Volkswagen has announced that, together with the “42” coding schools in Wolfsburg and Berlin and partners including Microsoft, Bosch and the Korean Kookmin University, it has established the SEA:ME degree program, the first open education course in Europe for software engineering in the automotive and mobility sectors.
The aim of new programme is to train highly qualified software specialists using modern peer learning methods and develop open, sustainable standards for the mobility system and the mobility transition. Volkswagen is thus making a significant contribution to the free education movement in the automotive and mobility sector. The first students start in Wolfsburg on 3 July.
At the start of the first year of the SEA:ME course (Software Engineering in Automotive and Mobility ecosystems) at the 42 Wolfsburg coding school, which Volkswagen started, Chief Human Resources Officer Gunnar Kilian says: “Volkswagen is actively involved in solving the IT skills shortage as a co-initiator of the new course and is thus driving the development of a new, open education ecosystem for the sustainable future of mobility. Together with 42 Wolfsburg and other partners, we’re creating an innovative course at the Wolfsburg automotive hub that is precisely tailored to the needs of our sector. This initiative is therefore unique in Europe.”
Dr. Max Senges, CEO of the 42 offshoot in Wolfsburg and Berlin says: “We’re delighted that Volkswagen, as an important partner and founding member of 42 Wolfsburg, is supporting us with SEA:ME. The close collaboration with our strong partners from the world of business means we can ensure that our graduates are optimally prepared for the needs of the automotive sector. In the pioneer year, the first generation of students is now coming together in Wolfsburg to obtain the proof of concept for the innovative curriculum.”
SEA:ME is the first IT study program in Europe to be specially tailored for the automotive sector. Thanks to the combined focus on IT and automotive technology, the tuition-free course opens up the possibility of gaining in-depth knowledge in both areas in a practical and interdisciplinary environment to anyone with talent. The course’s high level of practical relevance due to industry partnerships with companies such as Volkswagen, Volkswagen’s software subsidiary CARIAD, Microsoft, Bosch and other partners give students the best preparation for starting their careers in the fields of work in question. The members of the partner network, including Korea’s Kookmin University, are working closely together on refining the curriculum for the new course and continuously developing its content. All the materials used in the course are open educational resources (OER) and can therefore be freely used by learners all over the world.
A special feature of the course is the peer-to-peer education. The students work independently on a curriculum of learning projects in agile teams without professors or trainers. Renowned experts from industry and science support the students in an advisory capacity as “fellows” and ensure that the projects have a high degree of practical relevance. The member of the Board of Management for IT, Hauke Stars, is part of the program as a “distinguished fellow” and will be supporting the students: “I’m convinced that companies need to be active partners in developing the education system. They know best which skills are needed. That’s why we’re involved in innovative learning options that promote digital education, equal opportunities and inclusion.”
The 12-month curriculum is tuition-free and will start in Wolfsburg on July 3, 2023. It is open to students with a bachelor’s degree or training in a relevant field, or with sufficient professional or other experience in programming. The application phase for the first cohort of the SEA:ME program is currently underway.