Six Universities of Applied Sciences are starting learning communities centred on artificial intelligence (AI) in the Applied AI Learning Communities Pilot Programme. In these learning communities, researchers, professionals, teachers and students work closely together to educate students and employees by making new AI applications usable in practice.
AI as a system technology is having a major impact in a wide range of sectors and on the people who work there. Every development is constantly being superseded by the next. The market is demanding new knowledge and well-trained people. Demand for AI skills is growing so quickly that the outflow from the regular education sector cannot keep up. Even for professionals who are already in work, the impact of AI means they need to undergo substantial and regular training.
The AI-centred learning communities are focused on optimum integration of the labour market, research and education. Tackling applied AI use cases together is key – an approach in which education, applied and practical research go hand in hand. This is helping innovative SME companies and institutions use AI.
Six Universities of Applied Sciences are receiving funding to establish learning communities. These Universities of Applied Sciences are Avans, Fontys, Hogeschool Rotterdam, Hogeschool Utrecht, Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Saxion. They are each building infrastructure and networks around a specifically applied AI theme, coordinating closely with the regional AI hubs of the Netherlands AI Coalition. On top of that, there will be an overarching, coordinating programme for sharing and safeguarding the knowledge and experience gained from the six projects. This programme is being implemented by the lecturers’ platform for practice-based IT research, PRIO, with Windesheim as the budget holder and coordinator.
The total amount for the pilot programme is 850,000 euros. The programme was largely funded by the kick-starting budget that the Netherlands AI Coalition received from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Regieorgaan SIA (the Taskforce for Applied Research SIA) contributed the remainder of the funding and implemented the arrangement.
The pilot programme started on 1 July 2022 and will run for a year. The learning communities approach is also part of the People and Skills subprogramme of the AiNed National Growth Fund Programme that has been developed by the Netherlands AI Coalition. The goal is to continue the ‘learning communities’ approach through the AiNed programme.
If you’re interested in learning communities, go to the Netherlands AI Coalition’s Human Capital working group, read more on the Learning Communities Network website or read the information in the description of the AiNed programme.