‘Urgent’ computer games skills review welcomed by Abertay University

For immediate release: Tuesday 1 February

The Livingstone-Hope Review is“an urgent reminder of the importance of industry-focused education” to the UK’s highly valuable computer games and visual effects industries, the University of Abertay Dundee said today (Tuesday 1 February).

The report was launched this morning in Leicester Square to a packed audience of press and industry.

It recommends taking Abertay University’s successful workplace simulation model and developing this across the UK. This started with the Dare to be Digital game design competition and is central to all of Abertay’s world-leading computer games degrees.

Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said at the launch in London:“The Livingstone-Hope Review is an urgent reminder of the importance of industry-focused education to developing high-value industries like computer games that are so crucial to the UK’s future economic growth.

“We are delighted to see the review strongly support Abertay’s model of working hand-in-hand with industry to give students the skills they need to make a real contribution to the creative economy.”

He added: “Abertay runs the UK Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education and we will continue to work with our colleagues in industry and the sector skills council Skillset to provide exactly the education and skills that the UK needs for the future.”

Other recommendations in the report include:

- developing a kitemarking system for the very best university courses, building on the existing Skillset awards. This would make it easier for students to pick the most industry-relevant degrees

- improving maths and physics education at a school level, as these‘hard’ skills– which are a key component of Abertay’s degrees– are critical to the creative industries

- protected funding from the higher education funding councils for the very best accredited industry-specialist courses

Dr Louis Natanson, Academic Director of the Institute for Arts, Media and Computer Games at Abertay, said:“Abertay has always stressed how difficult computer games development is– it requires incredibly high level maths and physics skills, as well as complex art, programming, team-working and management abilities.

“Through our Dare Schools competition, and the game development workshops for school children at our Dare ProtoPlay festival each summer, we’re constantly working to stress the importance of maths and physics to careers in the creative industries.”

He added:“The UK has incredible talent in the computer games industry, but more work is needed to ensure that the skills for the future are being developed.

“At Abertay we work directly with companies to ensure our graduates can step straight into jobs and make a very real, immediate contribution. We look forward to continuing this work with all our partners right across this exciting, growing industry.”

Last July Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, asked creative industries experts Ian Livingstone and Alex Hope 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.

Abertay University launched the world’s first computer games technology degree in 1997 and runs the UK Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education.

Its courses include the Professional Masters in Computer Games Development, an advanced professional practice qualification which has very strong international competition for places.

Out of the nine Skillset industry accreditations for computer games and computer arts degrees across the UK, Abertay University holds three. It is the only institution to hold more than one.

http://www.abertay.ac.uk

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For the full report, please see http://www.nesta.org.uk/home1/assets/features/next_gen

For media enquiries, please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Officer)– T: 01382 308935 M: 07837 250284 E: chris.wilson@abertay.ac.uk 


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