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    Centre for Population Change wins ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize

    Professor Jane Falkingham and her colleagues from the Centre for Population Change (CPC) have won this year’s ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize for Outstanding Public Policy Impact.

    CPC researchers have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to public policy which have improved estimates of the current and future population of the UK, and provided national and local policy-makers, planners and businesses with better evidence for policies and services. The submission team are Professor Jane Falkingham, Professor Maria Evandrou, Professor Ann Berrington, Professor Jakub Bijak, Professor Corrado Giulietti, Professor Peter W F Smith, Professor Athina Vlachantoni, Professor Jackline Wahba, Teresa McGowan, and Becki Dey.

    Watch a short film from the awards ceremony about the CPC submission 'Improving data: Strengthening the evidence base for policy'.

    “We’re delighted that we have won the 2020 ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize for Outstanding Policy Impact. It is a great honour to have been shortlisted this year and we were in esteemed company alongside many impressive ESRC projects. I am proud to be the Director of the Centre for Population Change, and grateful to a fantastic team of researchers for their many innovations and efforts in improving lives through their research. I extend my congratulations to each of them in achieving this award.” said CPC Director, Professor Jane Falkingham who is also Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Southampton.

    Professor Mark E Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton said: “It is my great pleasure to offer my warmest congratulations to Professor Jane Falkingham and her many colleagues associated with the Centre for Population Change on winning this very important award.

    “Over the last decade, the CPC team has improved the measurement of demographic change, resulting in more accurate population projections and statistics to support policy, planning and business decisions in the UK. Their research also explores what demographic change means for society and the people living in it which is a true mark of their impact on us all. As a University where we believe we do remarkable things aimed at changing the world for the better, it is through awards such as this we get external verification of our standing. Well done to all of those involved.”

    From its outset, CPC researchers have worked closely with the ONS to ensure their work addresses the most relevant policy topics. They have developed better measures of the three drivers of population change – fertility, mortality and migration. CPC’s population projections and estimates related to these areas are being used to:

    • Improve fertility estimation for local authorities, creating a better means to predict demand for key services such as school places, including nursery and early years learning, as well as maternity services;

    • Develop new methodology for estimating life expectancy at older ages which has informed the way pension, life and health insurance products are priced as well as helping people better plan their pension and care needs;

    • Reintroduce post-study work visas for international students following a CPC, ONS and Universities UK collaboration that helped to revise inaccurate figures on international student out-migration. This has improved understanding of student mobility and allayed concerns about non-compliance with student visas.

    In 2020, CPC researchers have rapidly focused on the complex problems posed by Covid-19, offering timely evidence on issues as wide-ranging as the virus’s impact on existing socio-economic inequalities to the positive benefits of lockdown for parent-child relationships.

    The CPC team have also led in the development of more effective estimates of excess mortality due to Covid-19. Their estimates take account of changing population structures and long-term trends in mortality. More accurate estimation is crucial in determining the effect of the present pandemic and its differing impacts within the population, and CPC is working closely with ONS to ensure the methods are applied.

    To date, CPC has informed population-relevant discussions at more than 90 events with civil servants and policy-makers in government and local authorities, delivered 77 policy briefings, and produced 59 reports with, and for, intergovernmental organisations including the United Nations, government and European departments, local councils and charities.

    The Centre for Population Change is funded by the ESRC and is partnership between the Universities of Southampton, St. Andrews, and Stirling, in collaboration with the Office for National Statistics and the National Records of Scotland.

    Posted 12/11/2020 13:06