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Oracle Pledges £1.1bn For EU Computer Science Education

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Thanks Larry. Oracle pledges billions to bolster computer science and coding skills in European Union

Oracle has committed a sizeable financial investment to improve the IT and coding skills of future generations in Europe.

It pledged a three year investment that totals an impressive $1.4 billion (£1.1bn) in direct and in-kind support of computer science education throughout the European Union member states.

This is part of Oracle’s $3.3 billion (£2.6bn) annual investment as it seeks to ‘accelerate digital literacy worldwide,’ in light of the growing global need for ICT skills.

Intel Education tablet 2

Funding Program

Oracle’s $1.1 billion investment comes in conjunction with the launch of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition by the European Commission and DigitalEurope.

It should be noted that Oracle is already operates a program to help teach ICT skills to the next generation. The Oracle Academy, its education philanthropy program, already develops computer science education to nearly 3.1 million students in 110 countries. On top of this, it already works with 1,000 EU educational institutions.

As part of today’s pledge, the Oracle Academy also aims to provide 1,000 additional EU teachers with CS, Java and Database skills, as well as expand its reach to an extra 1,000 EU educational institutions over the next three years.

“Digitally skilled professionals are critical to Europe’s competitiveness and capacity for innovation,” said John Higgins, Director General, DigitalEurope.

“Over the last ten years, we’ve seen the demand for workers with computer science and coding skills grow by four percent each year. Oracle’s efforts to bring computer science into classrooms across the European Union will help strengthen our digital economy.”

“At Oracle, we are thrilled to inspire and engage students from all different parts of the world in computer science,” said Alison Derbenwick Miller, Oracle Academy VP. “Earlier this year, Oracle made significant commitments to the White House’s CS for All and Let Girls Learn initiatives. Today’s announcement continues our momentum to advance digital education and increase diversity in technology fields globally.”

The Oracle Academy will also intends to deliver a number of other programs during the next three years, including a scheme to provide a new higher education curriculum in emerging technologies. It also intends to invite national coalitions in the EU member states to partner with Oracle Academy  to deliver computer science education to teachers and students.

And finally it intends to level up Oracle Academy’s entire curriculum to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

Skills Shortage

The ICT skills shortage is a well known issue facing many national governments and institutions nowadays.

Other technology firms have also invested in educational programs to increase the availability of ICT skills.

LinkedIn for example created a Learning site earlier this year that contains content from the education site Lynda.com, which it acquired for $1.5 billion. It offers users more than 9,000 digital courses covering a range of business, creative and technical topics that can be taken anytime, anywhere.

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