UK must increase science funding to keep up with competitors

The UK is falling behind its competitors in research and development (R&D) investment and the Government will be putting competitiveness, productivity and jobs at risk if it does not set out a clear roadmap to increase science funding in the Spending Review, the cross-party Science & Technology Committee is warning in their report published 9th November 2015. 

Green Paper on the Future of Higher Education Published

Published on 6th November 2015, the green paper "Fulfilling Our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice" outlines government proposals addressing the future of higher education. 

Consultation on the proposals will run for 10 weeks, closing on 15 January 2016.

Consultation on GCSE and A level reform

Published on 3rd November 2015,  the Department for Education and Ofqual issue two consultations on the reform of subject content  and the assessment for new GCSEs and A levels which will be taught from 2017, including AS and A Level Politics. The continued inclusion of Global Politics is key to students continuing on to further their International Studies knowledge at degree level. The reform of subject content is part of the wider reform currently being undertaken for GCSEs and A level subjects.

Joint Committee on Human Rights: Inquiry into the use of Drones

UK Government's policy on the use of drones for targeted killing inquiry.
The Government has not published any formulated policy on the use of drones for targeted killing.  As a result there is a lack of clarity about the policy; about whether and how the legal frameworks of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and ordinary criminal law apply; and about the relevant legal tests and principles that apply to the use of lethal force in such circumstances. 
It is not clear how the relevant decision-makers test the sufficiency of evidence, who checks that the tests are satisfied, and what the framework of accountability is.  The uncertainty not only makes accountability difficult, it potentially exposes front line personnel to criminal liability for the unlawful use of lethal force.

Update - Dept of Politics University of Surrey

BISA congratulates the University of Surrey's Department of Politics on the very welcome news that its future has been secured. The Department will continue to exist as a discrete unit, with a staff of ten, and there will be no compulsory redundancies. All of its undergraduate and postgraduate provision will remain intact. BISA extends its good wishes and full support to the Department in the next phase of its development.

Professor Nicola Phillips, University of Sheffield, BISA Chair

Department of Politics at the University of Surrey

BISA’s officers have been communicating with colleagues at the University of Surrey and making representations to its senior management following the news that restructuring at the University has placed politics and international relations staff at risk of redundancy.  BISA will continue to liaise with its members in the Department to offer ongoing support and assistance.

Chair's message

I’ve been reminded frequently over recent months that, in the International Studies community in the UK, one of the ways we seem to measure our age is in BISA conferences. As BISA celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, recollections abound about panels, discussions and memorable spectacles (of, ahem, varying kinds) in its conference history, reminding us of the place that BISA has occupied in the profession for the last four decades. I am especially privileged and honoured to take over the role of chairing BISA at this moment in its history, and look forward to the next two years of working with our Vice-Chair, Professor Richard Whitman, our CEO, Gail Birkett, and the rest of the team of Officers and Trustees of BISA. 

Call for Editors: International Studies Today blog

The British International Studies Association launches a new blog, International Studies Today (IST), on 1 March 2015. The blog is designed to alert readers to innovative research and to provide a forum for discussing contemporary international issues. The blog also seeks to be a bridge between the scholarly and policy communities, and to connect BISA’s diverse research networks. 

The Business of People

A new report "The Business of People: The Significance of Social Science over the Next Decade" by the Campaign for Social Science was launched on the 24th February, by Rt Hon Greg Clarke MP, Miniter for universities, Science and Cities. 

As the UK general election and spending review draw near, this report makes recommendations to politicians and Policy makers in Westminster, Whitehall and in the devolved administrations, as well as funding councils, think tanks, higher education and businesses.

British International Studies Association


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