BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT together with the Council for Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC)and the UK Computing Research Committee (UKCRC) jointly hosted the inaugural UK Computing Summit this month.

Dr Rebecca Butler, Academic Dean and Head of College at the College of Engineering, Environment and Science, Coventry University, opened the summit. 

Julia Adamson, Managing Director of Education & Public Benefit at BCS, began with a summary of the UK HE Computing landscape. Next, Jim Dickinson, Associate Editor at Wonkhe, offered insightful analysis on economic challenges, completion rates and specialisation approaches.

Craig Sharp, UK National Contract Point for Digital at Horizon Europe, provided a comprehensive update about upcoming calls for research, and Suraj Bramhavar introduced the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) and his programme exploring ways of building more efficient computers using principles found in nature. 

Evening Events

The conference dinner was held in St Mary’s Guildhall, where Professor Liz Bacon, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Abertay University, delivered a speech exploring challenges and opportunities offered by AI in education. 

Professor James Davenport FBCS CITP of the University of Bath received Honorary Fellowship of BCS, for his outstanding contribution to BCS over time. James commented: ‘This award is not just for me, it’s also for all the other academics who contribute to BCS and the profession in their own right and also to create the next generation of professionals.’

We also welcomed Nicky Danino as the new Chair of CPHC, taking over from Professor Rob Aspin, Associate Dean and Head of Computing in the School of Engineering and Computing at the University of Central Lancashire.

Looking Forward

Day two began with a presentation on the Institute of Coding by Dr James Shuttleworth and Richard Lane, both of Coventry University. Professor Louise Archer, Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education, UCL then presented on the Aspires Project, a longitudinal study on diversity in STEM education.  

Dr Matthew Shardlow and Dr Annabel Latham, Senior Lecturers at the Department of Computing and Mathematics at Manchester Metropolitan University, gave an update on their collaborative generative AI policy paper.  

Professor Tom Crick, Professor of Digital Policy at Swansea University and Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport, was joined by Adam Leon Smith, Chair of BCS’ Fellows Technical Advisory Group (F-TAG) and CTO at Neuro and Dragonfly and Professor Liz Bacon for a discussion about the tech policy landscape.  

A ‘fireside chat’ by Julia Adamson and Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, Co-founder of Stemettes, stimulated much discussion about equity, diversity and inclusion. (To refer your young female or nonbinary students for 1:1 mentorship please follow this link: https://bit.ly/sts-cphc)

BCS President Alastair Revell also chaired a graduate and industry panel discussion exploring skills, recruitment and early careers. The panel included Oliver Kerr (UCLan), Anusha Foy (KPMG), Aditi Ramachandran (6point6), Elise Ghent (University of Warwick), Colin Petford (Discover Financial Services) and Hannah Ashna Jacob (Next).

Caption: (l-r) Attending the Summit were Holly Porter, BCS Managing Director & Dr Parveen Kaur, Associate Dean, Coventry University & Chair of BCS Academic Accreditation Committee