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Abertay and Napier universities named centres of excellence in cyber security education by National Cyber Security Centre

Abertay University - Image credit: MolybdenuM 91 via Flickr

Abertay and Napier universities named centres of excellence in cyber security education by National Cyber Security Centre

Abertay and Edinburgh Napier universities have been named Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACEs-CSE) by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

Abertay was one of just seven UK universities, and the only one in Scotland, to achieve the NCSC gold standard for its approach to teaching cyber security and promoting cyber skills in the community, while Napier was the only university in the UK to be given a silver award.

The NCSC, which is part of GCHQ, is responsible for sharing and promoting expertise in cyber security at a national level as well as providing expert response to major incidents.

Abertay University said the award recognised the high quality of its teaching, research and outreach work and is linked to the university’s plans for the cyberQuarter, which is intended to attract cyber security firms to Dundee, support the creation of new companies, and boost the security and resilience of the Scottish business community.

The cyberQuarter is a major project that is being funded with £11.7m of UK and Scottish Government funding through the Tay Cities Region Deal, along with a further £6.5m investment from the university.

Napier said the NCSC award would now see cyber security integrated into programmes across the wider university, and greater emphasis put on engagement with external stakeholders.

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 this ACE-CSE recognition in the future.”

Professor Nigel Seaton, principal of Abertay University, said: “Being named a UK Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education and the launch of the cyberQuarter project will place the university and the city of Dundee at the heart of Scotland’s cyber security sector.

“We are confident that by combining academic expertise, student talent, enterprise support and industry knowledge in this way, we have all the ingredients for significant sectoral growth and new job opportunities, as well as innovation in research and business development.”

Professor Bill Buchanan from Napier’s School of Computing said: “The work of the NCSC is key to the development of excellence in cyber security education and knowledge exchange.

“These new ACEs will not only work within their own university departments, but also spread cyber security collaboration across their institution.

“Moreover, they will support a core collaborative foundation around cyber security education and knowledge exchange within each of their geographical areas.

“This includes working with industry, the public sector, government agencies, colleges, and so on.

“It is hoped that the ACEs-CSE will develop as trusted fundamental building blocks for a safe, secure, resilient and enterprising country.

“The days of silos of knowledge have passed, and we all need to work together and share our knowledge.”

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