£500,000 to fight cyber crime through education

£500,000 to fight cyber crime through education

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) has worked with the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) to award £500,000 of grants 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 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 Alastair Irons, Professor of Computer Science and HEA Development Fund Project lead for the University of Sunderland said: “We are delighted to be awarded the grant which will allow us to develop our innovative and radically different approach to teaching cyber security through problem based learning.

      “We won for a number of reasons - our past experience in developing and evaluating PBL for cyber security teaching and learning, our desire to be innovative and our approach to including students in the learning process.

      “We will be working closely with government agencies, businesses and industry in addressing the cyber security skills gap. The legacy will be a set of resources, better cyber security learning experience for students and more highly skilled graduates who will be able to address the cyber security challenges in society.”

      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."