Thursday, 2 August 2007

Achievement and recruitment

I had lunch with Ron Dillin today. Ron and I were colleagues at Stow College in the early Nineties and it was good to catch up with things... and Ron's views are always sensible and thought-provoking.

We spent most of the time discussing issues facing FE Computing departments - particularly recruitment and student achievement (historically poor in this subject area). He also reminded me of the gender imbalance in Computing courses (typically, 10% of students are women).

We discussed at some length what could be done about these problems. I was particularly interested to know what SQA could do to help things. I plan to arrange a Head of Computing meeting later this year and it seems worthwhile to include these issues on the agenda.

These problems are not unique to FE. HE has the same issues (Ron gave the example of a university Computing Science department receiving 60% fewer applications last year than in 2003). But maybe we can put our heads together and do something to help things.

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