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Statisticians' Seminar Produces Top Class Results

An acclaimed Chinese statistician has praised as “crucial” a seminar hosted by the University of Ulster to discuss the future of research on regional and urban statistics.

Stephen Leung from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Office was stressing the importance of the satellite meeting of the 58th World Statistics Congress which took place recently at the Radisson Roe Hotel in Limavady

He said: “The Limavady meeting has been crucial in the development of comparable statistics on urban and regional issues, as it has provided a chance for delegates to draw together the various issues raised at the World Congress and previous meetings.”

And his praise was echoed by Gerry O’Hanlon, Director of the Irish Central Statistics Office who said it showed how the statistical community throughout Ireland was “unified” and held a “common professional purpose that transcends political boundaries.”

The seminar, entitled the Standing Committee on Regional and Urban Statistics of the International Statistical Institute, was organised by Derek Bond from the University’s Ulster Business School, who was also a member of the National Organising Committee for the World Congress which was held in Dublin last month.

He said: “With increasing internationalisation, cities and regions are becoming central to most policy initiatives. The need for internationally comparable urban statistics is becoming increasingly important.”

Dr Norry McBride, Academic Enterprise Co-ordinator at the Ulster Business School, stressed the importance of collating accurate statistics for local regions.

He said: “The provision of timely, accurate and comparable statistics for regions such as Northern Ireland is essential for its long-term development. Inward investment requires quality information about a region’s socio-economic condition.

“The Ulster Business School has, for many years, played an active role in ensuring that such data is internationally comparable and we are extremely happy to have played host to this Standing Committee.”

Concluding the event, Professor Pilar Martin-Guzman from Madrid University, a former Director of the Spanish Statistics Office, thanked the University of Ulster for its hospitality.

She said:  “The meeting has proved a chance for senior colleagues to discuss major issues in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.”

Recent Standing Committee meetings have been held in Riga, Santiago de Chile and Beijing and the 2012 event is planned for Dalian in China.