The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), whose main role is to allocate funding from the Government to universities and colleges, has today (Monday, 8 December) announced that the University of Gloucestershire will receive £308,299 from a £200 million national fund. The purpose of the fund is to help universities and colleges expand and improve their teaching in subjects that directly support economic growth - the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
The University of Gloucestershire has decided to invest its allocation in building up computing and technology. The University will match fund the HEFCE allocation, taking the total investment to £616,000.
The University’s School of Computing and Technology has built a successful range of courses in computing, games, forensics, product design and technology. Student demand for computing and technology courses is strong, and the School is well-placed to expand. Computing and technology skills are also critical to a wide range of businesses, so investment in the School will also support the University’s goal of expanding the range of business services provided through The Growth Hub. The funds will be spent on new, high quality teaching and development laboratories with a modern range of computers and games technology, cyber security testing equipment, and research facilities to support undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gloucestershire, said: "We are very pleased to receive this valuable Government funding through HEFCE. We have a good School of Computing and Technology, with lots of potential for growth. We will invest this funding to strengthen the range, quality and innovation of our courses, working with business partners to build our reputation for excellence.
"Businesses have a growing need for skills in computing and technology, including areas such as cyber-security and computer apps and games. The growth in IT related jobs is due to increase by around 20 per cent by 2020. We want our courses at the University of Gloucestershire to be at the forefront of developing real skills and solutions needed for employment in the creative or technical computing sector.
"Together with our own contribution, the money will enable us to invest in new facilities that will allow our students, staff and businesses to work together in partnership, further developing our expertise in subjects such as web development, mobile apps, cyber security, programming, games and 3D animation. That will be good news for students, offering them excellent facilities to learn and develop their skills. It will also be good news for businesses in Gloucestershire and beyond, who will be better able to recruit the graduates they need."
Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: "This funding is badly needed by universities and colleges to meet the increased interest in science and engineering. It will also ensure that students benefit from state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories, and are thereby equipped for the workplace of the 21st century.
"I am particularly pleased to see successful projects across all parts of the country, and the degree to which institutions are focusing their investment to support their local economies and key industry partners."
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: "Inspiring young people to take up STEM courses is vital to the success of the UK economy. This investment will mean world-class teaching facilities to build tomorrow's skilled workforce."
In September, the University of Gloucestershire launched courses in BEng Integrated Engineering and BSc Product Design to facilitate the development of the multi-disciplinary technical skills needed by industry.
Visit the School of Computing and Technology course pages.