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Edinburgh Futures Institute DDI Education Programme Portfolio

  • DDI Funding: £2.01M
  • Timescale: Until July 2022
  • Lead Hub: Edinburgh Futures Institute

University of Edinburgh students immersed in India’s fashion industry to explore the environmental, social and economic impact of cotton as part of the IndiaTrek programme. Image by Himanshu Pandya.

The Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) educational portfolio will cut across disciplines, address global challenges, develop new progressive modes of student learning and be co-produced with non-academic partners in government, community and industry.

Our educational portfolio will engage with Data-Driven Innovation. It will build on the understanding that our use of data and digital technologies is changing fundamental aspects of how we take decisions, communicate, consume, engage and interact. This creates many opportunities but also presents profound challenges to fundamental issues around privacy, equity, equality, governance and democracy. These are challenges that EFI’s educational portfolio will engage: our focus is on providing students from across disciplines with the data literacy and data skills needed to understand the uses and limitations of data for decision making, the impact of ‘datafication’ on society and how to frame questions and work in partnership with data scientists. Our focus is not to train data scientists and data technologists.

The EFI will:

  • Bring data literacy into the curriculum across the arts, humanities and social sciences, so that students are confident working with computational data whatever their area of disciplinary expertise
  • Develop multidisciplinary approaches, blending data science with arts, humanities, social sciences and others to generate rich insight and tackle issues from different and unconventional perspectives
  • Teach the social, ethical and governance implications of datafication
  • Explore how data and data-enabled technologies can lead to new forms of creative and scholarly practice.

Course topics could include:

  • Group projects using quantitative and qualitative data sets to explore a societal issue or a particular organisation’s challenge
  • Using computational text analysis to provide new ways of understanding stories
  • Exploring how digital technologies are disrupting traditional industries (e.g. transportation) and creating a new global digital workforce
  • Evaluating how digital communication methods are transforming democratic process.

The EFI will also develop CPD and Executive Education programmes to promote data literacy across management and leadership within the public, private and third sectors.