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Phil Considine, Director, Policy at Strathclyde

18 November 2019, 9:45 UTC Share

Policy at Strathyclyde

This has been an extremely exciting few months for Policy at Strathclyde where we have been working on a wide range of programmes that aim to support and enhance policy making in Scotland, the wider UK and beyond.

Scottish Government has bold ambitions for achieving a dynamic, inclusive and low-carbon economy that requires new ways of approaching policy development and involves developing concrete solutions to the complex adaptive problems that lie at the heart of ‘grand challenges’ and a systems approach to policy making. Scotland’s National Performance Framework is a world class approach that reflects the values and aspiration of the Scottish people and that are explicitly aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The University has unrivalled expertise in the interdisciplinary development, analysis and support of policy creation & delivery across an extensive range of fields. To support our strategic theme and to combine our expertise in policy and executive education the University of Strathclyde has created the cross faculty, cross disciplinary, cross functional Policy at Strathclyde. Policy at Strathclyde sits at the intersection of creation of policy, the development of those tasked with its implementation and the transfer of knowledge from the University to practice and from practice back to the University. Policy at Strathclyde acts as a laboratory, allowing policy makers to collaborate in the development, delivery and measurement of policy outcomes – to learn from each other and from thought leaders in Scotland, the UK and beyond.

Our centres include the Fraser of Allander Institute, the European Policies Research Centre, the Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures, the Centre for Education & Social Policy, the Scottish Centre for Employment ResearchCentre for Health Policy and the Centre for Energy Policy and they have international reputations with globally important policy research outputs. Strathclyde Executive Education and Development (SEED) delivers high impact programmes to senior managers and executives across all sectors and disciplines underpinned by our philosophy of applied, experiential and personalised learning. This has led to a methodology where all of our programmes are co-created to ensure direct relevance to the organisations – as might be expected from the University, founded during the Scottish Enlightenment as a ‘Place of Useful Learning’.

Our centres are actively engaged in projects that will support the SDGs – for instance the European Policies Research Centre has won a new three-year project, TRACER, which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation. Partners include universities and research organisations, energy consultancy companies and an economic interest group in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Poland, Serbia, Romania and the Ukraine, as well as Welsh Government in the UK. The project aims to support a number of coal-intensive regions around Europe to design (or re-design) their research and innovation strategies in order to facilitate their transition towards a sustainable energy system – linking directly to SDG 7 (Clean and Affordable Energy) and SDG 13 Climate Change. In addition, the Fraser of Allander Institute in Partnership with the Scottish Centre for Employment Research produce a regular update on the labour market contributing to SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 9 (Industry Innovation and Infrastructure). The Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures are working on ‘Justice for Children, Justice for All: The Challenge to Achieve SDG16+’ a programme commissioned by Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies’ Task Force on Justice to highlight the distinct realities of justice for children internationally and inform next steps for the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16, which aims to promote peaceful, inclusive societies for sustainable development and provide access to justice for all.

In addition to our research we have a wide range of educational offerings – one such programme is the Strathclyde Economic Policy Leadership Programme. This programme brings together our expertise in both policy and executive education to create a cross faculty, cross disciplinary, cross functional programme for experienced and emerging leaders in Scotland.

Our approach is collaborative and we are fully aware that many of our peers in the UPEN network are also co-creating policy knowledge and delivering programmes to a wide range of stakeholders. This includes central and local government, NGOs and 3rd sector but if we are to succeed in the implementation of the SDGs then we all know that Goal 17 – Partnerships for the Goals – requires the full participation of the private sector to help bridge $11.5 trillion cost of implementation of a set of standards of supreme importance to the future of our planet. Scotland’s National Performance Framework can make a positive contribution to this process and through our collective support of the SDGs the UPEN network can support this by knowledge transfer, research and its application to our communities.

If there are any areas that you think we can collaborate then please get in touch at

Dr Phil Considine is Director of Policy at Strathclyde. Phil has many years of experience leading Executive Development Programmes, Senior Leadership Programmes and managing external corporate relations for a wide range of organisations from central and local government, Fire and Rescue, NHS, global multi-nationals and NGOs. He has served on boards as a Non-Executive and an Executive Director in both the private and third sectors. Phil hold fellowships of the Higher Education Academy, the RSA and has visiting faculty roles in several other Universities.

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