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Funding boost for new courses in artificial intelligence and data science

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£13 million has been awarded to universities across England to boost the number of graduates in AI and data science technologies over the next three years.

This follows a competitive bidding process run by the Office for Students (OfS) to deliver the funding on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI).

Through specialist teaching and paid work placements, the conversion courses will allow graduates from both STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and non or far STEM subjects to significantly boost their digital skills – helping to address the shortage of AI and data specialists joining the UK workforce.

The programme aims to target graduates from backgrounds often underrepresented in these industries, particularly female, disabled and black students. Of the total £13 million funding awarded, £10 million will be used for scholarships to support students from underrepresented groups.

While funding awards to institutions have now been confirmed, the OfS will work with universities to determine what can be reasonably achieved due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This may include agreeing revised timescales or changes to planned activities. This approach recognises that providers and individual projects are likely to be affected in different ways during this period.

The universities which have been awarded funding and are developing postgraduate conversion courses are:

  • University of Keele
  • Solent University
  • University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Birmingham City University
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • Loughborough University
  • Teeside University
  • The University of Birmingham
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • University of Suffolk
  • University of Liverpool
  • Brunel University London
  • University of Sussex
  • University of Essex
  • University of Hull
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Coventry University
  • University of Bradford.
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