Oxford Union Style Debate

Date/Time:An Oxford Union Debate at Armourer's Hall
Wednesday 12 June 2013, 6.30pm - 9.00pm

Armourers' Hall, 81 Coleman Street, London, EC2R 5BJ

Prices include VAT @ 20%

Early Bird Delegate rate BCS Member Before 10 May 2013 £45.00
Early Bird Delegate rate Non-Member Before 10 May 2013 £50.00
BCS Member rate 11 May 2013 onwards £54.00
Non-Member rate 11 May 2013 onwards £60.00


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An Oxford Union style debate, jointly hosted by the BCS Learning & Development Specialist Group and The Information Technologists' Company Education & Training Committee.

Guests of Honour for this event, representing BCS and WCIT

BCS President Roger Marshall

WCIT Master Michael Grant

Debaters representing the views of Academia and Industry

Armourer's Hall StaircaseDr Bill Mitchell, BCS Academy of Computing

Professor Kevin Jones, Interim Dean of Computing, City University

David Evans, BCS Director of Membership

Dr David Bowers, Open University

The Debate Proposition

"This house believes that Academic Education will never meet the skills needs of the IT Profession"

'Universities are failing to educate graduates with the skills we need' - this is the oft heard complaint by employers of IT graduates. Does the problem start in school with the dire state of ICT teaching and assessment at GCSE and A Level? Should academia be trying to produce graduates with only 'employable skills' that have a shelf life of at best a couple of years? Are employers really expecting universities to produce a mature, rounded professional with 20 years experience straight out of university? Is it reasonable to expect Academia to bridge the skills gap when employers are not prepared to provide a robust career path for IT professionals?

AcArmourer's Hall Coat of Armsademia and the IT Profession seem to be out of alignment in a way that other more mature professional career paths are not. Medicine, law, accountancy and the teaching profession provide a clear path from university to the highest levels of those careers - not so in IT. The IT Profession's skills framework (SFIA) is only a decade old, and IT is neither a regulated or statutory profession - perhaps employers ask and expect too much of Academia, when the IT Profession is still in its infancy.

The dress code for this event is Business formal.

Debate proceedings

Welcome and drinks reception accompanied by our pianist in the Armourers' Hall reception room

  • 18:55 Take seats for the Debate in the Armourers' Hall banqueting room
  • 19:00 Introduction of the Motion and Debaters
  • 20:10 Debate closing remarks from our Guests of Honour 
  • 20:15 Hot fork buffet, drinks and networking in the reception room

Watch the video