TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, today called on the Government to continue to improve educational standards in the UK in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the UK economy. This is vital so that creative industries, such as the video games sector, can flourish. TIGA made the comments in response to the publication of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s (OECD) Education at a Glance 2011 report.
Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said:
“If the UK is to continue producing outstanding video games and compete internationally then it needs to have a first class education system. The OECD’s latest report presents a mixed picture.
“On a positive note, the report shows the UK has a higher proportion of tertiary graduates than the OECD average. As the UK video games development sector is highly skilled and requires a high level of tertiary educated people, these results are pleasing. A typical UK development studio needs around 80 per cent of its staff qualified to degree level or the vocational equivalent.
“However, ensuring the education system is well-funded remains an ongoing concern. The UK (1.2 per cent) lagged behind the OECD average by 0.3% in terms of the percentage of GDP spent on tertiary education. Even more worryingly, we fall significantly below our main competitors - Canada (2.5 per cent), USA (2.7 per cent) and South Korea (2.6 per cent). Despite the Government’s spending restraints it is vital that higher education expenditure does not suffer.
The video games industry relies on a high quality supply of graduates and if this is compromised it would have a detrimental impact on the UK industry. More generally, the UK cannot be a knowledge economy on the cheap. A failure to invest and to invest well in higher education is against the interests of the UK economy as a whole.
“In tertiary education, the Government should consider intervening to reduce tuition fees for mathematics and computer science students to incentivise the studying of these disciplines. Encouraging strong industry and education links through the use of industrial secondments and guest lecturing could also reap benefits for both sides.”
Jason Kingsley, TIGA Chairman and CEO and Creative Director at Rebellion, said:
“TIGA also recommends the deployment of stronger financial incentives in order to attract the top graduates to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in schools; greater flexibility in the national curriculum to allow schools the freedom to teach subjects such as computer science; and providing information about developing a career in the video games industry to schools, to encourage more young people to stick with STEM subjects.”
Notes to editors:
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA was awarded ‘Trade Association of the Year’ and the ‘Member Recruitment Award’ at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards 2010. In 2011, TIGA won a further four awards at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards, including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ for the second consecutive year.
TIGA has been voted a finalist in the CMI Management and Leadership Awards 2011 in the ‘Outstanding Organisation (SME)’ category. Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, has been voted a finalist in the ‘Outstanding Leader’ category. TIGA was also named as a finalist in the 2010 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) National Management and Leadership Awards in the category of ‘The Outstanding Organisation of the Year Award (SME)’. TIGA is an ‘Investors in People’ accredited organisation.
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. Our vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. Our mission is to fight for the interests of game developers. To achieve our vision and mission we focus on the delivery of three strategic objectives: effective political representation, profile raising and helping our members commercially. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.
For further information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email firstname.lastname@example.org .