AI and data science conversion course funded programme – April 2020 to March 2023
In April 2020 we appointed external evaluators Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) to evaluate the postgraduate conversion course programme through to March 2023.
Key findings from the programme so far include:
- The programme has already exceeded its target to enrol at least 2,500 students by autumn 2023, with 6,317 students enrolled up to December 2022.
- The provision of scholarships is driving increased diversity with a high proportion of enrolments from UK domiciled students who are female (73 per cent), black (35 per cent) and disabled students (26 per cent).
- Early evidence suggests most students are successfully completing their degrees with most graduates securing jobs using data and AI skills.
We expect the final evaluation report for the first round of funding of the programme will be available in autumn 2023.
AI and data science conversion course scholarship funding - April 2023 to March 2025
In March 2023, CRAC were re-appointed as the external evaluators to evaluate the new postgraduate conversion course scholarship funding through to September 2026.
Emerging findings from the first interim evaluation report include:
- The programme has potential to contribute towards meeting the aim of increasing the supply of digitally skilled workers through conversion courses, with 57 courses taking part in the programme. Nine of these courses are newly developed.
- The programme predicts there will be over 4,200 enrolments on courses in the 2023-24 academic year.
- The programme is likely to increase the diversity of students graduating from AI and data science conversion courses who are part of the programme, with providers broadly on track to deliver all available scholarships in the 2023-24 academic year.
- Industry support from 120 organisations, totalling over £6.7 million in co-investment, has been reported to date. However, the majority of this co-investment (just under £6.3 million) is provided in in-kind support such as providing placements, dissertation projects, employer mentoring and industry talks.
- 22 scholarships have been co-funded by the industry partners. The extent of industry co-investment specifically in scholarships is below the levels anticipated.