The university has joined the The Institute of Coding (IoC), a consortium of universities and employers, with a mission to develop the next generation of digital talent at degree level and above. The IoC was formally launched last night at a special event in the House of Lords.
Working with the IoC the University of Gloucestershire will bring together the worlds of academia and industry with a remit to spread digital skills across the UK. The IoC organisation will work specifically to develop specialist skills training in areas of strategic importance and boost equality and diversity in digital education and careers. This will be delivered through degrees, degree apprenticeships, short courses, continuing professional development, innovative learning facilities and other outreach activities.
As part of its role, the IoC will also produce research, analysis and intelligence to anticipate future skills gaps across the UK workforce.
The Institute of Coding is a £20 million government investment funded through the Office for Students, and is matched by £20 million pounds of investment from partners.
Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:
“The Institute of Coding will play a vital role in ensuring we can continue to generate the world-class pipeline of digital specialists the UK needs and improve education for everyone.
Backed by £20 million of Government investment, this consortium of over 60 universities, businesses and industry experts will help people of all ages gain the skills they need to secure a range of exciting careers in fields such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.
This is central to the government's modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to make sure we are all equipped for the jobs of the future. I would like to thank everyone involved for their work so far and I'm looking forward to hearing how the Institute of Coding progresses."
Professor Kamal Bechkoum, Head of the School of Business and Computing at the University of Gloucestershire said:
“Coding is fast becoming the most in-demand skill across industry. This is a tremendous opportunity for the University of Gloucestershire to play its part in a project that aims to reframe the education of coding to ensure employers have access to high quality graduates, who are endowed with the skills needed in the digital economy. The University is well placed to play a key role in this initiative, where we already offer a range of successful programmes on cyber security education, and have established strong links to businesses in the sector."
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students, comments:
“The Institute of Coding is a fantastic example of universities and businesses working together to develop the digital skills needed for the UK economy. I am delighted that the institute will also encourage and support groups who are traditionally underrepresented in the digital sector, including female school leavers and women returners."
Dr Rachid Hourizi, director, Institute of Coding comments:
“We have a clear commitment to tackling the digital skills shortfall by making it easier for students, people at work and potential learners that we have not previously reached to access higher education and improve their technical abilities. We believe every person, whatever their background, deserves the opportunity to improve their digital skillsets through flexible learning convenient to their needs, whether that be face-to-face or online, full or part-time and as a stand-alone activity or part of an existing job.
The IoC has already established a network of 25 academic institutions and 60 businesses to deliver these programmes. We are working closely with our partners in industry to help equip new entrants and experienced professionals with the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy."