I was invited to serve on the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) for the School of Computing at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). I attended my first meeting yesterday afternoon, held on the Paisley campus.
The Board serves a similar purpose to the SQA Sector Panel in that it seeks feedback and advice from external people. But the IAB is huge. There are 44 members, representing 40 external bodies (now including SQA). There was a good turnout at yesterday's meeting, with around 30-35 people attending.
The agenda was varied, including an update on the HE Academy and the use of e-portfolios in Higher Education. The discussion included a debate about students' use of social media and it was interesting how many of the employers stated that they expected CVs to be presented digitally (LinkedIn was particularly popular) and how they routinely used social networks (such as Facebook) for background checks on candidates. One of the items on the agenda related to BCS accreditation of their degree courses, and that reminded me that I need to pursue BCS accreditation for the new HN awards.
I had planned to review the membership of the SQA Sector Panel but yesterday's meeting brought this into sharp focus because of the high turnout at the Board meeting compared to the much lower attendance at Sector Panel meetings. The University's Board and SQA's Panel operate similarly so that's not the problem, but I need to increase membership and representation, and improve attendance at Sector Panel meetings. That will be one of my resolutions for 2012.
Contact Caroline if you want to know more about the Sector Panel.