The Government's Digital Strategy predicted that within 20 years, 90 per cent of all jobs will require some element of digital skills

Consortium awarded £3.7m to develop postgraduate conversion courses in AI and data science

A consortium featuring the University of Exeter has been awarded £3.7m in funding to develop a suite of postgraduate conversion courses in AI and data science. 

The Institute of Coding (IoC)‚Äč consortium, which includes 11 Higher Education institutions, has received the significant funding boost from the Office for Students, it was recently announced.

The move is in response to a shortage of skilled graduates and accelerating demand in the area of data science and AI. The Government's Digital Strategy predicted that within 20 years, 90 per cent of all jobs will require some element of digital skills, therefore the number of graduates skilled in this area needs to increase significantly to keep pace with demand.

A critical objective of this IoC consortium, led by Coventry University, is to increase the number of learners from underrepresented groups in AI and data science, and to encourage graduates from diverse backgrounds to consider a future in this area. 

The consortium will develop a series of flexible modes of study - a mixture of online, blended and face to face learning, and will also be working together to create a two-week online boot camp to support learners in making the transition to AI and data science.  Learners will be able to attend courses from September 2020 across the consortium and the initiative includes provision for scholarship funding to support some learners. 

Professor Richard Everson, Director of the Institute of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Exeter said: “Digital skills are fundamentally important to our changing societal and economic needs, and the University of Exeter are delighted to be part of this consortium to offer a diverse range of conversion courses in AI and Data Science.  The conversion courses will expand the scope of the Institute of Coding activities at the University, broaden the impact from data science courses and training at Exeter and create a real opportunity to support the needs of our society and economic future development.

The IDSAI is designed to form research collaborations and strategic partnerships with industry across the globe, influence government policy in data science, AI and the digital skills agenda, and guide public engagement with social and ethical issues arising from developments in data science and AI, amongst others.

Date: 23 April 2020

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