National Institute of Coding established to boost future digital skills
29 January 2018
On Friday 26 January, Theresa May announced a £20 million investment in the Institute of Coding, to train the next generation of digital specialists.
The Institute of Coding is a consortium of more than 60 universities, businesses and industry experts set to receive £20 million to tackle the UK’s digital skills gap. UCL is a founding member.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum 2018 in Davos, the Prime Minister outlined how the Institute of Coding will create new degree level courses to equip people of all ages with the digital skills they need.
The consortium is formed of businesses including IBM, Cisco, BT and Microsoft, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 25 universities, and professional bodies such as the British Computer Society and CREST. The 25 universities involved, led by the University of Bath, range from sector leaders in business and computer science (UCL and Newcastle University) to experts in arts and design (University of the Arts) to specialists in widening participation and outreach (Open University and Birkbeck College).
The award follows a nationwide competition, run by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), to improve the way universities train people for digital careers.
The government’s £20 million investment will be matched by a further £20 million from industry, including in-kind contributions such as training and equipment.
Following the announcement, the Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: “A world-class pipeline of digital skills are essential to the UK’s ability to shape our future. By working together, universities, employers and industry leaders can help graduates build the right skills, in fields from cybersecurity to artificial intelligence to industrial design.
“The Institute of Coding will play a central role in this. Employers will have a tangible input to the curriculum, working hand-in-hand with universities to develop specialist skills in areas where they are needed most. As we have outlined in the Industrial Strategy, this is part of our ambition to embrace technological change and give us a more competitive edge in the future.”
Dr Rachid Hourizi, Director of the Institute of Coding, said: “The strength of the Institute of Coding lies in the fact that it brings together educators, employers and outreach groups to co-develop digital skills education at undergraduate and masters level for learners in universities, at work and in previously under-supported groups across the country.
“In addition, we’ll work with our partners to target underrepresented talent through outreach activities, tailored and inclusive curricula, flexible delivery and removal of barriers to working in the industry.”
BT, among others, will provide staff and training for the Institute of Coding’s undergraduate and masters programmes.
Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: “The benefits to students from the Institute of Coding are clear: exciting courses designed to meet the needs of employers; exposure to leading research; and increased work experience to support the development of their employability skills and transition to work.
“I am delighted that the Institute also aims to encourage more women into the digital sector.”
Find out more about the Institute of Coding on their website.
Please see the press release by the Department of Education for the full list of employers and universities involved in the Institute of Coding.