computingEdge Hill University’s Computing Department has secured £40,000 Cyber Security Skills project funding from the Higher Education Academy and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Following a National Audit Office review on the UK cyber security strategy earlier this year, which identified a shortage of cyber security skills, the Government and Higher Education Academy (HEA) invited proposals for innovative projects in the higher education sector.

Edge Hill has just been announced as one of the four selected institutions to deliver its project, with a further £40,000 of match funding provided by the University, to help improve the skills of graduates, address the shortage of cyber security skills and future-proof the IT sector, making it more resilient to possible cyber-attacks.

The University’s project involves working with industry partners to develop problem-based learning scenarios and an online course for Cyber-security.

The department has well-established partnerships with leading UK companies and is developing the learning scenarios with Barclays, The Hut Group and Gardner Systems to ensure the real world scenarios are as relevant as possible to the industry.

In a further strand to the project, MSc Information Security students from Edge Hill will work with local companies to promote good practice in Cyber Security.

Dr Chris Beaumont, Head of the Department of Computing at Edge Hill University said: “This award clearly recognises the expertise in Cyber Security and Learning and teaching in the Department.

“The project involves academic staff, industry partners, undergraduates and MSc students in developing leading-edge learning materials. These will be integrated into our new MSc Cyber Security which starts in September, and some or our undergraduate courses, providing even more excellent experiences for our students.”

Garry Finch, Engineering Manager at The Hut Group added: “The Hut Group is keen to continue its good relationship with Edge Hill University. By working with Edge Hill University on projects and initiatives such as this and working with the students, we can help prepare them for when they move into employment.

“Real world industry and challenges are, I believe, key to this. This ensures that we have the right talent pool available to contribute to our growth as well as the internet industry as a while.”

Funding was also awarded to Birmingham City University, Liverpool John Moores University and Newcastle College.

Professor Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Academy, said: “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. 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.”

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