Posters in Parliament 2019 - Students present their research in Westminster
Wednesday, 06 March 2019
Two Oxford Brookes students were selected to represent undergraduate research at the prestigious Posters in Parliament event on Thursday (7 March 2019).
Posters in Parliament is an annual event at which the best original UK undergraduate research is presented to MPs in parliament, making use of posters to explain an area of study.
Sanna Djurhuus (pictured above right) recently finished her degree in Economics, Politics and International Relations and Briony Farmer (pictured above left) is studying Geography at the University.
Sanna’s research project: Reasons to stay, reasons to return: an impact analysis of a Faroese migration policy focused on students in higher education, explores the issue of youth-migration in the Faroe Islands. Following a policy proposal on migration in the North Atlantic archipelago in 2013, net migration in the Faroe Islands changed from negative to positive. It has continued to remain so, and the research relied on secondary sources and an original survey to assess the effects of the policy proposal and other migration incentives.
Faroese migration issues offered a unique conundrum as a nation faced with three simultaneous migration objectives of firstly wanting its youth to out-migrate due to structural, financial and logistical constraints, but also needing young people to return to help maintain the nation’s public welfare system. The third objective was to make possible out-migrants into non-migrants, by improving education opportunities in the islands, and to provide quality education as a public good for voluntary non-migrants.
Sanna explained how she became involved in the project: “I submitted my abstract to GetPublished! on a whim back in December, so it was a big surprise to be chosen to represent Brookes at the event. My poster was on my dissertation, which I had just finished before the abstract deadline. Making the poster itself was the hardest part, since it challenged me to really understand the essence of my research in order to distill 10,000 words into a story that could fit on one piece of paper. Presenting it at Posters in Parliament was a particularly useful learning experience, as I intend to continue studying for a postgraduate degree, and getting academic recognition for my work - first from Brookes, and then the attendees and judges at the event – is a significant encouragement for me to continue pursuing my academic ambitions.”
Briony Farmer’s project titled: Prefab: A Potential UK Housing Solution? was based on prefabricated (prefab) housing, and its potential to address UK housing market issues. Briony centred her research on a literature review, reading resources such as journal articles, books and online web pages that referred to prefab. This research used a case study of a Legal & General Homes site in Shrivenham, West Oxfordshire, where 180 prefab houses have been planned. Briony suggested policies that should be implemented to overcome the negative societal perception of prefab homes, and ways to maximise the potential.
Briony summed up her anticipation at taking part in the Westminster event: “I am ecstatic to be participating in Posters in Parliament; I have never had the opportunity to do something like this before. I look forward to showcasing my research to MPs, who have the potential to make a difference. My research is something that I feel passionately about, and I am grateful to the university for providing this opportunity. As a career, I am looking to do something regarding urban planning, so this event will not only enhance my university experience, but also my prospects. The University has been incredibly supportive in my efforts, which has enabled me to do this. I would urge anyone who is passionate in their project to apply next year!”
Accompanying students to Parliament is member of staff, Dr Louise Bunce, who mentored and supported students to present their research. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for two of our outstanding undergraduates to share their research in such a prestigious and influential setting. It’s great to see them representing Brookes and making a real contribution to policy, while gaining excellent experience that will help them in their future careers”.
The students spent the whole day in parliament. In the morning, they learnt about how parliament works and how to influence decision-makers through their research, for example by responding to calls from committees of MPs by submitting evidence, or by lobbying local MPs. After a short tour of parliament buildings, they had lunch in Westminster, and in the afternoon, presented their posters at the conference. The conference was attended by MPs as well as university Vice-Chancellors and other prominent figures in higher education.
Through the GetPublished! initiative at the University, Sanna and Briony are fully supported for their visit to Parliament and in presenting their undergraduate research.
Find out more about Posters in Parliament 2019 and other Oxford Brookes undergraduate opportunities at national conferences on the the University's website.
Pictured: (Left to right): Briony Farmer, Dr Louise Bunce and Sanna Djurhuus.
Pictured: Annelise Dodds MP and Sanna Djurhuus.