Case Study

Swansea University     Back to universities

Providing a Digital Education to Wales

  • A pan-Wales schools and community outreach project, founded by Swansea University in 2003.
  • Provides a wide spectrum of activities addressing shortcomings in education and skills, covering all aspects of: engagement; curriculum reform; policy and practice; and teacher training and professional development.
  • In 2018 it was confirmed that the Technocamps Programme would receive £5.3 million from the European Social Fund to support a further three years of activity; to engage, inspire and motivate 3,600 pupils to learn more about Computer Science.

Technocamps is a pan-Wales schools and community outreach project, founded by Swansea University in 2003, with hubs in the Computer Science departments of every university in Wales. Their mission is to provide a wide spectrum of activities addressing shortcomings in education and skills, covering all aspects of: engagement; curriculum reform; policy and practice; and teacher training and professional development.

Addressing all aspects of computing education at all levels from early primary through to the most mature of life-long learners; the project contributes to the training and professional development of those in employment, including teaching professionals. The project also feeds into educational policies and curricula; and carries out research into effective pedagogies for computing and computational thinking.

Technocamps core aim is to encourage thousands of pupils through after-school clubs and boot camps to develop their computer skills and explore everything from app development and coding to artificial intelligence. Employing 25 staff, the project has already helped more than 40,000 pupils since 2011.

Technocamps has delivered workshops in over 95% of the nation’s secondary schools and had a huge impact on the general public through outreach activities. The work has impacted education across Wales, both at a national policy level and at school level in every region across Wales. The number of schools delivering computer science at GCSE level is steadily increasing, along with the achievement levels of those pupils taking this qualification. The curricula for the subject is being influenced by Technocamps, including the definition and implementation of the new Digital Competence Framework.

In 2018, it was confirmed that the Technocamps Programme would receive £5.3 million from the European Social Fund to support a further three years of activity; to engage, inspire and motivate 3,600 pupils to learn more about Computer Science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects. There is a particular focus on girls – to help address the disturbing gender imbalance within Computer Science – with two thirds of targeted pupils being female.

The programme will target pupils from schools who are struggling to offer or deliver Computer Science at GCSE with the view to encourage and support schools to offer it in the coming years.  Each youngster will complete a STEM Enrichment Programme over a school year, taking part in a range of Computer Science- and STEM-based activities both at school and on university campuses.

They will look at a broad number of topics including Python programming, Cyber-physical systems, App development and Artificial intelligence. They will also learn how to apply these topics in a range of subject areas such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and politics.

Technocamps also acts as lead organisation on the Institute of Coding (IoC) in Wales. The IoC is a consortium of universities, businesses and industry experts which serves as a national focus to tackle the UK’s digital skills gap. It is supported in England by a £20 million grant from the Office of Students, and in Wales by a £1.2 million grant from Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. Within this context, 56 employees of local businesses have registered onto a Degree Apprenticeship BSc programme in Applied Software Engineering. The teaching on this programme is carried out by Technocamps Teaching Fellows who at the same time deliver a year-long accredited teacher training programme, as well as deliver Technocamps Workshops in and for schools.