University of Essex to Develop New Short Courses to Upskill Workforce on Digital Skills & Data Use



DECEMBER 22, 2021

Following successful funding, the University of Essex plans to develop a set of short courses that aim to tackle the lack of skills in data science and artificial intelligence in the current workforce.

The University of Essex has been granted over $2.6 million of funding from the Office for Students (OfS) to develop short courses within the higher education scheme, reports.

“The courses, which will start in October 2022, advance the national priority of ensuring that businesses and the public sector benefit from advanced technologies, improving their effectiveness and embedding data science and AI into their operations to support innovation and improved public services,” the statement of University of Essex reads.

Through these programs, it is expected that the students will be able to develop skills that are required by employers and the economy using flexible learning modes.

The University of Essex has explained that the United Kingdom’s government sees the upskilling of the workforce as an essential matter if the country wants to remain at the forefront of the digital revolution.

Nonetheless, taking into account that working professionals may not be able to take a career break to gain such skills at university, short courses will be offered.

According to data, the short courses will be developed with the contribution of several partners, including East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Suffolk County Council and Provide.

The University of Essex explained that all the above-mentioned partners would help the University to understand the most beneficial approaches to upskilling workers as well as enable organisations to create data-driven systems.

Moreover, the same aims to help everyone make informed decisions about resources, services, and operations.

The development of these short courses was welcomed by the Executive Dean of Essex’s Faculty of Science and Health and project lead, Professor Maria Fasli, who said that the University is delighted to have secured this funding.

Furthermore, commenting on the funding of the short course, the chief executive of OfS, Nicola Dandridge, said that the courses would help everyone, including those who already have work experience, to learn new skills.

“At the same time students will be able to benefit from higher education for short periods of time, which will enable them to further their careers, as well as giving them the opportunity to go on and gain a full degree,” Dandridge added.

Previously, reported that universities in the UK have been registering increased COVID-19 infection cases. For this reason, students have been advised to undergo COVID-19 testing before leaving the campus for the holidays as well as before returning back to the campus.