The Open University (OU) is to play a lead role in the creation and running of the UK’s first Institute of Coding, it has been announced today, 25 January 2018.
The £40 million Institute of Coding (IoC), funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and match funds, which will run up to March 2019, will deliver the greatest possible impact on UK digital skills by delivering innovation, sharing intelligence and promoting best practice.
Led by the University of Bath, the IoC brings together a world-class consortium of research- and teaching-focused Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), large corporates, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), established industry groups, experts in the delivery of distance/non-traditional learning and professional bodies to develop and deliver innovative, industry-focused computing education across the UK.
The challenge addressed by this proposal is the UK-wide shortage of digital skills and lack of employability prospects reported in recent skills and employability reports.
The OU has received £1 million funding and £1 million co-investment and will play a key role leading the Institute’s first theme, University Learners, which aims to transform graduate employability through innovative teaching provision accredited to a new co-designed industry standard.
The OU will draw on its almost 50 year track record in delivering innovation in higher education and its social mission in widening participation to deliver this theme. It will also share its expertise in cyber security and data science to develop new courses in these fields.
“There are not enough graduates currently in cyber security, data science and in general coding”, said Professor John Domingue, Director of the OU’s Knowledge Media Institute and OU lead for the IoC. “We are extremely excited to be playing a leading role within the Institute of Coding as there is a fabulous fit between our values and expertise and the goals of this enterprise. Our many decades worth of experience of attending to the learning needs of our students, founded on our ethos of open learning, will be leveraged to address the significant issues associated with widening participation in the computing area.”