Institute of Coding celebrates first birthday at Aston   

Institute of Coding

28 January 2018

  • Aston University celebrates 1-year with The Institute of Coding
  • ‘Beautiful Canoe’ student software company flourishes with IoC

Aston University has been celebrating its first year of partnership with the Institute of Coding (IoC). In just 12-months, IoC partners have successfully signed-up over 5,000 people onto its leading tech courses at universities across the country.

At Aston, activity and achievements over the past 12-months include; the growth of student-led software company ‘Beautiful Canoe’ which has been offering consultancy to other student enterprises, two workshops held on campus on behalf of the consortium, and the establishment of a new BSc in Cyber Security in the School of Engineering and Applied Science – one of few degree level Cyber Security qualifications in the UK.  

Gareth James, Strategic Project Lead, Aston University said: “Digital skills, not just coding but the ability to create, use and manipulate digital tools, are vital for the career progress of our young people and wider workforce; for businesses to remain current and competitive; and, for the economic well-being and growth of Birmingham, the Midlands and the UK as a whole.

“The Institute of Coding has enabled us to invest in equipment, courses and people that will place Aston at the forefront of this digital push in the region. It has also created a fruitful network of businesses and universities around England and Wales who have similar objectives.

“This network collaborates and supports one another to address the skills needs in our current and future workforce and better enable our students and businesses to take advantage of the opportunities the digital economy brings.”

Across the whole IoC consortium, a total of 5,875 people have enrolled onto courses, with 175 staff members employed across the IoC university network – to help drive recruitment and take-up of key courses.

Since its formal launch at the House of Lords in June 2018, there have been 35 IoC supported courses created, which includes degrees, modules and hackathons. The courses include Degree and Master’s level Digital Degree Apprenticeships (including the new Cyber Security Degree at Aston), a Data Science MSc at Birkbeck College and the first Master’s level Digital Degree Apprenticeship at the University of Bath.

Rachid Hourizi, Director of the Institute of Coding comments:

“The Institute of Coding is dedicated to driving digital skills and widening access to high quality learning to thousands of people from all walks of life. After a year of hard work and determination, we’ve made huge progress in tackling the skills shortfall, but there is still much more to do. 

It’s vital that industry works closer with the IoC and our academic partners to design and build new courses for graduates and existing employees, spreading opportunity and upskilling workforces across the country.”

As well developing new courses, the IoC have appointed 51 people who represent industry, academia and diversity to sit on various IoC boards and steer the work. An Institute of Coding was also set up in Wales in 2018.

Under the Future Projects Fund, funded by the Office for Students, the IoC will soon allocate £2.3million to further proposals from industry and academia to help fill the digital skills gap and support the work of the IoC.


Notes to the editor

About the Institute of Coding

The Institute of Coding (IoC) is a consortium of universities and employers, with a mission to develop the next generation of digital talent at degree level and above. The IoC will develop higher-level digital skills capabilities among those already in work as well as improve graduate employability.

Its goals include developing specialist skills training in areas of strategic importance, boosting equality and diversity in technology-related education and careers and producing research, analysis and intelligence to anticipate future skills gaps.


Photos (click links to download)

·         Aston University campus pictures

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, call Rebecca Hume, Press & PR Officer, on 0121 204 5159 or email r.hume@aston.ac.uk. Alternatively, email pr@aston.ac.uk

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