Originally Published 03 December 2001
Margaret Hodge, Minister for Lifelong Learning and Higher Education, came on a fact-finding trip to the University on 18 October.
Mrs Hodge was appointed to her ministerial post following the general election in June. She has been visiting a number of institutions in order to get to know the higher education sector better and to have a chance to discuss current issues face-to-face with staff and students.
Mrs Hodge asked to visit the base room of the panel undertaking the Subject Review of the Department of Philosophy, which was later awarded an excellent score of 24 out of 24 points. The review team praised a number of strengths including the distinct contribution made by the Department to the provision of Philosophy in the UK, the positive way in which current research informs the curriculum and the excellent liaison between the Department and central and administrative services. Whilst the QAA review team was clearly impressed with the quality of provision in Philosophy at Warwick, it is unlikely that the Minister was impressed with the huge volume of paper required which she saw in the base room.
Later that day, Mrs Hodge was also given a tour of the new laboratories of the Institute of Applied Cognitive Science in the Department of Psychology, where she was given demonstrations of the types of research undertaken using equipment funded by the Joint Infrastructure Fund (JIF) initiative. She later commented: "It was fascinating and I am encouraged to see involvement and financial backing from some of the world’s multi-nationals in these projects."
After her visit to the University Mrs Hodge went on to Tile Hill College where she had the opportunity to meet staff and students on the 2 + 2 degrees run in partnership between the University and local colleges.