£1.2 million university coding fund announced by government

Two Welsh universities are to receive a share of £1.2 million funding from the Welsh Government to launch a range of coding initiatives.
Speaking last week, Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams explained that the cash will help Cardiff and Swansea University to take part in a UK-wide coding initiative.
With the aim of creating the next-generation of digital specialists, the investment is being allocated by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and is on top of a £1.3 million grant launched last year.
Launched by the UK Government, the Institute of Coding is an organisation that’s on a mission to close the digital skills gap. It’s supported by firms such as  IBM, Cisco, BT and Microsoft.
Through the funding, the universities will be able to purchase computers and other equipment to create Technocamps labs, which provide hands-on coding activities to youngsters.

Kirsty Williams said: “Code is everywhere and part of our everyday lives.  Having world-class digital skills is essential and it is vitally important that young people have the ability and knowledge to develop in this field.

“I’m pleased to announce that £1.2m is available for Cardiff and Swansea universities to take part in the Institute of Coding which will allow them to link with other universities, businesses and industries.

“Importantly the funding will also enable them to carry out work in the community, building further on the steps we have already taken to ensure coding is part of the learning process in our schools.”

David Blaney, chief executive of HEFCW, added: “This is an excellent opportunity for the universities involved to be part of the influential consortium of businesses, professional bodies and universities, and to develop a recognised standard to meet the needs of the digital industry.

“The funding will develop coding activities for students and young people in Wales to help address any skills gaps. It will allow universities to run new and revised degree programmes in software engineering, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.”