This year the NPC welcomed attendees from all corners of Great Britain to St Andrews for the 13th annual conference and AGM. The delegates were welcomed by Professor Colin Vincent (Deputy Principal of the University) followed by the first talk of the conference given by David Eastwood (Chief Executive of the Arts and Humanities Research Board). This highly thoughtful contribution set the tone for the conference which included presentations by distinguished individuals such as Andrew Cubie (Chair of Court at Napier University), Diana Woodward (Director of Research at Napier University), Ewan Gillon (Open University of Scotland and former NPC General Secretary) and John Beaumont (Chief Executive of the eUniversity).
On Saturday afternoon we had chance to discuss current issues with student politicians Rami Okasha (NUS Scotland President), Natasha Hirst (PG portfolio for UCMC/NUS Wales), Benson Osawe (Council for International Students) and Marco Biagi (CHESS, the Coalition of Higher Education Students in Scotland). Marco inspired us with CHESSS belief in Free Education, failing that education free at point of entry, failing that tinkering with the current system. Too often the societal value of Education is ignored and just the economic considerations are looked at."
The conference was informed of the headline findings of the NPC postgraduate funding survey and of Tim Browns findings on campus facilities for postgraduates (see later). The well-tuned workshops were accompanied by an equally well-tuned social program. Special commendation goes to Stuart Purdie (Conference Secretary) who showed us Scottish hospitality and humour at its best.
- Paul Williams