Prime Minister announces new £40 million Institute for Coding

The University of Manchester will play a key role in the region’s digital future as part of the new Institute of Coding launched at the World Economic Forum 2018 in Davos, by Prime Minister, Theresa May

The Institute of Coding is a consortium of more than 60 universities, businesses and industry experts set to receive £20 million to tackle the UK’s digital skills gap. The government’s £20 million investment will be matched by a further £20 million from industry.

Speaking at Davos, the PM says the Institute will play a key part of the government’s efforts to drive up digital skills through the Industrial Strategy, equipping people of all ages with the skills they need in the sector.

The consortium is formed of businesses including IBM, Cisco, BT and Microsoft, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 25 universities, including The University of Manchester, and professional bodies such as the British Computer Society and CREST. It will be led by the the University of Bath.

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. As we have outlined in the Industrial Strategy, this is part of our ambition to embrace technological change and give us a more competitive edge in the future.”


Dr Caroline Jay
The Institute of Coding will enable us to pioneer a new approach to learning at The University of Manchester.
Dr Caroline Jay

Manchester's role will see researchers from the School of Computer Science adapting industry-strength software engineering tools to build systems for providing "continuous feedback and marking" for students.

Dr Suzanne Embury, Manchester's lead researcher on the project, explains: "In most university teaching, students have to wait until they have submitted their work and it is marked, before they find out where they went wrong and what they should have done instead.

"Our systems will provide formative feedback and guidance to students as they complete the work. This will allow misunderstandings to be corrected early and frees up staff and Teaching Assistants to focus on teaching the more subtle, subjective aspects of software quality."

Dr Caroline Jay, Co-Investigator and lead on the ‘Learning Analytics’ strand of the Manchester project, added: "The Institute of Coding will enable us to pioneer a new approach to learning at The University of Manchester, through materials developed collaboratively by research software engineers and academic researchers.

"The work will provide an in depth understanding of how people learn to think computationally, allowing us to transform the way in which we teach the software engineering techniques that are fast becoming essential in modern life."

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