Case Study

University of South Wales     Back to universities

Creation of the National Cyber Security Academy to address a skills shortage

  • The University of South Wales and Welsh Government innovative project to help address a shortage of cyber security skills
  • Developed the programme with major industrial partners such as Airbus and General Dynamics UK to close the skills gap
  • Will provide the next generation of cyber security experts

The University of South Wales has established an international reputation in the areas of network security, computer forensics and threat analysis. With its Information Security Research Group leading on the design and development of early warning systems that can detect and respond to a variety of cyber based attacks and on computer forensics.

By 2019 is forecast that an additional 4.5 million personnel will be needed worldwide. The University of South Wales and Welsh Government joined forces to launch the National Cyber Security Academy, the first of its kind in Wales and a major UK initiative. It has been specifically designed to develop the next generation of cyber security experts to help fill a skills gap.

Established at the University’s Newport City Centre Campus, the Academy welcomed its first students in October 2016. Students work on real-world projects set by the Academy partners, identifying new challenges in the cyber security environment. The University collaborates with a wide range of partners including the Ministry of Defence, Airbus, BT and Northrop Grumman. The programme allows industry to have direct access to a pool of graduates trained to the highest standards and with a clear understanding of cyber threats. The University of South Wales’ expertise was recognised in May 2016 when it received formal accreditation from GCHQ for its Master’s course in computer forensics.

The Academy also enables the University to offer high standard bespoke solutions to organisations as well as providing a steady stream of trained cyber security professionals.

Cyber security is ranked by the UK Government alongside terrorism, military crises, and natural disasters as major national security threats, and it costs private businesses many millions each year.

Airbus Defence and Space’s Andy Love, of Strategic Business Development, said: ‘There is an emerging eco system around cyber technology that is based in South Wales and Airbus is proud to be part of it. Our involvement with the course and the curriculum is an exciting opportunity for business and academia to influence the next generation of cyber security specialists.’