like your feedback about what’s worked well, areas for improvement and suggestions for new training sessions.

Tell us what you think via our survey and be in with a chance of winning a £30 Amazon voucher. The deadline date is Friday 21 April.

Upcoming sessions:

  4 April Public engagement: an overview
  13 April Getting started on applying for research funding
  25 April How to update your Staff Profile Page using BRIAN
  9 May Writing Academy – Writing Day
  10 May Using social media to share your research
  18 May Targeting high quality journals
  18 May Writing an academic paper
  18 May Writing a good abstract
  18 May Dealing with editors
  24 May Research Data Management
  24 May Introduction to the Royal Society
  24 May My publication story so far… Prof. Tim Rees
  25 May Writing Academy – Writing Day

RKEDF Survey – 5 days to go!

It’s been over six months since Bournemouth University launched its new Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework, which was designed to offer academics at all stages of their career opportunities to develop their skills, knowledge and capabilities.

Since its launch, over 30 sessions have taken place, including sandpits designed to develop solutions to key research challenges, workshops with funders such as the British Academy and the Medical Research Council and skills sessions to help researchers engage with the media and policy makers.

The Research & Knowledge Exchange Office is currently planning activities and sessions for next year’s training programme and would like your feedback about what’s worked well, areas for improvement and suggestions for new training sessions.

Tell us what you think via our survey and be in with a chance of winning a £30 Amazon voucher. The deadline date is Friday 21 April.

Upcoming sessions:

  4 April Public engagement: an overview
  13 April Getting started on applying for research funding
  25 April How to update your Staff Profile Page using BRIAN
  9 May Writing Academy – Writing Day
  10 May Using social media to share your research
  18 May Targeting high quality journals
  18 May Writing an academic paper
  18 May Writing a good abstract
  18 May Dealing with editors
  24 May Research Data Management
  24 May Introduction to the Royal Society
  24 May My publication story so far… Prof. Tim Rees
  25 May Writing Academy – Writing Day

Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework – give us your feedback

It’s been over six months since Bournemouth University launched its new Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework, which was designed to offer academics at all stages of their career opportunities to develop their skills, knowledge and capabilities.

Since its launch, over 30 sessions have taken place, including sandpits designed to develop solutions to key research challenges, workshops with funders such as the British Academy and the Medical Research Council and skills sessions to help researchers engage with the media and policy makers.

The Research & Knowledge Exchange Office is currently planning activities and sessions for next year’s training programme and would like your feedback about what’s worked well, areas for improvement and suggestions for new training sessions.

Tell us what you think via our survey and be in with a chance of winning a £30 Amazon voucher. The deadline date is Friday 21 April.

Upcoming sessions:

  4 April Public engagement: an overview
  13 April Getting started on applying for research funding
  25 April How to update your Staff Profile Page using BRIAN
  9 May Writing Academy – Writing Day
  10 May Using social media to share your research
  18 May Targeting high quality journals
  18 May Writing an academic paper
  18 May Writing a good abstract
  18 May Dealing with editors
  24 May Research Data Management
  24 May Introduction to the Royal Society
  24 May My publication story so far… Prof. Tim Rees
  25 May Writing Academy – Writing Day

*Spaces available – MSCA 2 day Bid Writing Retreat – 18th and 19th of April

Places are still available for the two-day bid writing retreat on 18th and 19th Aprilbook in now!

 

As the European Commission celebrates the support of over 100,000 researchers through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, RKEO are pleased to confirm our arrangements for supporting this high profile call in 2017.

Support

  • There will be a two-day bid writing retreat on 18th and 19th April and, subject to demand, this will be repeated on 4th and 5th July, with bookings now open
  • Materials are already available on the MyBU Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Framework Community and will be extended as more materials are made available for the 2017 call
  • External bid writing support, where appropriate
  • Timeline

    As this is a highly popular call, RKEO need to carefully manage the flow of work within RKEO but also for all your colleagues, who work together, to ensure that each application is approved and submitted correctly.

    The call will open on 11/04/17, when further information will be posted on this blog.

    Please ensure that the Intention to Bid is submitted to RKEO by 30/06/17. You can, of course, let us know earlier than this date that you intend to apply, so that we can provide you, and your potential fellow, with as much support as possible, right up to the closing date of 14/09/17. It is expected that early drafts will be sent to RKEO at the beginning of August, allowing time for all those involved to manage their workloads.

    Communication

    Once we know that you are thinking of applying, even before submitting the Intention to Bid, we can keep you up to date with announcements from the funder and other sources of help and support.

    If you are considering applying and would like to receive updates, please contact Dianne Goodman, RKEO’s Funding Development Team Co-ordinator, so that we can register your interest and provide useful information, such as  the indicative timetable for actions prior to submission. If you are ready to submit your Intention to Bid, you can do this now, via Dianne. The allocated Funding Development Officer can then contact you.

    If you have any queries or comments about this scheme, please contact Emily Cieciura, RKEO’s Research Facilitator: EU & International

     

HE Policy update w/e 31st March 2017

This week has of course been all about Brexit with the Article 50 notice formally served on Wednesday.   Bu published information for staff and students on Wednesday.

Then the White Paper setting out the plans for the Great Repeal Bill which will deal with arrangements to make UK law work once the UK has left the EU – a challenge given how much EU law has been incorporated into UK laws and regulations. The Bill itself has not been published, but the approach it will take is set out in the White Paper:

  • “In order to achieve a stable and smooth transition, the Government’s overall approach is to convert the body of existing EU law into domestic law, after which Parliament (and, where appropriate, the devolved legislatures) will be able to decide which elements of that law to keep, amend or repeal once we have left the EU. This ensures that, as a general rule, the same rules and laws will apply after we leave the EU as they did before….
  • The approach outlined in this White Paper is designed to give businesses, workers, investors and consumers the maximum possible certainty as we leave the EU: but it also needs to provide the flexibility necessary to respond to all eventualities of the negotiation process.
  • This is a separate process from that by which the Government will bring forward a motion on the final agreement to be voted on by both Houses of Parliament before it is concluded.
  • The Great Repeal Bill will not aim to make major changes to policy or establish new legal frameworks in the UK beyond those which are necessary to ensure the law continues to function properly from day one. Therefore, the Government will also introduce a number of further bills during the course of the next two years to ensure we are prepared for our withdrawal – and that Parliament has the fullest possible opportunity to scrutinise this legislation”.
  • The most controversial part of the proposal relates to powers to make secondary legislation. The White Paper says “This will enable corrections to be made to the laws that would otherwise no longer operate appropriately once we have left the EU, so that our legal system continues to function correctly outside the EU, and will also enable domestic law once we have left the EU to reflect the content of any withdrawal agreement under Article 50.”

So will there be any changes to UK law linked to Article 50 – there are some clues in the White Paper:

  • Customs bill
  • Immigration bill
  • And on consumer protection, the Government intends to bring forward a Green Paper this spring which will closely examine markets which are not working fairly for consumers

What the White Paper says won’t change:

  • Environmental protection
  • Worker’s rights and equalities
  • Participation in European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), but not the EU Charter on Human Rights

Read more about the process for Brexit here.

Universities are not mentioned in the paper (except in the introduction where it is noted that the government acted fast to reassure applicants about fees) – there are on-going calls for the question of EU citizens in the UK to be settled fast, along with fee guarantees for students starting in 2018/19. UUK’s priorities for Brexit are set out in their short paper here and there are some interesting views written for the Universities All Party Parliamentary Group here.

Fake Research – UUK has a new blog on fake research following comments in the news about it. The blog helpfully brings together the latest reports and information in this area including the Research Councils UK guidance issued recently.

Higher Education and Research Bill – this will have its third reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday No more amendments have been added since the debate was postponed following the Westminster attacks. However, we know a little bit more about the government’s approach to the opposition and cross bench amendments made by the Lords. The bill will go back to House of Commons (to start its “ping-pong”) after Easter.

For example, of the 5 non-government amendments, one related to the requirement that universities should share information with local authorities to ensure that students are registered to vote. Jo Johnson has written a letter to HEFCE requesting that they do more to encourage institutions to support students to register to vote. They ask HEFCE to develop a best practice model and then encourage universities to use it. This amendment this therefore likely to be removed in the House of Commons

Another provided that the OfS could not approve a provider unless it has been validated for at least 4 years (as now) or has been approved by a Quality Assurance Committee as being full able to maintain the required standard for the duration of its authorisation and that it operates in the public interest and the interest of students. It seems unlikely that this will survive in the House of Commons:

  • A letter dated 22nd March from Jo Johnson sets out the government’s position that the student protection arrangements should cover this and that there will be a consultation on this as part of a Regulatory Framework consultation in the autumn of 2017.
  • A letter dated 8th March from Jo Johnson sets out why the government believes that the current validation arrangements do not work and explains why it should be easier for new providers to be authorised.

The other 4 amendments were:

  • Requiring UKRI to encourage international collaboration, not allowing students to be treated as long term migrants and not allowing more visa restriction on student or staff immigration more stringent than the day the act is passed – this is likely to be removed in the Commons pending the wider consultation on immigration policy which has been delayed since November
  • Removing the TEF clause and requiring the OfS to introduce instead a scheme to provide information about quality, which is approved by Parliament and which cannot be used to create a single composite ranking – This is likely to be removed in the Commons but it will be interesting to see if any concessions are made about the TEF. So far subject level TEF has been postponed for a year to allow for 2 years of pilot, but other changes may be forthcoming
  • A statement that the TEF (or its replacement) cannot be used to rank institutions as to the fees that they charge or the number of students they recruit, in the UK or overseas – this seems unlikely to survive – the student number/immigration issue will be dealt with as above, and the fee issue is so key to the government’s position on fees that it seems very unlikely to be dropped. There has been surprisingly little pick up on this issue – see the VC’s blog on this. There is a blog by Professor Mark Smith here.
  • The grounds in which institutions can appeal the revocation of their authorisation, so that instead of being on the grounds of an error of fact, a decision being wrong in law or unreasonable, it now just says that institutions can appeal on the grounds that “the decision was wrong” – this seems unlikely to survive – see the letter from Viscount Younger and Lord Young dated 20th

Apprenticeships – The Commons Select Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy have published a report on apprenticeships which raises a number of concerns about the focus on quantity over quality.

Social Mobility – Justine Greening gave a speech on 30th March on social mobility. She set out three priorities:

  • tackling geographic disadvantage
  • investing in long-term capacity in our system
  • making sure our education system as a whole really prepares young people and adults for career success

This speech refers to the plans for schools to work with universities but doesn’t give any more information (we are still waiting for the response to the consultation), technical education and widening access to universities.

HE policy update w/e 24th March 2017

Higher Education and Research Bill – the third reading of the Bill in the House of Lords was scheduled for Wednesday and was about to start when the attack took place in Westminster, so the session was cancelled. It has now been rescheduled for Tuesday 4th April.  The current version of the bill as amended at the report stage is here. There is a short list of amendments for the third reading – these are usually “tidying up” amendments rather than the more substantive ones that we have seen in the earlier stages – and are monstly (but not exclusively) government amendments.  The Bill will then return to the Commons – probably after Easter – when all six of the opposition and cross bench amendments made by the Lords are likely to be removed – including the one decoupling TEF ratings and fee increases, removing the Gold, Silver, Bronze TEF system and replacing it with a pass/fail, and measures aiming to support international students and staff studying and working in the UK.

There may be government amendments proposed in the Commons to seek to address some of the concerns behind the amendments to the TEF, but it seems unlikely that there will be concessions on international staff and students in the bill as these issues will be relevant to the separate consultation on immigration policy, which we are still waiting for. There will therefore inevitably be another process of “ping-pong” . If the Lords don’t accept the position approved by the Commons (and any concessions made) then there is a risk that the bill will run out of time in this session.

To respond to concerns raised by the Lords, Jo Johnson and the sponsor of the bill in the House of Lords, Viscount Younger of Leckie have written a number of letters during the report stage.

  • 15th March 2017 – powers to enter and search
  • 6th March 2017 – regulation (compliance with the Regulator’s Code – will require a statutory instrument but government agree), role of the Competition and Markets Authority (the government believe there is no overlap between the OfS and the CMA). One government amendment clarified that in addition to promoting competition, the OfS should have regard to the benefits of HEI collaboration for students and employers.
  • 3rd March 2017 – defending the TEF and its metrics, setting out the context and background and confirming a commitment to ensuring that the TEF supports widening participation.

There has not been a response to the amendments that were passed, so we will wait to see. In the meantime, there were some interesting articles about the future for the TEF on Wonkhe on Monday:

Another concern raised by the Lords and also raised in Education questions in the Commons this week related to free speech. Jo Johnson, the universities minister, added that the bill would safeguard free speech by extending the duty to take reasonably practicable steps to secure freedom of speech to all registered providers. On the same day, Johnson also wrote to universities asking them to pay particular attention to this issue. He advised: “Policies and codes of practice should not simply be allowed to gather dust; they are crucial to demonstrating to students that free speech should be at the heart of our university system. They need to be meaningful documents that students and staff understand and, crucially, respect.”

Brexit – with the PM expected to serve formal notice to start Brexit negotiations under Article 50 next week, Peers debated EU membership and UK science after the referendum on 23 March. They urged the government to replace any money lost from EU research programmes with fresh money from Westminster, rather than with the extra £4.7 million allocated to science and innovation in the 2016 autumn statement.

The Parliamentary and Scientific committee have published a statement on science priorities for Brexit.  It asks for immediate actions, sets out negotiation priorities and changes to domestic policy.  It’s very short and readable – a list of proposals rather than a long summary of evidence and background

Its first statement is about staff and skills – it calls for immediate reassurance for EEA staff working in the UK, research about mobility of skilled workers to inform immigration policy and for the government to develop a communications strategy that champions Britain as a welcoming hub for research and innovation.

On funding, it says that there must be no decline in overall funding for science and innovation across all disciplines, calls for continued participation in Horizon 2020 and for the government to “set the closest possible association for the UK with EU research and innovation programmes”.  It also proposes a target of 3% of GDP for combined public and private R&D investment, with at least 0.7% of GDP invested in research and development.    It calls for a comprehensive review of all current public funding for UK research and development to ensure there is no gap as the UK leaves the EU.

It sets out requirements to ensure that UK-based researchers are able to collaborate, including funding and infrastructure for partnerships.  On trade, it suggests that all government departments should have scientific advisers, and calls for a comprehensive review of the current regulatory environment.

Student Loans – in a written answer to a parliamentary question Jo Johnson noted that the latest Student Loans Company statistics show that there were around 113,600 English student loan borrowers known to be abroad at the beginning of the financial year 2016-17. Of these around 22 per cent were EU-domiciled borrowers. The figures also show that the overall outstanding loan balance of these borrowers resident abroad was around £1.6 billion, of which around £220 million was held by EU-domiciled borrowers. He added in a separate answer that the Student Loans Company established a repayments evasion unit in 2016 to detect borrowers who live abroad and who fail to repay their loans.

Advance marketing – along with Professor Debbie Holley, I am presenting some policy briefings and workshops – read more and book via the intranet.