06 Mar 2018

Open University welcomes tech pioneer Jacqueline de Rojas to Institute of Coding

Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President of techUK, has been appointed co-chair of the Institute of Coding (IoC) which brings together industry and academia in a co-ordinated effort to address the UK’s digital skills gap.

The Open University is one of the key partners in the Institute of Coding, leading on graduate employability and the teaching of computer science, data science and cyber security in universities. Its experience in delivering innovation and driving social mobility will help draw people of all backgrounds into studying IT and computing.

Jacqueline will bring her considerable skills, expertise and profile to help the IoC reduce the UK’s digital skills shortage, and attract more people from under-represented groups into the digital and technology sectors.

Jacqueline de Rojas says: “I’m delighted to be appointed as co-chair of the Institute of Coding and look forward to working with industry and academia. I’m passionate about the digital and tech sectors and diversity and inclusion, and I see a great opportunity through the IoC to make a genuine difference in the UK.”

Vice-Chancellor of the OU, Peter Horrocks, welcomes Jacqueline’s appointment, saying: "I am delighted to hear of Jacqueline's appointment as co-chair, as I know she shares our passion for diversity and inclusion. The Institute of Coding presents a great opportunity to encourage people from under-represented groups into the digital and technology sectors - we're looking forward to working with Jacqueline to make this happen."

The Open University’s project lead for the Institute of Coding, Professor John Domingue, says that bringing industry and universities closer together is crucial for success: "We are looking forward to working with Jacqueline on how industry and academia can come together to address the digital skills gap both for the benefit of the UK economy, and for individual learners striving to fulfil their true potential."

Jacqueline commented: “Operating at the interface between industry and educators sets the Institute apart and offers the chance to address the digital skills shortage in a ground-breaking, collaborative, way. Meeting that skills challenge is crucial to the UK’s future success.”

The Institute of Coding was established with £20M from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and more than £20M of matched funding from partners. It will ensure that employers and learners across the UK can access the skills training they need to compete in the global digital economy.

Bringing together a unique consortium of 25 universities, national and international corporations, SMEs, industry groups, experts in non-traditional learning and professional bodies, IoC Consortium partners will offer a range of accredited courses. This will include top quality computer science teaching alongside the business skills, interpersonal skills and real-world experience required for success in the digital economy.

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