Correcting misconceptions: time to close the tech sector gender gap

Correcting misconceptions: time to close the tech sector gender gap

Taster MOOCs for forthcoming online BSc Computer Science programme

Looking for a career in computing?

University of London confers highest honours to exceptional individuals

With latest workforce data revealing that women make up less than 20% of
the IT sector in the UK, and just 25% in the US, the industry is working
hard to encourage more diversity. We’ve spoken to two senior computer
scientists about why more young women should join the tech revolution.

Students can now explore the University of London’s forthcoming online
BSc Computer Science, launching in spring 2019, by taking two taster
Massive Open Online Courses delivered through the Coursera platform.

Take the first step with the new online BSc Computer Science.

cabet266亚洲城,London, 21 November 2018 – Last evening the University of London awarded
honorary degrees to Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, Professor Sue Black
OBE, Dr Tansy A H Davies, Gillian Wearing OBE and an honorary fellowship
to Suzanne McCarthy in recognition of achievements in their respective
fields.

Written by Allie Fitzgibbon | 20 Feb 2019

Written by Binda Rai | 03 Oct 2018

Written by Binda Rai | 07 Jan 2019

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Five remarkable ‘Leading Women’ received the University’s highest
honours on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of women being first
admitted to higher education in Britain at the University of London.

The University of London, in partnership with member institution
Goldsmiths, University of London and online learning platform Coursera,
has launched a new BSc Computer Science programme, with the first
session starting in April this year.

The two MOOCs, entitled Introduction to Computer Programming and How
Computers Work, are now available to students all over the world, and
have been developed by world renowned experts from Goldsmiths,
University of London, a member institution of the University of London.

This New Year, students looking to enter the fast-paced world of
computers and IT are now able to apply for the new online BSc Computer
Science degrees, delivered by the University of London and Coursera.

Correcting misconceptions: time to close the tech sector gender gap。The honorary degrees were presented by the University’s Chancellor, Her
Royal Highness The Princess Royal, at the University of London’s
Foundation Day. This year’s evening ceremony, which took place in
Bloomsbury’s Senate House, marked the 182nd anniversary of the creation
of the University of London by Royal Charter on 28 November 1836.

In addition to core computer science skills the course offers a choice
of cutting-edge specialisms such as machine learning, artificial
intelligence, and virtual reality. Online teaching is combined with
practical activities and projects to give students the hands-on
experience they’ll need for their future career.

Learners enrolled on Introduction to Computer Programming, can acquire
the requisite foundation skills to write computer programs. This
includes learning to write interactive and graphical computer programs
in real programming language, as well as learning to create 2D and
interactive graphics. Academic, computer game developer and digital
artist Dr Simon Katan, who has a strong background in music, is the lead
instructor for this introductory MOOC.

Goldsmiths, University of London, which is recognised for its excellent
research and its creative approaches to computer science, is responsible
for developing the programmes. Applications for these open today (Monday
7 January 2019), and are offered with differential pricing for students
in different parts of the world to make them more accessible.

In 1868, nine women were admitted to the University of London to enrol
for a ‘special examination’ course. This was the first time in Britain
that women had gained access to university education and, though it was
to be over ten years before they were admitted on equal terms with men
to read for the same degree programmes, this modest event was an
immensely significant moment for the University, for women and for
society as a whole.

Dr Rebecca Fiebrink and Julie Allinson, who are both senior computer
scientists, feel passionately that it’s a career more women should
consider.

Dr Simon Katan, Lecturer in Computing at Goldsmiths, University of
London, said:

These new BSc degree programmes have been designed to meet the needs of
career changers in industry, as well as those taking their first steps
into the field of computer science. Those who take the degree programmes
will be able to study the fundamentals of computing, as well as machine
learning, data science, virtual reality, game development and web
programming.

The five remarkable individuals, who received honours last night, have
all made substantial contributions to public life and the University in
very different ways;

A computer science degree will give you the technical skills to
accomplish something that’s important to you. It’s never boring.

In Introduction to Computer Programming, learners will be approaching
the fundamentals of code through practical and creative exercises, and
also explore how coders think and feel. We’ve drawn on our many years
of teaching experience to deliver some cutting-edge pedagogy including
our code adventure game Sleuth.

Goldsmiths’ innovative approach to computing will make the subject
accessible and engaging for students with all levels of experience. For
example, the Introduction to Programming 1 module uses an online
“workspace”, where students will be able to participate in a special
detective game called “Sleuth”.

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBECorrecting misconceptions: time to close the tech sector gender gap。 is a space scientist and science
communicator. She studied at Imperial College London, where she obtained
her degree in Physics and her PhD in Mechanical Engineering. She has
spent her career making novel, bespoke instrumentation in both the
industrial and academic environments. Maggie also works as a TV
presenter co-hosting The Sky at Night, the world’s longest running
science series. Dr AderinPocock was awarded a Doctor of Science
honoris causa.

Dr Fiebrink is a Senior Lecturer in Computing at Goldsmiths, University
of London. But despite an early interest in programming she hadn’t even
considered a career in the field until she spoke to a careers
counsellor.

The How Computers Work MOOC is designed for learners who are proficient
with computers, smartphones and the internet, but wish to improve their
understanding of how they work, or go on to study computer science. On
this MOOC, learners can acquire key computer skills that can be applied
to word processing applications, e-commerce, the internet and websites.
Instructor Dr Marco Gillies, Senior Lecturer in Computing at Goldsmiths,
is a computer scientist specialising in computer graphics, animation and
new forms of human-computer interaction, and has extensive experience of
teaching several innovative MOOCs with the University of London.

Through the puzzle-solving activities in completing this game, students
can learn the fundamentals of coding in a practical and engaging manner,
at the same time as working towards passing their module and
contributing to their final grade. This module also helps students to
develop the mind-set to carry on growing in their programming skills
throughout the programme course and in their future careers.

Professor Sue Black is an award-winning computer scientist,
technology evangelist and digital skills expert. She was awarded an OBE
for “services to technology” in the 2016 Queen’s New Year’s Honours
list. She is a UK government advisor, thought leader, Honorary Professor
of Computer Science at UCL, Trustee at Comic Relief, social
entrepreneur, writer and public speaker. Sue set up the UK’s first
online network for women in tech, BCSWomen, in 1998 and led the campaign
to save Bletchley Park from 2008-2011. Professor Black was awarded a
Doctor of Science (Engineering) honoris causa.

“I grew up playing video games with my dad and learned how to programme
for fun when I was in high school making fan fiction websites and
animations for my friends. And yet I didn’t see myself as a
technologist. Just having someone give me permission to imagine myself
in that role was life-changing.”

Dr Marco Gillies said:

Dr Mary Stiasny OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), University of
London, said:

Dr Tansy Davies’ music has been championed by some of the most
renowned philharmonic orchestras in the world. Between Worlds – an
operatic response to 9/11 with libretto by Nick Drake was premiered by
the English National Opera in 2015 and received a British Composer
Award. Other recent works include Re-greening, for the National Youth
Orchestra of Great Britain, and Forest, premiered by the Philharmonia
and Esa-Pekka Salonen. A second collaboration with Nick Drake – Cave –
was unveiled by Mark Padmore, Elaine-Mitchener and London Sinfonietta in

She believes misconceptions about the tech sector can put some people
off and wants to emphasise the enormous range of careers available.

I’m really excited to be working with the University of London and
Coursera to create a new way of learning computer science for the 21st
Century. We’re bringing together the best learning technologies and
the best teaching techniques to create a fantastic computer science
learning experience for anyone, anywhere in the world.

This programme benefits from Goldsmiths’ unique approach to teaching,
which combines the arts and computer science, developed through world
leading research. It is this combination that makes the BSc Computer
Science degree programmes accessible for anyone, regardless of their
previous experience with the world of technology.

  1. Dr Davies was awarded a Doctor of Music honoris causa.

“Technology is not just for geeks. You’re engaged in creative thought
all the time and the most successful computer scientists are those who
like working in social, dynamic environments – and who understand and
can communicate with others.

He added: ‘How Computers Work will introduce you to some fundamental
computer science concepts and you’ll find out how they apply to the kind
of computer applications you use every day. It’s a great foundation for
starting to study computer science, but it will also give you a better
understanding of the technologies that are so important to modern life.’

Mark d’Inverno, Pro-Warden (International) at Goldsmiths said:

Gillian Wearing’s performative photographs and films investigate the
tensions between public and private, fiction and reality, and the
relationship between the artist and the viewer. She was recently
commissioned by the Mayor of London to create a statue of Suffragist
leader Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, which was unveiled in
April 2018. In 2017 she opened a major exhibition alongside Claude Cahun
at the National Portrait Gallery, London, as well as a solo exhibition
at the National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen. Wearing won the Turner
Prize in 1997 and was awarded an OBE in 2011. Ms Wearing was awarded a
Doctor of Literature honoris causa.

“People wrongly assume that to love computer science you just have to
love technology and nothing else. But computer science can be applied to
anything. It can be applied to helping your community or saving the
planet. A computer science degree will give you the technical skills to
accomplish something that’s important to you. It’s never boring.”

Sam Brenton, Director of Educational Innovation and Development for the
University of London’s distance and flexible learning programmes, said:

The content and teaching methods for these programmes have been
developed to attract people across a number of disciplinary interests,
including those with backgrounds in computer science, as well as those
with a grounding in music, art, journalism, business and games.

The programmes will emphasise the development of creative
applications. These programmes are also designed to provide access to
computer science for all, which is why the differential pricing has
been introduced to make these degree programmes accessible to students
living in different parts of the world, with different means of
financial support.

Suzanne McCarthy is Chair of Depaul UK, the youth homelessness
charity, and of the Joint Audit Panel of the London Mayor’s Office of
Policing and Crime and the Metropolitan Police. She is a Marshall Aid
Commissioner and a member of the Advertising Standards Authority. She
was formerly Immigration Services Commissioner, and CEO of both the
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Financial Services
Compensation Scheme. Mrs McCarthy has been admitted to the Fellowship
of the University of London
as an individual who truly fulfils the
criteria for selection: “a person of significant achievement and
distinction, who has made an outstanding contribution to the
University’s reputation, mission or objects over a period of time”.

There’s a perception of the tech sector being full of young men
wearing scruffy t-shirts and headphones and not talking to each other.
The worst thing is when women are put off because they think it’s a
club they’re not allowed to join.

This is an exciting time for the University as it prepares to launch
one of its most innovative programmes, the BSc Computer Science. We
anticipate a very broad appeal for this degree programme from students
all over the world; not just those working in the technical field but
also those from other industries.

We’ve introduced these two new MOOCs because we want students to
experience some of the learning prior to registering for the BSc
Computer Science programme, as this will provide them with a taste of
the learning experience they can expect. The learning we provide is
interactive and immersive, as well as being very rich in creativity.
Computer science is an incredibly diverse subject, the skills which
students acquire on the course will appeal to employers around the
world. Here at the University of London, we aim to deliver the very
best BSc Computer Science programme, based on leading research in this
field.

Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO at Coursera explained: “Computer science, a
lucrative and fast-growing career field, represents a huge opportunity
for global learners, especially those based in developing countries.” He
added:

Dr Aderin-Pocock, Professor Black, Dr Davies, Ms Wearing and Mrs
McCarthy join a growing list of over 550 individuals who have been
honoured by the University of London. Over 400 guests attended this
year’s ceremony, including staff and students from the 18 independent
member institutions of the University.

After completing a degree in English Julie Allinson, Lead Developer at
CoSector University of London, began her career as a librarian and now
uses that background in her role designing and building the digital
architecture for online collections and archives.

Anyone wishing to register for the MOOC programmes should go to:

We’re thrilled to offer our first-ever undergraduate degree on
Coursera and, with University of London’s innovative cost-adjustment
model, the program opens up access to research and cutting-edge
computer science skills to a greater diversity of learners around the
world.

“As a librarian I was tackling increasingly more technical tasks and
found I wanted to understand how to solve those problems myself. I
thought about it for years before I decided to study for an MSc in
Computer Science. The biggest challenge for me was probably my own lack
of confidence and research has shown that’s something that puts a lot of
women off.

  • Introduction to computer programming
  • How computers work

The flexible BSc Computer Science online degree programmes can fit
around work, family, and other commitments. Students can study online,
at their own pace and in their own time, anywhere in the world. Further
flexibility is offered through two entry points to the degree programmes
per year.

“There’s a perception of the tech sector being full of young men wearing
scruffy t-shirts and headphones and not talking to each other. But there
are skills used in almost all jobs that are applicable to IT – logic,
problem-solving, communication skills. The worst thing is when women are
put off because they think it’s a club they’re not allowed to join.”

For further information on the University of London’s distance and
flexible learning programmes including the BSc Computer Science and to
watch the promotional video:

Applications for the BSc Computer Science programmes can be made here:
. The final deadline for
applications is Monday 11 March 2019, with the first cohort of students
beginning their studies on Monday 8 April 2019.

Research suggests that closing the gender gap could have huge financial
benefits for the sector. A recent study by the Centre for Economics and
Business Research found that increasing the number of women in IT could
boost the UK economy by up to £2.6 billion.

For students wishing to get a head-start, they can complete the Google
IT Support Professional Certificate, which is recognised by the
University of London as prior learning for a compulsory module on the
BSc programmes: How Computers Work.

There’s no right fit for computing, it takes all different styles of
personality and people and that’s what makes it a rewarding career.

Anyone wishing to express an interest in registering for the BSc
Computer Science:

Notes to editors:

Dr Fiebrink said, “Having more people with more ideas and more life
experiences is important if we want to be making tech that’s useful to
people and has a positive impact.”

For further information contact:

Julie added, “Every profession benefits from having a diverse set of
people working in it.

For further information contact:

Binda Rai: Head of External Relations, Media and PR (Worldwide)
University of London
Email: Binda.rai@london.ac.uk
Mobile: 07920 476 483
Landline: 0207 862 8545

You can’t fix a problem from the outside – the only way to improve the
gender gap is by having more girls come into the sector feeling able to
challenge traditionally male structures. So if you’re worrying that you
don’t fit then stop and give it a go. There’s no right fit for
computing, it takes all different styles of personality and people and
that’s what makes it a rewarding career.”

Binda Rai: Head of External Relations, Media and PR (Worldwide)
University of London
Email: Binda.rai@london.ac.uk
Mobile: 07920 476 483
Landline: 0207 862 8545

Photos are available on request.

Find out more about the BSc Computer Science degrees.

About the University of London

About the BSc Computer Science Programmes:

  • The University of London is the world’s oldest provider of academic
    awards through distance and flexible learning, dating back to 1858,
    when the University of London was awarded a Royal Charter by Queen
    Victoria.
  • In 1858 Charles Dickens described the University of London as ‘The
    People’s University’ when its 1858 Royal Charter extended access to
    degrees to those who could not come to London to study.
  • Today, students of the University of London’s distance and flexible
    learning programmes study from a suite of 100+ academic programmes,
    with some taking the award through self-study or through support
    from local teaching institutions across the world.
  • The University of London’s distance and flexible learning provider
    has come to be known as the world’s largest classroom, with 50,000
    students worldwide, and over 1.4 million learners on the Coursera
    online platform for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), bringing
    this global reach to more than 1.4 million people around the world,
    covering 180 countries.
  • Further information about the University of London is available at:
  • The BSc Computer Science programmes offer students the choice of
    eight specialist awards:
  1. BSc Computer Science
  2. BSc Computer Science (Data Science)
  3. BSc Computer Science (Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence)
  4. BSc Computer Science (Web and Mobile Development)
  5. BSc Computer Science
  6. BSc Computer Science (Physical Computing and Internet of Things)
  7. BSc Computer Science (Games Development)
  8. BSc Computer Science (Virtual Reality).
  • Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma awards are available for
    the specialist areas listed above. (To be released in 2020.)
  • Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma awards are available for
    the specialist areas listed above. (To be released in 2020.)
  • The University of London recognises the following five courses of
    the Google IT Support Professional Certificate as constituting prior
    learning for its How Computers Work module:
  1. Technical Support Fundamentals
  2. The Bits and Bytes of Computer Networking
  3. Operating Systems and You: Becoming a Power User
  4. System Administration and IT Infrastructure Services
  5. IT Security: Defense against the digital dark arts.

About the University of London

  • The University of London is the world’s oldest provider of academic
    awards through distance and flexible learning, dating back to 1858,
    when the University of London was awarded a Royal Charter by Queen
    Victoria.
  • In 1858 Charles Dickens described the University of London as ‘The
    People’s University’ when its 1858 Royal Charter extended access to
    degrees to those who could not come to London to study.
  • Today, students of the University of London’s distance and flexible
    learning programmes study from a suite of 100+ academic programmes,
    with some taking the award through self-study or through support
    from Recognised Teaching Centres across the world.
  • The University of London’s distance and flexible learning provider
    has come to be known as the world’s largest classroom, with 50,000
    students worldwide, and over 1.4 million learners on the Coursera
    online platform for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), bringing
    this global reach to more than 1.5 million people around the world
    in more than 190 countries.
  • Further information about the University of London is available at:

About Goldsmiths, University of London

  • The online BSc Computer Science programmes are being delivered with
    academic direction from Goldsmiths, University of London.
  • Founded in 1891, Goldsmiths is an institution with a rich academic
    history, known for its creative approach. Its 9,000 students are
    based on campus in the heart of south east London’s New Cross
    community, studying undergraduate, postgraduate, teacher training
    and return-to-study courses in the arts and humanities, social
    sciences, cultural studies, computing, and entrepreneurial business
    and management.
  • Goldsmiths research shapes the future, changes lives and is at the
    forefront of creative practice, with almost three-quarters of
    research rated internationally excellent or world-leading by the
    2014 Research Excellence Framework.
  • The QS World Rankings place Goldsmiths, University of London in the
    top five UK Universities for Art & Design and Communication & Media
    Studies. Goldsmiths is also in the UK’s top 25 for the quality of
    our research, according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014
    (based on research quality scores in the Times Higher Education
    subject rankings).

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