The UK-wide lockdown has resulted in universities who may have had a traditional model for course delivery with in person teaching, move to more flexible approaches, with pre-recorded lectures, Zoom tutorials and peer support channels over Discord becoming the norm.

The OfS funded Institute of Coding operate on a flexible learning model, often involving slightly shorter modules and the possibility to study while working, and they have been reflecting on how this sort of flexible approach is improving diversity in digital skills education.

“…existing educational offerings can be inaccessible for some – because of time constraints, household obligations or other reasons that keep people from accessing a full university education. Further, traditional in-person education is not feasible for many at this time due to the pandemic.”

Quoted from the article “Flexible learning can improve diversity and inclusion in higher education” by the Institute of Coding.

Since launching in Dec 2019 they found that their courses have attracted a wide variety of participants including:

  • 47% of surveyed participants being women (compared to 16% of women on traditional computer science courses across the UK)
  • People outside the traditional university age cohort, with over half of the surveyed participants being 25 or over
  • People looking for work or working and at different stages of their career

For more of a discussion on this, see the original article by the Institute of coding here.

Institute of Coding: Flexible learning improves diversity in HE