Edutech company Academy Xi launches Indigenous scholarship program for UX design

- August 30, 2017 3 MIN READ
Academy Xi

Edutech company Academy Xi has partnered with global digital agency Isobar Group to launch The Founding Futures, a new scholarship which will offer Indigenous Australians training in User Experience Design (UX).

Valued at $10,000, the scholarship will offer an Indigenous Australian looking to kickstart a career in UX design participation in Academy Xi’s 10 week ‘UX Design Transform’ course, which teaches participants how to navigate the user experience design industry.

Led by experts in the industry, the full time course aims to prepare students with real-world experience, helping them become employable by the end of the program.

Academy Xi’s CEO Ben Wong, said the scholarship comes as way for the company to drive diversity within design, which has historically been poor due to skills gaps.

“These are skills that everyone should be learning, and unfortunately not everyone has the access and ability to learn these skills. We’re constantly seeing professionals upskilling to high-demand careers, but we’re committed to bringing in more students from different backgrounds,” he said.

Wong added that the company is looking to offer the scholarship to an applicant who is determined and willing to learn, with no pre-required skills needed to apply.

Konrad Spilva, CEO of Isobar Group ANZ said the company was excited to work alongside Academy Xi to “empower” the next diverse generation of UX designers.

“Programs like this help students excel and succeed when they otherwise might not have the opportunity,” said Konrad.

Another initiative looking to support opportunities for Indigenous Australians, the Indigenous Digital Excellence (IDX) Awards, has announced the lineup of entrepreneurs selected as finalists for its inaugural event.

Supported by the Telstra Foundation and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) under a $5 million partnership, the awards see Indigenous-founded startups from across Australia submit their ideas across seven categories, including Learnings and Education, Culture and Country, Pathways and Employment, Wellbeing, Entrepreneurship, Digital Elder of the Year, and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Taking place at the end of September, the event will see each finalist showcase their work for a chance to win a share of $100,000 in prizes as grants, as well as connect to IDX’s network of partners and sponsors.

Alison Page, the Executive Chair of NCIE, said the awards are a way to inspire to next generation of Indigenous digital entrepreneurs, who will help form the future digital workforce.

“This is vital because in the fast-changing global economy, the opportunities and jobs of the future will increasingly require digital skills,” she said.

Amongst this year’s finalists is Dean Foley, founder of Indigenous accelerator program Barayamal, who is nominated under the entrepreneur category, as well as Luke Briscoe, founder of INDIGI LAB, an Indigenous STEM space nominated under Pathways and Employment.

This week has also seen the announcement of another entrepreneurial program, the China Australia Millennial Project (CAMP), which aims to facilitate collaboration between Chinese and Australian students.

The CAMP program brings together 100 Chinese and Australian university students to work together for 100 days, with the goal of cofounding 20 new startups from the process.

Ten new equity scholarships will be offered to applicants, to cover the $5500 cost of the program.

Speaking about the new scholarships, CAMP’s CEO Andrea Myles said they will widen the opportunity for applicants in need of equity to access the opportunity to develop a business in the expansive Chinese market.

“The rise of China is a once in a generation opportunity to develop our regions, to develop a thriving innovation ecosystem here in Australia and to continue the upward trajectory of the Australian economy,” she said.

“It’s part of our DNA to ensure merit trumps need, and that the program is accessible to qualifying candidates, so we’re improving financial accessibility through scholarships and fundraising support. It also provides participants ongoing trusted networks between Australia and China, and long-lasting career outcomes.”

You can find more about applying for the program here.

Image: Academy Xi Cofounders. Source: Supplied.