Rajay Naik and Professor Steve West
Rajay Naik (left) and Professor Steve West

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and Skilled Education are partnering to deliver digital and soft skills to students and recent alumni.

The partnership will design and deliver a certified university course to more than 30,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, plus alumni that graduated last year. Skilled Education is creating, developing and delivering the course, which both organisations describe as the start of a “long-term partnership.”

The UWE-Skilled initiative will focus on core digital skills including artificial intelligence, data analysis and digital marketing, as well as soft skills such as teamwork, communication and leadership. It also incorporates real-world projects with organisations such as AirBnB, Apple and Tesla, plus live sessions with leading chief executives and recent graduates.

UWE Bristol vice-chancellor Professor Steve West said: “Every university and every learner across the world has just experienced an unprecedented year, but the real disruption is yet to come. The world of work is changing in front of our eyes and we know that all employers, irrespective of industry, require people with the most in-demand digital and soft skills.

“We’re determined that our students succeed in that new world and that’s why we’ve decided to adapt our teaching and learning offer to more explicitly deliver the most in-demand skills. Alongside the academic rigour, teaching excellence, research insights and student experience our sector delivers we have an obligation to prioritise employability. And that means digital and soft skills.

“We knew we had to partner to ensure the most relevant and immersive curricula, an exceptional online learning experience, access to the best industry leaders and a truly bespoke approach for our university. That’s why we went to the best. The team, reputation, culture and expertise Skilled have established is exceptional. Our academics and staff at all levels have been emphatic about this as we’ve worked together closely over recent months.”

Skilled Education has recently signed other partnerships with universities including the University of Cambridge and London School of Economics. The company’s chief executive Rajay Naik said: “At the start of the pandemic we were supporting universities to adapt and design online and blended courses as part of a rapid and necessary transition. However, it is now vital that our institutions lead out of this pandemic. All of our partners have recognised that what they deliver and how they deliver it must adapt and we are proud to play our part in their transition to enhanced employability and online delivery.”

Date published: 8 April 2021

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