Prime Minister announces Institute of Coding
31 January 2018
Cardiff University will form part of a brand new Institute of Coding set up to tackle the UK’s digital skills gap by training the next generation of digital specialists.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Theresa May announced funding of £20 million to bring together universities, businesses and industry experts to equip people of all ages with the digital skills they need. 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.
The Institute of Coding is a consortium 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, University of London).
The University will be specifically involved in boosting graduate employability by delivering degree programmes centred on real-world business problems and developing the skills needed by “work-ready” graduates.
In addition to this, the University will also contribute to initiatives aimed at widening participation in technology-related education through workshops, bootcamps and outreach activities.
Much of this work will relate to the activities of the National Software Academy (NSA), the University’s centre of excellence for software engineers based in Newport.
The NSA is already contributing to plugging the digital skills gap through its innovative software engineering degree programme. When students graduate from the NSA, they are equipped with the necessary skills that businesses are looking for in order to start working straight away.
This is achieved by working side-by-side with industry on real-world business problems throughout the three-year degree programme.
The School of Computer Science and Informatics, in which the NSA is based, also has an established programme of outreach activities, with events run throughout the year aimed at inspiring young people and their families to engage with technology.
“Through the establishment of the Institute of Coding, we hope to build on the excellent work that is already happening at the National Software Academy and produce some of the most sought after graduates with all of the skills and experience needed to build successful careers.”
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.”
For more information, go to http://www.hefce.ac.uk/skills/IoC/