The University of Gloucestershire and global cyber security firm Raytheon UK have today (Tuesday, 22 November) announced a strategic partnership to support student projects through bursaries, engage in funded research programmes and set up a degree apprenticeship in cyber security.
As part of Raytheon’s commitment to the Cyber First and Cyber Invest initiatives, supported by GCHQ under the National Cyber Security Strategy, the company will provide three third year undergraduate bursaries to students at the University, with conditional job offers on graduation. Additionally, a jointly funded programme to engage PhD students will see deep research conducted for Raytheon. The university and Raytheon are also working on plans to set up a cyber security degree apprenticeship programme, set for launch in 2017.
The university is investing heavily in computing and technology teaching and learning in Cheltenham and in new facilities at the Berkeley Cyber Centre opening in 2017. Earlier this month the University of Gloucestershire was awarded £240,000 by Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to expand its portfolio of apprenticeships, including three new degree apprenticeships in the Science and Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sector.
Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gloucestershire said: “We are delighted to be able to formalise our strategic working partnership with Raytheon today. This is an important alliance for the university and our students. One of our key priorities is to give our students access to leading companies in the field in which they would like to pursue a career on graduation. This partnership not only gives our students the opportunity to gain first hand, real world experience, but also helps equip them with the skills and opportunities to secure a graduate job with a company like Raytheon.
“The university has been working closely with Raytheon for more than a year. The company was heavily involved with supporting the design and delivery of our recently revamped cyber security curriculum and regularly provide guest speakers on cyber security for student events and activities. Raytheon is also part of the University’s Cyber Advisory Board helping the University with the design of the new Berkeley Cyber Centre. This latest announcement consolidates both the University’s and Raytheon’s joint commitment to train and nurture cyber talent for the future and equip them with the skills to meet a priority business need in the rapidly growing area of cyber security.”
The three third year undergraduate bursaries of £3.5k were available specifically for female students, in response to the shortage of female cyber engineers. The company plans to open a second cyber centre in early 2017 and is looking to hire the UK’s most talented cyber experts with a broad range of cyber skills and cyber experience.
Managing Director, Intelligence and Security, Rob Crook, said: “The UK needs more cyber specialists and I am delighted to cement our relationship with the University of Gloucestershire, focused on funding female students. Raytheon’s sponsorship of the Cyber Security Challenge for the past four years has focused on supporting schools, including several girls schools in Gloucester, with cyber programmes. This partnership aims to build awareness of cyber careers, narrow the talent gap and ensure the UK is equipped to tackle future cyber threats.”
Richard Graham, MP for Gloucester commented: "Cyber, nuclear and marine power are all fast growing sectors in which Gloucestershire leads and it is absolutely right that the University of Gloucestershire is teaming up with the Raytheon Cyber Centre to help the development of skills for this vital national capability."