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20 May 2011
A major Cardiff University collaboration which helped support a significant expansion of a large UK government department in South Wales and help equip students with high-level skills needed for a career in statistics has been recognised at the University’s annual innovation awards.
The University’s School of Mathematics and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have teamed-up to develop a number of collaborative projects – the centrepiece being the creation of a new MSc in Operational Research and Applied Statistics, a vocationally orientated course equipping University students with the skills needed for a tough jobs market.
Les Rees, Director of the University’s Careers Service who helped lead the University’s collaboration said: "The ONS’ expansion in South East Wales was a major boost for the South-Wales area and a real boost for the regional knowledge economy.
"Having such a prestigious employer as the ONS headquartering on our doorstep meant we were keen to further develop our relationship with them, largely to ensure our students have the right skills needed for a successful ONS career.
"By working in close collaboration with the ONS we have been able to develop a new MSc tailored to meet their needs and at a high level of academic rigour."
As part of the new course, staff and students attend joint sessions with some lectures being delivered by staff from the ONS.
Martin Brand, Deputy Director of Methodology at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said: "Our unique wide-ranging partnership with Cardiff University has helped smooth the growth of ONS’s office in South Wales and is a long-term commitment into the future.
"We have been able to work innovatively with the University to ensure that the new MSc has highly relevant practical content. This ensures that Cardiff postgraduates get the skills and experience needed to employ them within organisations like the ONS."
Other aspects of this multilayered collaboration include research into areas such as wellbeing, the economy and health. Student placements and projects are increasing at ONS which also offers prizes to outstanding students at the University.
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