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Plymouth chosen for prestigious centre

16 October 2008

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) has announced today, Friday 17 October, that it has selected the University of Plymouth as the new location for its Centre for Statistical Education (CSE).

The university secured the contract to host this prestigious centre against very stiff competition. The centre works to promote the improvement of statistical education, training and understanding at all ages. It will relocate to Plymouth from its current base at Nottingham Trent University in August 2009.

Professor David Hand, President of the RSS, said: "Statistics underpins the whole of society so a good understanding of statistics is vital, in schools and colleges, in further and higher education and on into the workplace. The Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education leads on improving statistical education and training for all, working with teachers, lecturers and employers to help the UK workforce have the statistical skills it needs.

"We were extremely impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the University of Plymouth staff and the commitment and planning shown by the university in its bid. It is clear that their aims align very well with the centre's aims, and we are confident that the University of Plymouth will provide an excellent environment and collaborator with which the centre can continue its current programme and launch new initiatives."

Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Plymouth, said: "We are absolutely delighted that the RSS chose the University of Plymouth and look forward to the arrival of this prestigious centre. The RSS were rigorous in their assessment and due diligence and selected us against fierce competition. The university enjoys a strong reputation for teaching, learning and research in mathematics and statistics and the new centre will enable us to further develop a world-class facility in Plymouth that should help us attract more business into the city and region."

The centre leads the research and development of resources for statistical education that can be accessed by teachers, lecturers and employers. It works closely with key partners, which - in addition to teachers and university educators - include the Department for Children, Schools and Families; the Office for National Statistics and government statistical bodies worldwide; the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority; the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics; and the Higher Education Academy Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research Network.

The centre will be co-located with the university's Centres for Teaching Mathematics and Innovation in Mathematics Teaching.

The vision for the centre includes the development of high-quality, interactive internet-based resources; the promotion of masters-level continuing professional development courses for all sectors; help and guidance for all teachers and users of statistical models and tests, and research and development - both national and international - leading to the establishment of an International Centre of Excellence for Statistical Education at the university.


For more information, contact the University of Plymouth Press Office on 01752 588004 and the Royal Statistical Society on 020 7614 3920.

Notes for Editors

This news is embargoed until 00.01 hrs on Friday 17 October. Professor Michael Totterdell, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Plymouth, led the university’s bid for the centre and is available for interviews on Friday 17 October. To make arrangements, please contact the University of Plymouth Press Office on the number above.

About the Royal Statistical Society

The Royal Statistical Society was founded in 1834. It is a learned and professional society, of around 7,000 members based in the UK and overseas. The Society works to develop, foster and disseminate statistical knowledge, methodology and good practice for the benefit of all society.

The Society publishes an internationally renowned peer-reviewed journal, recognises professional expertise through the award of Chartered Statistician and Graduate Statistician status, offers examinations up to honours degree level, and organises an annual international conference as part of a programme of over 150 meetings, seminars and workshops each year.

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About the University of Plymouth

Consistently ranked one of the top modern universities in the UK, Plymouth has a strong record of excellence, enterprise and innovation across its teaching and research activities and is distinguished by its long-term engagement with employers.

With around 30,000 students, including those studying at its partner FE colleges throughout the South West, the university is one of largest in the UK. With four government-funded Centres for Excellence in Teaching & Learning, the maximum awarded to any single institution, the university enjoys a high rate of graduate employment and has recently invested more than £110 million in state-of-the-art facilities to enhance the student experience.

The Faculty of Education is recognised by the Training and Development Agency for Schools as a 'Category A' provider as a result of achieving a Grade 1, or outstanding, rating from Ofsted for the standard of its training and management and quality assurance in both primary and secondary initial teacher education provision.

Plymouth has a national and international research profile. In the Research Assessment Exercise 2001, 11 subject areas were graded '4' or '5' and for the RAE 2008 return the university has doubled the number of staff and increased the number of research outputs by 70%.

As the enterprise university, the University of Plymouth delivers outstanding economic, social and cultural return for business, the professions, the public sector and its wider community.