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Cardiff University announces partnership with the Office for National Statistics

5 June 2019

John Pullinger, Kirsty Williams, Colin Riordan
(left to right): John Pullinger CB, UK National Statistician; Kirsty Williams, Education Minister and Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University

A strategic partnership has been launched between Cardiff University and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Benefits include new data science skills through a summer school scheme, a new senior academic position and extra Masters and PhD courses.

The partnership, the first of its kind for Cardiff University, was announced at the Innovation and Impact Awards held at the National Museum Cardiff. The event celebrates successful collaborations between academics and business.

This partnership will have broader regional impact, including a focus on data and data science, identified as a priority by UK Government, Welsh Government and Cardiff Capital City Deal. Cardiff University and the ONS are committed to bringing their collective capacity and expertise to enhancing the data ecosystem in South East Wales.

It builds on many years of close working between Cardiff University and the ONS which has already seen Cardiff students take part in developing new data science techniques that aim to inform top government decisions. The new partnership places a strong emphasis on developing skills, career pathways and creating graduate opportunities.

Professor Colin Riordan, Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University, said: “I am delighted to be formally launching this new chapter in our relationship with the ONS. While much good work has gone on over the years, our strategic partnership enables us to be more coordinated and focused as an institution in how we plan and collaborate, delivering longer-term impact and outcomes.

“Data science is a theme that I look forward to seeing develop through the partnership. This will contribute to the growing expertise and capability in data science in South Wales, strengthening the region’s data assets and unlocking their potential.”

John Pullinger, the UK’s National Statistician, said: “We work with universities across the UK to share expertise and make sure we are working with leading academics when it comes to creating new statistical insights on the issues which matter most. We already have many close links with Cardiff and are looking forward to enhancing how we work together with the University to inspire the next generation of analysts and policy-makers.

“This partnership creates the potential to add further value to ONS’s significant presence in South Wales. Newport is well established as the home of UK economic statistics and with around 2,000 employees based in our office there, we are now one of the area’s biggest employers. We will continue to develop our people’s skills as we harness the power of data to help Britain make better decisions."

The scope of the five-year partnership will continue to evolve over time, but will include closer sharing of facilities, resources and expertise, co-developing events and activities to promote data use as part of decision making in public policy, and new research collaborations that improve understanding on topics such as healthy ageing, economic intelligence and education and skills.

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