BeeAPEX project brings popular rapid application tool closer to STEM students

December 20, 2022 | 4 minute read
Jane Richardson
Senior Regional Director, Oracle Academy, EMEA
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The demand for programmers and developers in the EU is constantly increasing, and that trend will not change in years to come. In parallel, tools and applications have emerged which enable low-code development by non-technical staff. Research carried out by the "Better Employability for Everyone with APEX" (BeeAPEX) project consortium indicates that ICT curricula offered to non-ICT majors should be revised to better prepare future business graduates for the needs of a digital workplace, widely used in EU.

Low-code software is software that can be fully customized with a minimal amount of programming―instead of taking weeks or months to develop a custom application, it can be done in a few hours or days. It is faster, cheaper, easier to learn, and also removes repetitive tasks, making development attractive to a larger number of people.

Whilst current EU graduates struggle to find full-time quality employment in line with their studies, employers are unable to meet their demands for highly qualified staff possessing IT-intensive knowledge and practical digital skills. Higher education institutions can develop courses and learning and teaching materials which propagate the use of such software to an increasingly larger number of students, thus providing them with skills that are highly valued in the marketplace.

Project addresses knowledge and skills gap

The BeeAPEX project was therefore designed to specifically address this gap between graduates’ knowledge and the IT skills demanded by the labor market. It was approved for financing through Erasmus+ program activities back in 2021.

It brings together higher education institutions from:

Austria - Johannes Kepler University from Linz

Croatia - University of Zagreb, Faculty of Organization and Informatics from Varaždin

Poland – Kozminski University

Greece - International Hellenic University of Thesalloniki

Slovakia - University of Žilina

Slovenia - University of Maribor, Faculty of Organizational Sciences from Kranj

Oracle Academy is the project’s associate partner in the design and delivery of several project deliverables targeting challenges and opportunities described above, through leveraging Oracle APEX (a popular low code application development tool from Oracle) along other free resources provided by Oracle Academy.

The project is currently in its execution phase and is delivering a broad spectrum of deliverables. Most of them are being developed simultaneously in the local languages of BeeAPEX Consortium Partners and in English, addressing the needs and requirements of local context while enabling sharing with the broader international community.

The project started in January 2022 and will end in September 2023.


The most important deliverables are two courses:

  1. A short digital open-access course on low-code programming that will introduce students to the foundations of APEX and basic application and database design, and will include digital assessments, interactive materials and real-life business cases.
  2. An additional, extracurricular advanced course on the bachelor’s degree level in the areas of low-code application and database development that will (through lectures, practical exercises, assessments, exams and an e-book) enable self-paced learning for a total of 75 hours.

Both courses will be open access and made available to any other educational institution or any individual interested in this topic.BeeAPEX presentation

As full professor, Robert Leskovar, PhD, from the University of Maribor, Faculty of Organizational Sciences from Kranj, emphasized, “the advanced bachelor-level extracurricular course
is the most effort-demanding project deliverable, and will be innovative in design and implementation, offered to everyone
and piloted with  100 students from the member institutions.”

At the same time, the other, short course will “have two tracks, a fast one, for IT students already having some experience with software development, and a basic one, for non-IT students,
based on case studies and basic APEX functionalities,” said full professor Vjeran Strahonja, PhD, from University of Zagreb, Faculty of Organization and Informatics in Varaždin.

In addition to these courses, the project will deliver:

(3) A set of six webinars with insights on low-code development, technology, labor market trends, and the use of APEX as an analytical and advancement tool.

(4) A collection of 12 self-contained case studies targeted at both students and representatives of the business sector, demonstrating how APEX can be used as a prototyping and analytical tool and can lead to improvement of business processes, and development manageability with a focus on green and digital economies, tackling environmental issues and digital transformations.

(5) Six academic articles on topics related to low-code development.

(6) Several multiplier events: three meetings with vocational secondary school students, three presentations to the academic community, and six presentations to the business community.

(7) Training for 18 higher education professors, lecturers and postgraduate teaching assistants on the development of digital courses and tools, and on low-code development of front- and back-end applications and databases.

Oracle Academy is an associate partner of this project. We support BeeAPEX and will continue to do so throughout its lifecycle. 

We contribute through sharing project outputs with all Oracle Academy members on the Member Hub (the objective is to enable them to integrate those outputs into their teaching channels for their students at their institutions), by promoting the project, its team members, and their outputs to our member community worldwide.

We also assist project team members with developing deeper ties with Oracle partners from the region that are focused on APEX-based development and are looking for graduates possessing APEX skills as potential future employees.

As part of our “Oracle Academy Presents” series of webinars, Oracle Academy already organized one webinar presentation on this project to our EMEA members on October 28, 2022. Review a recording of that presentation here.

We look forward to continuing to collaborate on this important and exciting project.

Jane Richardson

Senior Regional Director, Oracle Academy, EMEA

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