Short courses

University of Essex to develop new short courses to boost workforce skills on digital skills and data use

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

The University of Essex has received more than $2.6 million in funding from the Office for Students (OfS) to develop short courses as part of the higher education curriculum, Erudera.com reports.

“The courses, which will begin in October 2022, advance the national priority of ensuring that businesses and the public sector benefit from cutting-edge technologies, improving their efficiency and integrating data science and AI into their operations to support innovation and the improvement of public services”, reads the statement from the University of Essex.

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

The University of Essex explained that the UK government sees workforce development as a key issue if the country is to stay at the forefront of the digital revolution.

However, in view of the fact that working professionals may not be able to interrupt their careers to acquire such skills at university, short courses will be offered.

According to the data, the short courses will be developed with input from 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 of the partners mentioned above would help the University understand the most beneficial approaches to worker development and enable organizations to build data-driven systems.

Additionally, the same goal is 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 Faculty of Science and Health and project leader, Professor Maria Fasli, who said the university was delighted to have been awarded this funding.

Also, commenting on the funding for the short course, OfS chief executive Nicola Dandridge said the courses would help everyone, including those with previous 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 allow them to continue their careers, as well as giving them the opportunity to pursue and obtain a full degree”, Dandridge added.

Earlier, Erudera.com reported that universities across the UK have seen an increase in COVID-19 infection cases. For this reason, students are advised to take the COVID-19 test before leaving campus for vacation as well as before returning to campus.