EU Erasmus+ Funded Project on Curriculum Development in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

University of Peradeniya is a partner in the EU Erasmus+ CBHE project on Curriculum Development for the Asian higher education system. The knowledge of the European partners of the project in the field of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence education will be shared and adapted for developing a Master’s curriculum for the Asian partners HEIs. Academic members of the Department of Statistics and Computer Science have initiated this partnership and are the active members of the project

Data science (DS) is concerned with the extraction of useful knowledge from large, complex data sets. Today, career opportunities for data scientists are extremely varied, with increasing demand, in Asia and internationally, for skilled analysts who understand all the links in the chain of processing, analysing, and extracting knowledge from big data. Artificial intelligence (AI) is an even broader field about the automation or simulation of human intelligence. The trends indicate that the development of appropriate educational programs to build skills in data science and AI that bring European experts together with Asian experts will contribute to regional success in the race to transform national economies from commodity-based to knowledge-based economies.

The DS&AI project aims to create a new MSc programme in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in Asia (Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka). The project focuses on MSc level training, providing advanced courses and guidance in developing research skills necessary to develop innovative new data-driven technologies. DS&AI aims to generate highly-skilled Data Scientists and other relevant experts that will reinforce the regional ICT industry that is in dire need of them.

Continuous interaction between the academic sector and the ICT industry will ensure that the developed curricula will have the right balance between theory and real practical skills. Professional training courses and a prototype certification will be developed to complement the MSc and address the immediate upskilling and needs of the sector’s personnel in the areas around the Asian HEIs thus ensuring a more immediate impact. Moreover, the MSc programmes will require students to complete short internships in regional companies so as to acquire the necessary practical skills/experience and at the same time improving their employability prospects.

Data Science Laboratories (DSLs) will be established in the participating universities will promote data science and artificial intelligence.

Photo of DS&AI Team During the Study Visit - Leiden: