The Last Word
Closure of the Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education (RSSCSE) – and a new beginning at Plymouth University
The RSSCSE was established in 1995 under a unique contract of affiliation between a single host institution and sponsors dedicated to the improvement of statistical education for people of all ages. This model worked well for the host institutions: University of Nottingham (1995 – 1999); Nottingham Trent University (1999 – 2009); and Plymouth University (2009 – 2014). Indeed the Centre’s sponsors, led by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS), showed great faith in the work of the Centre through their financial contributions, all supported by the enthusiastic members of the RSSCSE steering committees.
The new (2013 onwards) RSS strategy for education and statistical literacy is to invite a range of UK institutions to contribute to its plans. In order to implement this policy, in July 2014 the RSS removed its backing for a single host institution to carry out statistical education within the UK; as a result on 31 July 2014 the Centre for Statistical Education at Plymouth University became the university’s responsibility under a new name, the International Centre for Statistical Education, ICSE. The RSS intends to support specific projects at the new Centre.
The establishment of the ICSE, hosted within the School of Mathematics and Computing (SoCM), presents a golden opportunity to build on the many projects and reports run and published by the RSSCSE. It also means new ideas can be tried and tested in a world that needs more people than ever to understand the world about them through data and statistics. The many statisticians within SoCM have great potential to try to help spread the message - statistical education is more important than ever. The resources produced by the RSSCSE will be made available here as an archive while the ICSE web site will host any new material.
In the 40+ years I have been involved with working in statistics at all levels, the last 15 as Director of the RSSCSE has easily been the most rewarding. It’s an old cliché, but everything that has been produced by the RSSCSE in this period has been very much a team effort - I shall forever be indebted to the people I have worked with, both as colleagues at the RSSCSE and at related organisations around the world.
31 August 2014