This semester marks the 25th anniversary of Hull Politics Department’s parliamentary placement scheme. I placed three students at Westminster in 1988-89 as part of our new degree in Politics and Legislative Studies, subsequently British Politics and Legislative Studies (BPLS). The numbers have grown over the years and the BPLS degree complemented by a degree in Law and Legislative Studies (LLS) – students, as with BPLS, spending the third of a four-year degree at Westminster – and a one-semester placement for students taking three-year single honours politics degree. This semester, I have over thirty students on placement, which is in line with recent years. Over the quarter-century, about 300 to 400 students have been through the scheme. Some have gone on to take up notable positions; many have gone on to be parliamentary and governmental affairs officers for leading firms and charities.
A selection of those who have graduated through the scheme include:
Sophie Bethune, Director of Public Relations, American Psychological Association
Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor (Housing), Greater London Authority
John Collins, Chief Executive, CGA Strategy
Nick Cosgrove, Director, Brunswick Group LLP, formerly of the BBC
Simon Denegri, Chair of INVOLVE – the UK’s national advisory group on public involvement – and NIHR National Director for Public Participation and Engagement in Research; formerly CEO of Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)
Andrew Griffin, Chief Executive, Regester Larkin
Mike Hepburn, Head of Public Services and Not for Profit, Guardian News and Media
Richard Jackson, Head of Operations, Conservative Party
Lucie Kon, Head of Staff Engagement, BBC
Chris Rumfitt, Managing Director, Edelman Public Affairs
David Skelton, Director of Renewal; formerly Deputy Director of Policy Exchange
Aaron Speer, Clerk, House of Lords
Nick Stace, Chief Executive and Secretary of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, formerly CEO of CHOICE (Australia), Strategic Communications Director at the Prime Minister’s Office during Gordon Brown’s premiership
Anthony Wells, pollster for You Gov, writes the UK Polling Report http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/
Some of these, such as Richard Blakeway, David Skelton and Tony Wells, are well known in the political world. I have included Simon Denegri because he was one of the original three to go on placement and Aaron Speer because he is a very recent graduate. It conveys a flavour of what getting a tase of Westminster can do for you. I have not included those who are heads of public affairs or parliamentary or govermental affairs officers for companies and charities because the list would be too long.
Readers will not be surprised to hear that the anniversary will be marked by a reception in Westminster in December.