7th September 2023
Edinburgh College has been named a finalist in the Herald and GenAnalytics Diversity Awards following the success of its pioneering Women in Data and Digital Innovation initiative.
The initiative, which is part of the Data Skills Gateway (DDI) programme – supported by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal – has been shortlisted in the Diversity Through Education category at the annual awards, which celebrate progress made across all sectors of Scotland’s economy in addressing challenges and creating equitable and inclusive work environments.
Supported by Equate Scotland and the Data Lab Community, the College’s Women in Data and Digital Innovation programme focuses on a Professional Development Award (PDA) course in Data Science (SCQF levels 7-8), and provides pathways for further learning at Edinburgh Napier University (BSc in Data Science) or support into employment.
The programme aims to develop data science, meta, and transferable skills, with a specific focus on addressing the gender imbalance in technology industries.
The course material fosters data literacy and encompasses skills such as communication, numeracy, problem-solving, and collaboration, as working with data often requires these competencies. Given the crucial role of data in organisational success, the demand for data literacy and associated meta-skills is increasingly in demand.
Learners also gain confidence in utilising digital technologies in various educational, social, or vocational online environments. Upon completion of the programme, learners receive a recognised Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) – PDA in Data Science – and acquire skills that positively contribute to their learning in both personal and professional aspects.
During session 2022/23, 52 women learners excelled in obtaining the PDA in Data Science at SCQF levels 7 and 8.
Many of these students have now progressed on to a Python for Data Science course at Edinburgh College, while others have joined a six-week course on Fundamentals of Python for Data Science offered by Edinburgh Napier University. These courses act as a bridge, connecting the PDA in Data Science at Edinburgh College to the BSc in Data Science programme at Edinburgh Napier University.
We are delighted that the Women in Data and Digital Innovation programme for this award. The DDI Skills Gateway aims to widen access to data skills and close skills gaps in this arena, and this particular programme has been a resounding success in achieving these aims. Congratulations to all staff and students involved in this success.”
David Hiddleston, Curriculum Portfolio Manager for Data Driven Innovation Skills