IMAI Assessment Cover Letter – GOV.UK | Daily News Byte

IMAI Assessment Cover Letter – GOV.UK

 | Daily News Byte


In 2021 the UK published the National AI Strategy which set out our ten year plan to strengthen the UK’s role as a global AI leader. This builds on the success of the AI ​​Sector Deal announced in 2018, which committed £1 billion to realizing the economic and social potential of AI technology. Developing the AI ​​skills and talent of the UK workforce is central to this goal.

The 2018 AI Sector Deal is committed to supporting industry to invest in AI Master’s programmes. The resulting industry-funded Masters in AI (IMAI) includes support for up to 200 AI Masters places at UK universities, starting in September 2019. The IMAI program demonstrated a wide range of successes and highlighted a number of lessons supporting future government interventions. AI skills pipeline.

Taking an innovative approach, the program successfully leveraged £3.3 of industry funding for AI Masters for every £1 of public spending. In addition to the financial benefits, the program’s design facilitated connections between higher education institutions and large companies, including DeepMind, Quantum Black, BAE Systems and more. Through this programme, the government provided students from most regions with the opportunity to develop their skills in AI, with 12 of the seventeen institutions based outside London and the South East. Additionally, by facilitating partnerships between industry and academia, participating universities were able to improve the business relevance of their AI Masters courses, helping to meet the demand for industry-relevant skills.

Despite these significant achievements, the evaluation highlights several limitations in the program. Specifically, these fell into data collection, program objectives, and approaches to marketing and promotion. The lack of appropriate data collection meant that there were limited methods for assessing student participation and graduation outcomes. Additionally, not all of the program’s objectives were properly represented in the Institute of Coding’s grant agreement, such as strict targets on the number of funded locations. Initial targets were set relatively high and future programs would benefit from a more evidence-based approach to setting more realistic targets. Finally, stakeholders suggested that more could have been done to promote the program to industry, higher education institutions and students.

The successes and limitations of the IMAI program have already shaped and informed the design and delivery of the AI ​​and Data Science Conversion Course Program announced in 2019. For example, the IMAI program has provided valuable insights into how to successfully leverage industry funding, which has been incorporated into the design of the second phase of the AI ​​and Data Science Conversion Course Program. The entire program is also taking an improved approach to data collection, objective setting and marketing and promotion to ensure strong value for money for public spending. The appointment of a dedicated Employer Engagement Partner is ensuring a targeted focus on building strong relationships between industry, academia, participating students and the wider AI skills community to drive strong stakeholder engagement in the programme. The program also focuses on improving the diversity of students taking AI courses, and findings emerging from our improved data collection process enable us to demonstrate the value of scholarship in diversity and representation of women, as well as representation of Black and disabled students. In the AI ​​ecosystem.

Evaluation is an essential element of the policy process and ensures that government officials and delivery partners learn from the successes and challenges of innovative policy interventions. We have taken stock of the lessons from the IMAI evaluation, and will continue to incorporate them into the design of future AI skills initiatives. The publication of this report will enable other government skills initiatives to learn from the challenges faced in this programme.


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