Cyber degrees launched at Gloucestershire College

Pictured: Steve West & Matt Burgess
Steve West and Matt Burgess

Gloucestershire College (GC) has announced a venture with the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) to offer new cyber degrees in Cheltenham from September 2020. The partnership will expand computing and cyber security courses offered locally through a dedicated cyber training facility at GC’s Cheltenham campus. This builds on the recent announcement of over £2 million of investment in cyber training facilities at the campus through the Government’s Institute of Technology programme.

GC and UWE Bristol will provide businesses and local students with access to cyber training and information security solutions to support Cheltenham Borough Council’s aim to make Cheltenham the cyber capital of the UK.

Matt Burgess, Principal of GC and Professor Steve West, Vice Chancellor of UWE Bristol will hold a joint event next month: “Developing Cheltenham’s future cyber generation”, to be held at Gloucestershire College’s Cheltenham Campus. Local businesses are invited to find out more about the cyber partnership, and the event is also supported by senior speakers from NCSC – the National Cyber Security Centre – part of GCHQ, and BAE Systems. They will discuss their initiatives to widen access to cyber training opportunities – vital to growing the UK’s cyber workforce, and the importance of future proofing the workforce, regardless of industry or business size.

As plans develop for the future of the proposed Cyber Innovation Centre in West Cheltenham, Tim Atkins will stress the importance of maximising a strong cyber skills base in Cheltenham, and how this could impact on our county’s economic and strategic profile, both regionally and nationally.

Matt Burgess, Principal of GC, said: “Recognising the national shortage in cyber skills we were keen to identify a partner with the academic rigour and research credibility in this field, so we are delighted that with UWE, a range of programmes including degrees will be available from 2020.

This builds on our existing partnership of offering degree apprenticeships in areas such as engineering. This will generate a boost for the local economy as well as significantly raise Gloucestershire’s cyber profile. We are excited to host a business forum event in association with the University of the West of England and discuss the plans for establishing a centre of excellence for cyber training in Cheltenham with the businesses that will benefit from it.

“This is a transformational time for Cheltenham as it cements itself as the cyber capital for the nation; the cyber business park is a much anticipated development for the county, and will attract more businesses to the area. Our partnership with UWE will ensure that we can support organisations by providing a strong talent pipeline of highly skilled individuals as we train the next cyber generation. I’d encourage local business leaders to join us on 9 July to hear more about the development of our new cyber programmes.”

Professor Steve West, VC at UWE, added: “We are looking forward to speaking to local businesses about the advances of cyber development within the workplace, and how we can develop current workforces, as well as educate the next cyber generation. We are delighted to extend our degree offering for local Gloucestershire students at Gloucestershire College’s Cheltenham Campus. This is particularly significant at a time when strategically, Cheltenham is establishing itself as the cyber capital of the UK.”

The business breakfast will begin at 8:45AM when a cooked breakfast will be served, with talks beginning at 9:30 followed by a Q&A session, and ending at 11.30AM.

To book a free place at this event, visit: https://cyber-in-cheltenham.eventbrite.co.uk