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AI and data science courses win funding


Students from non-science backgrounds will be able to learn artificial intelligence and data science skills with new backing for a string of conversion courses.

Women, black students and students with a disability will be first in line for scholarships with government money announced by the Office for Students.

Brunel University London is one of 18 universities to roll out the courses designed to tackle the shortage of AI and data specialists in the UK workforce. 

“AI and data science have the capacity to transform society,” said Brunel Vice Provost for Research, Professor Geoff Rodgers. “And the economy can benefit from that transformation through the creation of new jobs and businesses. 

“The new funding will allow Brunel will to develop a programme to educate graduates with the higher-level skills to help make this happen.”

Full-time and part-time courses, staged masters’ degrees and an apprenticeship scheme will teach skills useful in medicine, transport, social sciences, biosciences and sports business.

Local employers such as London-based data analytics company Merkle Aquila will also use the courses to upskill staff. 

The money comes from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI).

Brunel will now work with The Office for Students to look at what it can do during the coronavirus outbreak. This might mean altered timetables or changes to plans. Start dates for the conversion courses are yet to be fixed. 

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