WMG recognised for excellence in cyber security education

• WMG, at the University of Warwick is one of eight UK universities recognised by new government programme which celebrates cyber security excellence

• The department will be one of the first to be named an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)

WMG, at the University of Warwick is one of eight trailblazing universities to have become the first in the UK to gain recognition for their commitment to cyber security education in a new initiative from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of GCHQ.

Pioneering institutions in the UK have been recognised as the country’s first Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACEs-CSE) for delivering first-rate cyber security education on campus and promoting cyber skills in their community.

The ACE-CSE programme, led by the NCSC – a part of GCHQ – and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has recognised eight universities with gold and silver awards – with the next round of applications opening earlyProfessor Tim Watson, WMG, University of Warwick next year.

Professor Tim Watson from WMG, University of Warwick comments:

“We are delighted to be recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre as an academic centre of excellence and to have been awarded a Gold Award for our cyber security education.”

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said:

“I am delighted we can now recognise the first tranche of universities as Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Education, complementing our existing programmes which recognise high quality cyber security research and degree courses.”

“It is a testament to the continual efforts of academics, support staff and senior management that cyber security remains high on their agenda.

“We very much look forward to working with them over the coming years and strongly encourage other universities to work towards achieving similar recognition in the future.”

Seven universities received Gold awards in this first round of applications for demonstrating impressive approaches to promoting cyber security excellence. They are:

• Abertay University

• Lancaster University

• University of Southampton

• University of South Wales

• University of Surrey

• University of Warwick

• University of the West of England

Each of the successful Gold centres demonstrated they offer at least one NCSC-certified degree, deliver top cyber security training to staff and students from other specialisms within the university, work to improve the institution’s cyber resilience and carry out local outreach activities.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said:

“The UK has some of the brightest minds in the world working in tech and it’s right we celebrate universities where so many people develop relevant and cutting-edge skills.

“We continue to work closely with academia to nurture the next generation of cyber security talent and I urge interested education institutions to apply for this recognition.”

Offering a NCSC-certified degree is necessary for receiving ACE-CSE recognition, as it demonstrates that an institution is already providing a high standard of education to students enrolled in cyber security disciplines.

However, successful ACE-CSE institutions go beyond this, offering cyber security education opportunities across the whole campus and to those in their wider community.

In the first tranche of award winners this included giving cyber security classes to those studying subjects such as Politics, Law, and Psychology and setting up work experience placements for local schoolchildren.

The next round of applications for ACE-CSE recognition will open in early 2021 to higher education institutions in the UK. More information about the initiative can be found on the NCSC website.