RSS Professional Affairs Committee: The Future of Statistics Degrees

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Thursday 27 June 2019, 10:30am - 04:00pm

Location Location: Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol St, London EC1Y 8LX

About the Event:

Science, universities, R&D, the economy and much of society are all being transformed by the production, collection, dissemination and analysis of data on an unprecedented scale. Most academic disciplines now depend upon the routine analysis of data. Many disciplines now deal with volumes of data too vast for direct human inspection. Technology now allows almost any process to capture and generate data. Data science is opening up new models of scientific research that design in reproducibility and meta-analysis from the start. The volume of data created as a by-product of administrative procedures, economic transactions or social media behaviour is growing exponentially creating new opportunities to develop knowledge, new risks to the right to privacy and new questions about the ethical use or sharing of information. Governments, commercial organisations and civil society organisations increasingly look towards data to provide information, answer questions, or create value.

These changes make statistics and data analysis both more ubiquitous and more diverse. Inference from randomised samples to target populations is still important, but so too are skills such as data wrangling, management, reduction and analysis that new forms of evidence required. A growing proportion of those working with data, in academia, R&D, government or the private sector may have had little formal training in statistics, yet statistical knowledge will be vital to the quality of the decisions they make. To the extent that data becomes relevant to every aspect of life, then ethics, confidentiality and privacy become much more important issues for statisticians.

This workshop event will discuss how statistics education can best be configured delivered to and accredited to meet these challenges. The Society does not wish to prescribe any single solution. The diversification of statistics degrees is a healthy reflection of the growing demand for these skills as well as their changing nature. However, diversity must always be matched by rigour, so that employers and others know what to expect from a graduate statistician. We recognise too that developing statistical expertise does not stop at graduation and that those who do statistical work or analyse data are not confined to professionally qualified statisticians.

The workshop will discuss and review the changes we propose to our accreditation and professional recognition work.

• A new definition of the learning outcomes for a statistics graduate. 
• A new route to Gradstat status based on professional competence
• Quality marks for all statistics education, at any level, from any provider
• A new route into professional statistics via the Data Analyst award.

Speakers include:
Ed Humpherson, director of regulation at the UK Statistics Authority
Sharon Witherspoon CBE, RSS Vice President for Education
Jennifer Panting, Royal Society

Download: Participant info.docx

Organiser Name Ricky McGowan

Email Address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Organising Group(s) RSS Professional Affairs Committee





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