Profusion and the University of Essex’s project to attract underrepresented groups into the tech sector has received funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI) via the Office of Students (OfS)

This funding will allow the university, in partnership with Profusion and other industry bodies, to develop and deliver new conversion masters programmes in data science and artificial intelligence, with a specific focus on diversity and representation.

The programmes will reflect our shared commitment to removing barriers to education and careers in data and technology.

Scholarships will be made available to students from underrepresented groups, and there will be a recruitment drive for students who are female, black, registered disabled or mature-aged. These conversion programmes will also take students from a range of educational backgrounds and disciplines.

Students will have access to a pastoral support system, personal tutoring, paid work placements and tailored “challenge weeks”, meaning they don’t need to have any background in these fields to take the programmes.

The university plans to start 3 more programmes from January 2021.

We are delighted to partner with the University of Essex on the conversion masters programmes, as it’s part of Profusion’s commitment to social mobility and driving diverse talent within the data science profession. That’s why we are launching our Data Academy, one of the UK’s first year-long academic and business programmes specifically targeted at getting underrepresented groups into data science, developed in partnership with the University of Essex, taking in students from minority or low income backgrounds.

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