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Computing and Education in the UK

The First Twenty Years
  • Jennifer Davies
Conference paper
  • 257 Downloads
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 145)

Abstract

Computing arose as a numerically significant occupational area in industrialised nations after the Second World War. The right economic conditions for it to become established were met first in the US; the economies of Western Europe and Japan being about ten years behind. By the 1950s jobs in computing were perceived as occupations with some status but, by the Millennium, commentators had realised that computing had failed to professionalise.

Set against this background, this paper describes developments in computing education in the UK at further and higher education level from 1960 until the 1980s. It is from the perspective of the professional body for computing in the UK as recorded in the British Computer Society (BCS) publication, Computer Bulletin. This paper argues that three drivers impacted on the computing curriculum in the UK. First, the British Government was concerned about the health of the British computer industry and future skills shortages. Second, the educational establishments were responding to immediate demand, driven by the employers and potential students. Third, the BCS was seeking to establish itself as the professional body for computing in the UK.

In conclusion, this paper demonstrates that the evolution and growth of the system of computing education in the UK at further and higher education level, from the early 1960s to the late 1980s, was a synergistic response on the part of the educational institutions to the requirements of the British Government, industry and commerce and the professional body, the BCS.

Key words

Computing education Further education Higher education Professional body Government support Industry UK 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Davies
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WolverhamptonUK

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