Strategically important and vulnerable subjects (SIVS) advisory group
The SIVS advisory group was set up in January 2005 to identify strategically important and vulnerable subjects and the principles on which to base intervention.
The group reconvened in 2012 to review the data and information relating to the sustainability of subjects, and to provide advice and recommendations to the HEFCE Board regarding the identification, monitoring and support for SIVS.
Peter Saraga OBE - former HEFCE Board member and formerly Managing Director, Philips Research Labs UK - chairs the group.
Members of the group
|Members of the strategically important subjects advisory group|
|Peter Saraga (Chair)|
|John Craven||Formerly University of Portsmouth|
|David Docherty||National Centre for Universities and Business|
|Julia Goodfellow||University of Kent|
|Alison Halstead||University of Aston|
|Chris Linton||Loughborough University|
|Ian Lyne||Arts and Humanities Research Council (for RCUK)|
|David Llewellyn||Harper Adams University|
|Matthew Harrison||BuroHappold Engineering|
|Ric Parker||Rolls Royce|
|Karen Price||e-skills UK|
|Colin Riordan||Cardiff University|
|Sonja Stockton||Baxter Neumann|
|Nigel Vincent||University of Manchester and the British Academy|
|Shearer West||University of Sheffield|
|Sharon Witherspoon||Formerly Nuffield Foundation|
|Peter Seddon/Linda Allebon||HEFCE|
Terms of reference for the group
Advisory group minutes
Minutes of the meetings of the SIVS Advisory Group are available for download below.
Minutes of January 2013 meeting
Minutes of November 2013 meeting
Minutes of the May 2014 meeting
Advisory group's 2010-11 report
The advisory group produced its second report for 2010-11. This report:
- notes key developments since the group's first report in 2009
- sets out the evidence on the current and future supply of graduates and postgraduates in SIVS subjects
- analyses the predicted future demand for all SIVS qualifications.
Advisory group's 2009 report
In response to a request in Lord Sainsbury's Review of Science and Innovation, 'The Race to the Top', the advisory group produced its first report on the supply of, and demand for, STEM graduates.
The report found continued growth in vulnerable science subjects to levels beyond those in 2005 when the Government became concerned about their vulnerability. The group found that forecasts about future demand for STEM graduates should only be used to inform policy on the supply of HE in the broadest terms.
Report of the 2008 advisory group
The 2008 advisory group reported that principles of the overall programme are still sound. Adapting the 2005 advice to today's environment, the group advise that:
- the dynamism of the HE sector is a great strength that should be paramount in any policy
- the availability of teaching programmes in vulnerable disciplines is more important than the existence of a named department
- a strong supply of skilled labour, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is vitally important.
The report of the advisory group (HEFCE 2008/38) is available.
A brief guide outlining our support for and approach towards SIVS is available.
Sustaining science and other key vulnerable subjects in higher education
Evidence Ltd conducted an interim evaluation of the programme to inform the advisory group's report, and the work of the programme going forward.
2005 advisory group
The group was chaired originally by the late Professor Sir Gareth Roberts. It first reported in June 2005.
The group advised, in this initial report, that the dynamism of the English higher education sector is a great strength, and interventions to support subjects should, as a rule, be kept to a minimum. However, the group suggested that there are certain subjects that are both strategically important and vulnerable. Vulnerability may be measured by either a mismatch between supply and demand, or by a concentration of the subject in institutions which may be particularly vulnerable to change.
The report of the advisory group (HEFCE 2005/24) is available.
Following consideration of the report, a letter providing the Board's response to the Secretary of State was issued in June 2005.