Lancaster students tackle inequality in policy workshop with Cabinet Office

25 January 2019 10:53
Some of the students involved in the Policy School outside HM Treasury
Some of the students involved in the Policy School outside HM Treasury

Nineteen students had the opportunity to have their voices heard by Government as part of a joint programme between Lancaster University and the Cabinet Office.

The ‘Policy School’ programme, developed jointly by the University and Cabinet Office, enabled the group of undergraduates to have their say and submit policy proposals to the Cabinet Office to tackle a range of inequalities related to health, ageing, education and people living with disabilities.

Cabinet Office staff hosted the students at the Treasury at the end of 2018 for a policy workshop focused on addressing inequality. Following the workshop, the students compiled policy briefing notes based on their proposals and received detailed feedback from the Cabinet Office following review – emulating the exact policy process undertaken by civil servants in Whitehall.

Chris Webber, Head of the Open Innovation Team in the Cabinet Office, said: “My colleagues and I were delighted to work with students and staff at Lancaster University during the Policy School. The policy proposals that were produced by the student teams were well developed and engaging. I hope the programme provided the students with a good insight into the policymaking process in Government.”

The undergraduate students were guided by four PhD students and four academics from Lancaster who provided research and policy skills support before the workshop at the Treasury, and throughout the development of the policy proposals.

Dr Giles Carden, Chief of Staff at Lancaster University, said: “The Cabinet Office’s Policy School has given students and staff a fabulous opportunity to learn about the policy formulation process at the heart of Government. Gaining access and insight to the policy team, and receiving detailed feedback on their own policy proposals was invaluable for our students. We hope to run the Policy School again in 2019.”

Lancaster University has participated in the pilot phase of the Cabinet Office’s Open Innovation Partnership which is designed to bring civil servants and academic experts together to share ideas and develop solutions to policy challenges. Universities that sponsor the Open Innovation Partnership are entitled to a number of benefits which include academic placements and collaborations, government official visits, and an annual Policy School event for students hosted at the Treasury.

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