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The Institute of Coding: A University-Industry Collaboration to Address the UK’s Digital Skills Crisis / James H. Davenport; Tom Crick; Rachid Hourizi
IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON'20)
Swansea University Author: Tom, Crick
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The Institute of Coding (IoC) is a new £40m+ initiative by the UK Government to "transform the digital skills profile of the country". In the context of widespread national and international educational and economic policy interventions, it responds to the apparently contradictory data tha...
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The Institute of Coding (IoC) is a new £40m+ initiative by the UK Government to "transform the digital skills profile of the country". In the context of widespread national and international educational and economic policy interventions, it responds to the apparently contradictory data that the United Kingdom (UK) has a digital skills shortage across a variety of sectors, yet its higher education system produces computing graduates every year who end up unemployed, or underemployed.The Institute is a large-scale national intervention to address some of the perceived issues with formal educational routes versus industry-focused skills and training, for example: technical skills versus "soft" or "work-ready" skills; industry-readiness versus "deep education"; inclusion and diversity of the current and future technical workforce; and managing expectations for the broad digital, data and computational skills demands of employers across a wide range of economic sectors. Alongside these activities at the higher education-industry interface, we have also seen substantial computer science curriculum reform across the four nations of the UK.In this paper, we outline the background, evidence base and rationale for the IoC (especially within the complex UK policy context); its key themes, current activities and outputs; as well as anticipate its likely impact over the coming years. Furthermore, we reflect on the potential replicability of aspects of the Institute (and related initiatives in the UK) to other nations or regions with similar ambitions to address the "digital skills crisis".
Digital skills, Software engineering, Programming, Undergraduate education, Graduate education, Computer science education, Industry collaboration
College of Arts and Humanities