The 2004 Conference will be taking place at Coventry University from the 12th-15th August. At this event there will be a wealth of things taking place. Key speakers include:
- Dr Ian Gibson MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee of the House of Commons. Dr Gibson has been actively involved in opposition to the implications of the higher education bill and will certainly be in a position to speak on its potential effect on postgraduate education.
- Dr Steve Wharton, Vice President of the Association of University Teachers (AUT). Dr Wharton has also been elected as president of the AUT for 2004/05 and will be speaking as a member of the Higher Education Research Forum run by the Department for Education and Skills, which Tim Brown also sits on. The forum is currently investigating the links between research and teaching, which will have significant impact on the future of postgraduates should funding be heavily concentrated.
- Gill Clarke and Janet Borher from the Quality Assurance Agency will be talking on the new code of practice for research degrees set for publication in September 2004. This code will have significant impact on the quality and standards in research degree programmes and highly influence how institutions implement their own code. This will be important for any representative of postgraduates as they will no doubt have an important role during the coming academic year to ensure their institution is correctly implementing their own code of practice.
- Dr Janet Metcalfe and Ellen Pearce from UK GRAD will be presenting some results of a survey carried out with NPC, and how the results from that survey will play an important role in the future of progress monitoring and skills development for research students.
- Prof Howard Green, UK Council for Graduate Education will be speaking on the diversity in postgraduate programmes in the future with the wide choice and trends that are now available.
- Dame Ruth Deech, Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). For years NPC has been longing to see the introduction of the OIA and the removal of the medieval University Visitorial system. Now the day has finally come and we will hear from the OIA how things are going with handling student complaints on an external level.
Throughout the conference there will also be training sessions and other smaller parallel sessions, since the main aim and success of NPC's annual conference is to help facilitate effective familiarisation with postgraduate issues and enable student officers to support and represent their postgraduates. More details about the conference can be found from www.npc.org.uk/events, where you will find the programme and booking forms.