The European Commission commits to scale-up the EU Code Week via an open call funded by the Digital Europe Programme
Publication date: May 11, 2023
The European Commission has recently announced an open Call for Proposals seeking to fund one large scale project with the aim to boost digital skills of young people, particularly girls, launched as part of the Digital Europe programme. One of the main objectives of this call is to scale up the EU Code Week initiative to spread computational thinking and coding to as many people as possible. This is excellent news for the Code Week community, as it provides an opportunity to boost digital skills and literacy across Europe.
As part of the Digital Europe programme, the European Commission has launched a Call for Proposals to fund a coordination and support action with the aim to boost digital skills of young people, particularly girls. The call opens on 11 May 2023, whereas the deadline to submit applications is set to 26 September 2023, 17:00 Brussels Time. The total budget is foreseen to be EUR 6 million when the expected project duration is 24 months.
Overall, the main goal of the call is to boost digital skills of young people as well as to increase the number of pupils enrolling in digital studies and embarking on a digital career, with a particular focus on gender convergence. To achieve these goals, the selected proposal is expected to scale-up the EU Code Week initiative as well as to run strategic initiatives, with a particular focus on girls, involving the full continuum across all sectors of education such as holiday/weekend camps, career days or study guidance events.
Objective 1 of the call:
To scale-up the EU Code Week initiative
The first objective of the call is to scale up the EU Code Week initiative, putting it on stronger and broader footing, thus further increasing its impact beyond the more than 3 million people reached every year, among which almost half are young women and girls. To do so, the selected proposal is expected to, amongst other activities, to manage the volunteer network of ambassadors and leading teachers, strengthening the network of coordinators at national educational ministries (or other authorities), organising activities (e.g. hackathons), running communication/engagement campaigns, training teachers/school leaders, providing learning resources, managing partnerships as well as developing and managing the EU Code Week website.
Objective 2 of the call:
To increase the pool of young people, and in particular girls, who would ultimately be interested in studying STEM and ICT and/or embarking on a digital career
Evidence shows that pupils who are involved in learning coding or computational thinking from an early age are more likely to continue studying ICT or digital-related fields. Therefore, boosting the development of digital skills from an early age and in a continuous manner is essential for influencing the level of digital skills of the EU population and the number of male and female students who will consider studies and careers in ICT. Moreover, there is a severe gender imbalance in the digital field, where only 19% of ICT specialists and one in three STEM graduates are women.
The second objective of the call is to run strategic initiatives across the full continuum across all sectors of education with the focus on girls, involving courses/camps e.g. during holidays or weekends, organising extracurricular afternoon activities, organising career days, study guidance/information events as well as running awareness raising campaigns. Moreover, the selected proposal is also expected to provide access to state-of-the art laboratories for pupils attending secondary schools as well as young people interested in enrolling in a study programme, in order to enable them to experience the campus facilities and to follow seminars at higher education institutions from the most renowned experts in quantum computing, cybersecurity, AI, cloud, etc.
Boosting digital skills
The European Commission’s commitment to supporting the Code Week project through the Digital 2023 Skills programme is a significant step towards boosting digital skills and literacy across Europe. The Call for Proposals presents a fantastic opportunity for the Code Week community to contribute to the development of innovative approaches to encourage young people, especially girls, to pursue digital careers.
The funding and tender opportunities portal provides the opportunity to search of partners to collaborate on this topic.
An info day for potential applicants will take place on the 2nd of June. Registration to the event is possible via the following link: DIGITAL InfoDay for Potential Applicants: 4th wave of calls for proposals in Advanced Digital Skills (eventscloud.com)