Abu Dhabi's free, no-teacher and no-classroom coding school has opened admissions for its second cohort of students.
42 Abu Dhabi is offering a further 1,000 seats for aspiring coders after welcoming 225 students to its Mina Zayed campus in September.
Traditional classes and teachers have been dispensed with and the school — open to students 24 hours a day — relies on peer reviews, coding projects and internships.
A student who goes through the programme over three to five years is expected to emerge as a coder.
“Coding is no longer the future — it is the present. 42 Abu Dhabi’s peer-to-peer gamified methodology enables students to build a unique repertoire of soft and hard skills,” said Leo Filardi, chief executive of 42 Abu Dhabi.
He said “unprecedented demand” had led to the expansion of the Abu Dhabi campus, its first in the Middle East.
The UAE is focused on developing and attracting coding talent in its push to build a knowledge-based, technology-driven economy.
In July, the government signed a deal with a host of technology giants, including Google and Amazon, to train 100,000 young people in computer programming, and has opened 100,000 Golden visas — which deliver long-term residency to recipients — to entrepreneurs, owners of enterprises and start-ups specialising in coding.
42 opened its first campus in Paris in 2013 and to date has equipped more than 12,000 students around the world with digital and business skills. It has been endorsed by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel.
While no previous coding experience or academic qualifications are required to apply, candidates must be at least 18 years old and “display ambition, aptitude, commitment, proactivity, curiosity, creativity and possess an innate ability to adapt and collaborate,” according to the school.
Successful applicants are required to complete 42 Abu Dhabi’s preselection “Game” — an online assessment which evaluates cognitive capacity via logic and memory tests — and attend a virtual briefing on the school's methodology for teaching and learning.
Potential applicants for the next programme, which will begin in March, must submit applications before registration closes on January 4, 2022.