Minutes of HoDoMS Committee meeting 5th April 2002 University of Birmingham


Charles Goldie (University of Sussex), Chair
Neil Challis (Sheffield Hallam University), Secretary
Martin Everett (University of Greenwich), Treasurer
Peter Giblin (University of Liverpool)
Ken Houston (University of Ulster)
Adrian Lepper (I.M.A.)
Duncan Lawson (University of Coventry)
Walter Middleton (University of Sunderland)
Alice Rogers (King's College, London)
David Stirling (University of Reading)
Tony Wickstead (Queen's University, Belfast)

1. Apologies for absence
Jeff Griffiths, Maia Angelova, Jim Howie, Trevor Sweeting

2. Minutes of meeting of 11th January 2002 accepted as correct.

3. Matters arising not otherwise on the agenda
3.1 (minute 7) Correspondence with Credit Consortia, as previously circulated, received negative response from them.
3.2 (minute 4.2) The issue of number of mathematically related units of assessment in RAE is raised as an item for the CMS.
3.3 (minute 7) On writing to QCA about Advanced Extension Awards, they agree to the use of 'unclassified' rather than 'fail', but not to release of marks, saying there is 'no system'.

4. Correspondence
4.1 Chair wrote to VC at University of Essex concerning closure of Mathematics department there. Received a reasoned answer. Both the standards issue raised by closures, and other possible closures in pipeline are noted with concern.
4.2 The QCA has issued the invitation to the next regular meeting and issued a form to help set the agenda. HoDoMS will set up a team and circulate the form to those involved. (Action CMG)
4.3 The DfES is setting up a one-year special committee to study the school/university interface. HoDoMS would wish to propose Duncan Lawson as its representative, if asked.
4.4 The LMS newsletter mentions a Women in Mathematics mentoring project. Chair has alerted the organisers to use IMA and RSS means of dissemination as well.
4.5 Learned societies were asked to nominate 2 young scientists/mathematicians to meet members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee and other parliamentarians. The LMS passed the request on to the HoDoMS Chair, who nominated two (from RHUL and Sussex). They had a worthwhile visit.
4.6 Concerning the 'Tuning' project, on aligning degrees across Europe, the LMS has written to the UK contact at Bath expressing concern at the current questionnaire which mentions only transferable skills and not subject expertise. HoDoMS will keep a watching brief on this project.
4.7 Chair invited to address CPAM. Raises issue of overlap and duplication between professors (CPAM and COPS) and heads (HoDoMS). Possible joint event will be informally explored.
4.8 Concerning MMath and NQF/Credit Consortia, HoDoMS will gather evidence for defence via a questionnaire in preparation for future QAA Subject Review, which will be internal but with external members. (Action CMG, DS)

5. Chair's Communications not otherwise on the agenda
A Level Further Mathematics and its discounting for Medical School admissions. CMG has been involved in some correspondence, one outcome of which is the realisation that FM is perceived poorly as an add-on. CMG will gather more information then write to Medical School admissions tutors to disabuse them of any mistaken notions. (Action CMG)

6. Meeting dates/venues
Autumn Friday 27th September 2002 11 a.m. London
Winter Friday 10th January 2003 11 a.m. London
Conference Date/venue to be announced
(Note subsequently decided between meeting and issue of minutes as 10-11th April 2003 at University of Greenwich)
Seek liaison and possible common ground on agenda with CPAM/COPS.
Invite both HOD or representative, and professors, to conference 2003.

7. Watching brief assignments:
(Mentioned only where there is something to report)

ACME response to 14-19 Green Paper circulated.

Head of Maths team now Alice Onion. Current consultation comparing pilot comparison of A Level and IB. Reporting mechanism not clear.

Neil Mackay (University of York) was elected to Council.

Once more in September in Birmingham.

8. HoDoMS website
Duncan Lawson (taking over from Nigel Steele) will investigate development, retaining independence, and getting a url (hodoms.ac.uk?) (Action DL)

9. Issues arising from Conference
Given the long-term fall-off in the proportion of women at all levels above undergraduate, agreed to try to support well-founded initiatives to improve the sex balance.

10. Reaction to DfES 14-19 Green Paper
Committee to take questionnaire, send responses, to relevant questions only, to CMG, who will draft a response and circulate before sending off. (Action: Committee members and CMG)

11. Future HoDoMS business
No issues raised in addition to those already mentioned.

12. Any other business
Approach Sir Howard Newby's diary secretary concerning availability for 2003 conference (already agreed in principle) (Action NVC)

Neil Challis
Hon Sec HoDoMS