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Open University welcomes tech pioneer Jacqueline de Rojas to Institute of Coding


Jacqueline de Rojas CBE

Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, President of techUK, has been appointed co-chair of the Institute of Coding (IoC) which brings together industry and academia in a co-ordinated effort to address the UK’s digital skills gap.

The Open University is one of the key partners in the Institute of Coding, leading on graduate employability and the teaching of computer science, data science and cyber security in universities.  Its experience in delivering innovation and driving social mobility will help draw people of all backgrounds into studying IT and computing.

Improving diversity and inclusion

The Institute of Coding will encourage under-represented groups to enter digital and technology careers

Jacqueline will bring her considerable skills, expertise and profile to help the IoC reduce the UK’s digital skills shortage, and attract more people from under-represented groups into the digital and technology sectors.

Jacqueline de Rojas says: “I’m delighted to be appointed as co-chair of the Institute of Coding and look forward to working with industry and academia. I’m passionate about the digital and tech sectors and diversity and inclusion, and I see a great opportunity through the IoC to make a genuine difference in the UK.”

Vice-Chancellor of the OU, Peter Horrocks, welcomes Jacqueline’s appointment, saying: “I am delighted to hear of Jacqueline’s appointment as co-chair, as I know she shares our passion for diversity and inclusion. The Institute of Coding presents a great opportunity to encourage people from under-represented groups into the digital and technology sectors – we’re looking forward to working with Jacqueline to make this happen.”

…she shares our passion for diversity and inclusion. The Institute of Coding presents a great opportunity to encourage people from under-represented groups into the digital and technology sectors.

Bringing industry and universities closer

Prof John Domingue, Institute of Coding lead

Professor John Domingue is the OU project lead for the Institute of Coding

The Open University’s project lead for the Institute of Coding, Professor John Domingue, says that bringing industry and universities closer together is crucial for success: “We are looking forward to working with Jacqueline on how industry and academia can come together to address the digital skills gap both for the benefit of the UK economy, and for individual learners striving to fulfil their true potential.”

Jacqueline commented: “Operating at the interface between industry and educators sets the Institute apart and offers the chance to address the digital skills shortage in a ground-breaking, collaborative, way. Meeting that skills challenge is crucial to the UK’s future success.”

Helping employers and learners access skills training

Coding student

Industry-accredited courses will help students develop the skills needed for success in the digital economy

The Institute of Coding was established with £20M from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and more than £20M of matched funding from partners. It will ensure that employers and learners across the UK can access the skills training they need to compete in the global digital economy.

Bringing together a unique consortium of 25 universities, national and international corporations, SMEs, industry groups, experts in non-traditional learning and professional bodies, IoC Consortium partners will offer a range of accredited courses. This will include top quality computer science teaching alongside the business skills, interpersonal skills and real-world experience required for success in the digital economy.

The academic co-chair of the IoC is Professor Bernie Morley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath.

About Jacqueline de Rojas

Jacqueline de Rojas is the President of techUK and the chair of the Digital Leaders board. She serves on the government’s Digital Economy Council, is a member of the recently announced post-18 education review panel. Jacqueline is an advisor to fast moving tech businesses and a business mentor at Bird & Co offering board and executive level coaching, and also advises the board of Accelerate-Her.

In 2016 she entered the @Computerweekly Hall of Fame after being voted Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Woman in IT 2015; she was listed on Debrett’s 2016 50

00 People of Influence – Digital & Social and named in Europe’s Inspiring Fifty most inspiring female role models for 2017. She has won the 2017 Catherine Variety award for Science and Technology and the 2018 Women in Tech Award for Advocate of the Year.

Find out more

Learn more about the OU’s research and teaching in Cyber Security 

Take a look at the Knowledge Media Institute’s website

Study computing with the OU

OpenLearn has free resources, articles and interactives on computing

Read about one of our inspiring case studies who got his dream job in IT thanks to the OU

About Author

Kath works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She is a skilled communicator with more than 15 years’ experience working in both the public and private sectors. She has a BA (Hons) English and American Literature from University of Warwick and specialises in stories from the Faculty of Social Science, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, BBC programmes, and student stories. In her spare time Kath enjoys touring the country in her hand-painted camper van, Trevor.

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