Tiga today outlined a strategy for driving up graduate numbers, particularly in mathematics, physics and computing, in its submission to the Government policy paper Higher Education at Work.
Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, recommended:
• a focus on improving standards in schools in mathematics, physics and computing in order to enable more children to study these subjects at university;
• that the Government should provide financial incentives to games developers to provide education outreach programmes to schools and guest lectures and master classes to students in their final year as undergraduates;
• more generous subsidies should be provided to undergraduates taking mathematics degrees compared to other degree courses;
• the Government should help fund a programme that assists undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects to get work experience in games studios;
• the Government should cut corporation tax or issue tax credits in a similar manner to the R&D tax credits for business’s expenses relating to education and training; and
• schemes such as Train to Gain should be made reformed so that subsidised training is available to help employers in the games sector and elsewhere train their employees to degree level or the vocational equivalent.
Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said:
“If the UK economy in general and the games industry in particular is to maintain its competitive edge, then we must improve our human resources and our capacity for innovation. Graduates are pivotal to the achievement of these goals. However, UK games developers are hampered by a shortage of good quality graduates in mathematics, physics and computer science. There has been a 20% fall in computer science students between 2002 and 2007.
“The Government should financially support games developers which provide education outreach programmes to schools, colleges and universities; cut university tuition fees in mathematics; and help fund a programme that assists undergraduates to get work experience in games studios. At the same time, the Government must relentlessly seek need to improve standards in schools in subjects such as mathematics, physics and computing in order to increase the pool of children capable of studying these subjects at degree level.
“Employers initially face the hurdles of cost and lost time when training their staff. The Government should cut corporation tax or introduce a tax credit for workforce development to help games developers and other businesses enhance their employees’ skills.”
Notes to editors:
1. Tiga is the national trade association that represents games developers in the UK and in Europe. We have 155 members, the majority of whom are games developers, but we also have outsourcing companies and technology businesses as members who provide services to games developers. Tiga’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business.
2. For further information, please contact: Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO on: 0845 0941095; Mob: 07875 939643; or: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. A Tiga policy paper on higher education will be published later in 2008.