Web Magazine for Information Professionals

JISC 2003 Conference Report

Philip Pothen reports on Secretary of State Charles Clarke's view of the importance of ICT in the education sector and the role of the JISC in its implementation.

At the JISC 2003 Conference the Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP, Secretary of State for Education and Skills, underlined the central role for ICT within the education sector.

Fig 1 Photo (28K): Charles Clarke delivers his keynote speech at 2003 JISC Conference

In the conference’s keynote speech [1] , Charles Clarke said, “I’m passionate about the use of new technology in the classroom. It goes right through the education system from early years to higher education and helps boost standards. It can make a real difference to teaching and can engage and excite students of all ages.”
Charles Clarke congratulated the JISC on its achievements [2], in particular its world-class high-speed network and the pioneering use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in learning and teaching. He went on to say that the JISC’s key strength was its pivotal role in developing the use of ICT within the wider education sector, especially in the areas of lifelong learning and widening participation. He saw the JISC network as a very important vehicle through which the schools and further and higher education sectors could be brought closer together.

During his speech, Charles Clarke set out the following key areas for the JISC’s future work:

Fig 2 Photo (30K): Professor Maxwell Irvine, Chair of JISC with Rt Hon Charles

Professor Maxwell Irvine, Chair of JISC with Rt Hon Charles
Clarke, MP and Dr Malcolm Read, JISC Executive Secretary

JISC’s framework currently supports the government’s ICT priorities through its main activities:

However, there is still much work to be done in promoting the use of ICT and as Charles Clarke has taken personal responsibility for ICT within the government, it will be a key priority area for the JISC and the education sector as a whole. The JISC’s experience over ten years, as well as its commitment to innovation and expertise, will ensure that it plays its part in meeting the challenges of the future and remains responsive to the changing needs of the post-16 education sector.


  1. Text of Charles Clarke’s speech http://www.dfes.gov.uk/speeches/search_detail.cfm?ID=64
  2. JISC press release http://www.jisc.ac.uk/index.cfm?name=jisc_conf_pr

Author Details

Dr Philip Pothen
Communications Manager
JISC Executive

Email: philip.pothen@kcl.ac.uk
Web site: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/