on November 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm
The UK Government has made “a positive step forward for computer science” in its official response to the Next Gen report, the University of Abertay Dundee said today.
In the document from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Government commits itself to “working with Next Gen Skills, educators and others to develop an attractive computer science offering for schools”.
The Next Gen report into the UK’s video games and visual effects industries recommended earlier this year that computer science be introduced as a core part of school education.
Its recommendations also included introducing Abertay University’s Dare to be Digital model of workplace simulation into university courses across the UK, which the Government today endorsed.
Dr Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said: “Today the UK Government has made a positive step forward for computer science by recognising its importance for the nation’s future economic development.
“Computer games and visual effects are high-growth, high-value industries with the potential to drive Britain forward, increasing investment and exports, and repositioning the UK as one of the world’s most creative nations.
“However, without school children being excited about computer science – and being encouraged to study art, maths and science side-by-side – we are at risk of falling further behind.”
The Government’s response praises Abertay University’s ongoing work to make degrees industry-relevant, its work with the BAFTA Young Games Designers competition, and its Prototype Fund for investment in new companies and giving graduates valuable work experience.
Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay, added: “Action is needed right across the UK, from educators, industry and both the UK and Scottish Governments.
“The Scottish Government’s Curriculum for Excellence is, for instance, an excellent opportunity to teach subjects like art and computer science together.
“We need to see today’s positive step forward continue, with real support continuing to come from both the UK and Scottish Governments.”
The Next Gen report by creative industries experts Ian Livingstone and Alex Hope was commissioned by Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, in July 2010.
They were tasked to produce an independent report into the skills needed for the UK to thrive as a world-class centre for the computer games and visual effects industries.