When a new generation IT school, 42 opened last year in the Silicon Valley, few people in Fremont, California knew that a similar school had already been functioning in the capital of Ukraine under the name of UNIT Factory. Both of these schools implement the system of École 42, which has huge success in France.
Located in a newly-built complex in Kyiv center, UNIT Factory has no teachers, schedules, lecture notes or traditional marks. It uses Peer 2 Peer pedagogy — a type of participatory learning that allows students to unleash their creativity through project-based learning. The program is based on gamification, as in role-playing computer games: students upgrade their skills, open new levels and gain experience. Special attention is paid to self-education, since this skill is vital for IT pros. And with all that, training at UNIT Factory is free of charge to graduates who agree to work in Ukraine for the further three years.
“The program prepares our graduates for work on real commercial projects. And we do our best to ensure that students never lose their enthusiasm and desire to develop in the chosen profession,” — said Valeriya Zabolotna, Head of UNIT Factory.
The first wave of students has already been studying at UNIT Factory for more than seven months, showing rapid progress and excellent motivation. The second enrollment has already started: by the end of 2017 the number of students will be increased to 800 from today’s 280. Students are selected not on the basis of their educational degree or programming skills, but solely on their talent and motivation. A year ago, the selection campaign created quite a stir — more than 12,000 applications were received during the first month.
It is noteworthy that UNIT Factory is not a standalone institution, but the key element of the ecosystem of the UNIT.City innovation park opened in Kyiv in April, 2017. Both of these projects were initiated by Vasyl Khmelnytsky’s K.Fund. In the future, the park promises to expand to a “city in the city,” a hub of high-tech companies, investors and talents.
About UNIT Factory
UNIT Factory (Ukrainian National IT Factory) is a new educational institution located in Kyiv, where next-generation IT professionals are trained. Graduates of UNIT Factory receive a demanded profession that will allow them to participate in large-scale projects of the digital age.
Training according to the innovative system that operates successfully at École 42 in Paris*:
- Peer-to-Peer method (P2P) — no teachers, schedules, lecture notes or traditional marks
- teamwork and project-based learning
- gamification, as in role-playing computer games: students upgrade their skills, open new levels and gain experience
- skills of self-learning
- soft skills
- open 24/7
* A similar system is used at School 42 in Silicon Valley (Fremont, California).
Training at UNIT Factory is free of charge to graduates who agree to work in Ukraine for the further three years.
Training lasts up to three years, but the course allows students to work at their own pace and rhythm, so it is possible to graduate earlier. After the first year of study, students may either continue upgrading their skills, or enter a job.
The students’ selection process:
- registration on unit.ua
- online test
- personal interviews
- one month trial period (“pool”)
UNIT Factory is open to anyone who is between 18 and 30, without regard to any academic criteria (diplomas, marks, etc.).
First enrollment (2016):
- more than 13,000 applications;
- 600 candidates underwent the trial period;
- 280 people accepted into UNIT Factory in November 2017;
- most of those enrolled are between 18 and 23 years;
- among the first wave of students, 61% had only elementary level of programming before UNIT Factory, and 16% had no programming knowledge.
2017 selection process has already started. By the end of 2017 the number of students will be increased to 800.
UNIT Factory was initiated by Vasyl Khmelnytsky’s K.Fund in partnership with the French École 42. The institution is the key element of the UNIT.City innovation park’s ecosystem.
UNIT Factory’s website: https://unit.ua/