The Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have awarded Development Fund grants of up to £40,000 to Newcastle College, Birmingham City University, Edge Hill University and Liverpool John Moores University.
Following a National Audit Office landscape review on the UK cyber security strategy, published in February 2013, which identified a shortage of cyber security skills as a key challenge, the HEA and BIS invited proposals for innovative projects by higher education institutions and College Based Higher Education Providers in the UK that would improve cyber security teaching and learning.
The four institutions will use the funding to develop individual 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 possible cyber-attacks.
“Employers are worried about whether graduates have sufficient cyber security skills to respond to cyber threats”, explains Karen Fraser, Consultant in Academic Practice (Innovative Pedagogies) at the HEA. “If the UK is to be equipped to respond to cyber threats we need to strengthen the pipeline of cyber talent and help prepare students for entry-level security career opportunities.”
Professor Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive of the HEA, said: “The Higher Education Academy is pleased to be able to offer support to higher education providers to develop innovative projects involving strong partnership with businesses that will improve cyber security teaching and learning across the discipline of computing, institution and the sector beyond. The four projects receiving the grants have the potential to do this, thereby helping to 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 possible cyber-attacks.”
The projects are officially launched today, 12 December, at a Cabinet Office event for industry, academia and government leaders to highlight how the UK is building skills to boost an increasingly flourishing cyber security sector in the UK. The event, hosted by Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, marks the third anniversary of the UK’s Cyber Security Strategy and follows a report to parliament on progress and forward plans to make the UK one of the safest places to do business online.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:
“The long-term economic plan of this government continues to make the UK one of the most secure places to do business online. Improving skills is critical to the UK’s success in cyber security. We have a very proud heritage in cryptography and computer science borne out by the achievements of Alan Turning and Bletchley Park and this continues today. 40,000 people are already employed in the UK cyber industry and we want to encourage more young people and adults into a dynamic career in a growth area.
“The Higher Education Academy grants we are making today will help those who are already studying in related fields towards a cyber security career”.