The Higher Education Academy (HEA) has worked with the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) to distribute a £500,000 Development Fund grant to higher education providers to improve cyber security teaching and learning. Institutions have been awarded up to £80,000 to ensure higher education students get high quality, innovative teaching giving them the skills to help protect the UK against cyber attacks.
The National Audit Office landscape review on the UK cyber security strategy, published in February 2013, identified a shortage of cyber security skills as a key challenge. To this end, the Development grants will be used to develop projects that will help improve the skills of graduates, address the shortage of cyber security skills and future proof the country’s IT sector making it more resilient to cyber-attacks.
“Employers consistently raise concerns about the quality of skill-sets of computing graduates”, explains Catherine Hack, Consultant in Academic Practice (STEM) at the HEA. “The eight projects awarded Development Grant funds involve strong partnerships with business to address this problem and help prepare students for entry-level cyber security career opportunities.”
The grants awarded are:
- University of Southampton, enhancing campus cyber security through constructivist student learning
- Edinburgh Napier University, vSoC Virtualised Security Operations Centre – advance security scenario infrastructures in cyber security training
- University of York, Practical cyber security for computer science and IT courses
- University of Birmingham and Leeds Beckett University, Randomised capture the flag (CTF) hacking challenges VMs for computer security education
- Liverpool John Moores University, Interactive cryptographic protocol teaching and learning (CYPHER)
- Edge Hill University, A gamified training environment for cyber-security (CyberGaTE)
- Queen's University Belfast, Cyber security CPD for industry professionals
- University of Sunderland, Problem based learning (PBL) in cyber security
Professor Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive of the HEA, said: “The Higher Education Academy is pleased to be able to offer support to these higher education providers to develop innovative projects that will improve cyber security teaching and learning. If the UK is to be equipped to respond to the increasing threat of cyber-attacks, we must ensure that the next generation of cyber security specialists receive the best teaching and learning to furnish them with the skills needed. Each of the projects receiving the Development Grants has the potential to do this.”
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "Protecting the UK in cyber space is a top priority, which is why the Government recently announced £1.9 billion funding for cyber security and an ambitious new skills programme. The grants we're announcing today will enable Universities to develop high quality, innovative teaching and learning, and ensure we have skilled people to address future cyber security challenges."
The work is funded from the Government’s five-year, £860m National Cyber Security Programme to protect and promote the UK in cyber space.
The projects are officially launched today, 15 December 2015.