Here are a variety of links to publications and organisations involved in initiatives to address the shortage in quantitative skills.
Recent publications that have documented the skills deficit in quantitative methods:
- Stand Out and Be Counted: A guide to maximising your prospects - The British Academy, in collaboration with ESRC and HEFCE, have published a guide signalling the value of data-handling skills to current undergraduate students. February 2013
- Towards universal participation in post-16 mathematics: lessons from high-performing countries - comparison, by the Nuffield Foundation, of participation in upper secondary mathematics education in seven countries, with the aim of identifying the factors that drive participation. This study was a follow-up to the earlier Nuffield Foundation report Is the UK an outlier?. January 2013
- Society Counts: Quantitative Skills in the Social Sciences - A Position Statement by the British Academy. October 2012
- Most wanted II: Postgraduate and Professional Skills Needs in the Environment Sector - a refreshed and updated report by NERC that identifies essential environmental science skills that are in short supply. 2012
- The Future of Statistics in our Schools and Colleges (PDF) - Research commissioned by the Royal Statistical Society with support from the Actuarial Profession, focusing on the ways statistics is taught and learnt in schools and colleges, primarily in England, with recommendations about future provision of statistics in education. January 2012
- A world-class mathematics education for all our young people - Commissioned by the Conservative Party when in opposition, this report by Carol Vorderman looked at the current state (at the time) of mathematics education in England. August 2011
- Is the UK an outlier? An international comparison of upper secondary mathematics education - in a survey of 24 countries, commissioned by the Nuffield Foundation, England, Wales and Northern Ireland were found to have the lowest levels of participation in upper secondary mathematics. December 2010
- Most Wanted: Postgraduate Skills Needs in the Environment Sector - Review carried out by NERC between 2008-2010 on behalf of the Environment Research Funders' Forum (ERFF). Identified 15 critical skills that are in short supply, which included numeracy. 2010
- Proposals to support and improve the teaching of quantitative research methods at undergraduate level in the UK (PDF) - Strategic Advisor for Quantitative Methods commissioned by the ESRC. Its recommendations have led to the funding of various activities to support quantitative methods teaching. December 2009
Teaching and learning resources
A list of resources for the teaching and learning of quantitative methods:
Organisations involved in the teaching and learning of quantitative methods:
- Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME) - an independent committee, based at the Royal Society, that aims to influence Government strategy and policies with a view to improving the outcomes of mathematics teaching and learning in England, in order to secure a mathematically enabled population. ACME hold conferences and seminars, as well as responding to consultations and publishing position statements.
- Association of Geographic Information (AGI) - promoting the interests of the UK’s geographic information industry. The AGI holds a number of events for the applied the use of GIS.
- British Academy (BA) - the UK's expert body that supports and speaks for the humanities and social sciences. They run an extensive public events programme, and in 2011 launched a 4-year programme targeting the deficit in quantitative skills. The British Academy is one of the Society's partners regarding quantitative skills in geography.
- Geographical Association (GA) - aims to further geographical knowledge and understanding through education. The GA run courses, conferences and other CPD events for geography teachers, and has many geography teaching resources available online.
- Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) - promotes and funds high quality, cost-effective teaching and research. HEFCE is working the Nuffield Foundation and the ESRC to address the skills deficit in quantitative methods, as part of the 'Q Step' programme.
- Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) - in addition to funding economic and social research in the UK, the ESRC hosts a broad range of regular events from seminars to festivals, many of which relate to QM. Also, through their Quantitative Methods Initiative, they are addressing the skills deficit in quantitative research methods across the social sciences. The ESRC is one of the Society's partners regarding quantitative skills in geography.
- National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) - an organisation aiming to advance the role of social research in the UK. They organise a number of events throughout the year. In addition, they are a leading provider of social research training, with courses in a variety of areas.
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) - leading funder of independent research, training and innovation in environmental science in the UK. Led, in 2010, a "Review of Skills Needs in the Environment Sector", identifying 15 skills in "short supply", which included quantitative methods. In 2012, an updated skills review was published.
- Nuffield Foundation - aims to improve social well-being by funding research and innovation in education and social policy. The Foundation has recently launched Q-step, a £19.5m programme designed to promote step-change in quantitative social science training in the UK.
- Royal Statistical Society (RSS) - a learned society and a professional body. "StatsLife" sub-site, the Society advertises a number of different events, from across the UK and around the world.
- UK Data Service - a comprehensive resource funded by the ESRC to support researchers, teachers and policymakers who depend on high-quality social and economic data. They provide a single point of access to a wide range of secondary data including large-scale government surveys, international macrodata, business microdata, qualitative studies and census data from 1971 to 2011. In addition to events, they have a number of teaching resources available online.