General Reports and Other Publications
LLUK: Lifelong Learning UK is publishing the results of their investigation into how technology is changing teaching & learning. Technology is changing our learning institutions, but not everyone is using it to its full potential. A survey by the National Union of Students showed that 42.9% of students would like academics & teachers to make more use of technology. You can access the findings in 4 ways.
HEFCE: Universities & colleges need to make online learning a central part of organisational strategies if they are to meet rapidly changing student demands and stay competitive in the global higher education (HE) market. So says the report, 'Collaborate to compete: Seizing the opportunity of online learning for UK higher education', published by the Online Learning Task Force.
The report showcases 14 online innovative approaches to course delivery in the UK, including partnerships between HEIs and the private sector. The report also makes six recommendations to institutions and the wider HE sector.
Press release ~ 'Collaborate to compete: Seizing the opportunity of online learning for UK higher education' ~ Further details of the OLTF
Newswire – ESC: The European Scrutiny Committee has published ‘The European Union Bill: Restrictions on Treaties and Decisions relating to the EU’, which explains how Part 1 of the Bill will apply referendum locks and other constitutional safeguards before further competence or power can be transferred from the UK to the EU. The Report's overall evaluation & conclusions are summarised in the last chapter.
Press release ~ European Scrutiny Committee Report: The EU Bill: Restrictions on Treaties and Decisions relating to the EU ~ Bills before Parliament: European Union Bill
BIS: Employers highly value graduates who gained their qualification while studying & working part time, research published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) reveals. Around a third of employers said that their views of part time study have improved based on the experience of their employees.
IfG: The Institute for Government highlights the fact that on Thursday 20 January, the House of Lords held a 4-hour debate on the 'constitutional and parliamentary effect of coalition government'.
NLGN: A new report by localism think tank New Local Government Network has set out a vision for more sustainable local public services beyond the current financial settlement and the aims of the government’s Localism Bill.
Next Localism: Five trends for the future of local government explores how a new relationship between State & Citizen could make a reality of the freedoms needed to fulfil local government’s ambition, shape the future of local democracy and ‘lock in’ localism into the wider public service reform agenda. The report demands three key reforms from central government that would herald a new era of localism. NLGN has also identified five shifts for how councils can be more ambitious.
Newswire – CE&CCC: New Government rules on energy policy could lead to a second ‘dash for gas’, delaying critical investment in renewables & other low carbon technologies and making the UK’s climate change targets impossible to achieve - MPs on the Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee warn in a report.
The Committee is also sceptical about the ability of the Government to deliver its aims on nuclear power. Ministers told the Committee that the NPSs should enable the development of 16 GW of new nuclear plant by 2025. That is 2 new nuclear plants each year.
Press release ~ Report: The revised draft National Policy Statements on Energy ~ Energy and Climate Change Committee
nef: With the average national vacancy rates on high streets expected to exceed 15% as cuts to public services, consolidations of chain stores and national economic conditions play out local economies, nef (the new economics foundation) believes we should be looking at new ways to reinvigorate our town centres.
Press release ~ The Guardian: The British high street: RIP ~ Financial Times: The changing face of Britain’s high streets ~
Reimagining the high street
NE: A new report (Crop Wild Relatives: Plant Conservation for Food Security) published last week by Natural England shows how the scarce wild relatives of modern crops ‘could hold some of the seeds of success in the fight for global food security’.
All of our food crops were originally wild plants whose descendants have for centuries been selectively bred to develop higher yielding crops. In the process a great deal of their original genetic diversity has been lost. In the 20th century, 75% of genetic diversity in crops was lost due to increased use of scientifically bred varieties.
Newswire – CIPD: There is a big difference between the conditions that can accompany strong organisational performance in benign economic times (or over the short-term) and those that yield the kind of sustained organisational performance, through good times & bad, that all organisations truly strive for, according to the findings of a 2-year research programme unveiled by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
The programme, Shaping the Future is built on detailed, tracking of the progress of 6 organisations undertaking change programmes over a 2-year period, as well as drawing insight from the 11,000 practitioners in the dedicated network through round table events, polls & online discussions. The final report draws out 10 key insights from the research to help managers & leaders unlock sustained, long-term performance in their own organisations.
Newswire – P&CRC: The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee has published its assessment of the process of government formation following the May 2010 general election. In general, the committee finds that the process went well, but it also suggests some practical improvements & clarifications. The committee has already commenced a separate inquiry into the draft Cabinet Manual that was published in December 2010.
Press release ~ Report: Lessons from the process of government formation after the 2010 general election
Newswire – NHSConfed: A briefing from the NHS Confederation calls on parliamentarians to analyse & debate the main elements of the Health and Social Care Bill. Since it was published in January, the NHS Confederation has examined it line by line. While they support the objectives of the proposed reforms, areas such as how accountability will work need further clarification if the new healthcare system is to be a success.
Press release ~ Briefing for 2nd reading ~ Parliamentary stages web page ~ 12 recommendation for policy makers ~ Liberating the NHS. What might happen?
Defra: Roads, railways, energy & water supply networks and other infrastructure all need to be able to cope with the effects of a changing climate. The first batch in a series of reports produced by organisations which maintain national infrastructure and published by Defra set out potential risks & solutions.
Reports from 7 organisations (National Grid plc (gas + electricity), the Environment Agency, Trinity Lighthouse Authority, the Highways Agency, Network Rail and Natural England) were carried out at the request of Defra under the Climate Change Act to ensure that organisations with a crucial role in running the country’s infrastructure are preparing for the threats & opportunities which climate change will pose.
The government has also published an overarching document outlining the emerging findings from the 7 reports. In total 91 organisations will be asked to submit reports to Defra over the next year, covering water utilities, rail companies, major airports, harbour authorities and economic regulators.