Leading experts recognise DMU's cyber security education with Gold award

The leading authority on cyber security in the UK has recognised De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) for its commitment to cyber security education.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – part of GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) – has named DMU a gold standard Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education (ACE-CSE), making it the first university in the East Midlands to achieve the prestigious status.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
Image: Charles Deluvio/Unsplash

Only nine universities in the UK have received gold standard ACE-CSE recognition, which acknowledges first-rate cyber security education and a commitment to external engagement promoting cyber skills.

This marks the second time that DMU has been recognised for its world-leading cyber security offering by the NCSC, having been named an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) in 2019.

Dr Ali Al-Bayati, Director of DMU’s ACE-CSE, said: “This Gold recognition is a fitting testament to our success in delivering excellence in teaching for cyber security.  We want to continue building on our previous success as an ACE-CSR, alongside our innovative NCSC-certified MSc Cyber Security and MSc Cyber Technology courses.”

To be named an ACE-CSE, institutions must already have an NCSC-certified degree (which DMU’s MSc Cyber Security and MSc Cyber Technology courses are), as well as having other degrees in the subject area and demonstrating outreach in the community and links between practical and theoretical cyber.

Universities must also show they are developing an influential and growing community of cyber security; shaping and supporting cyber security education; and engaging with industry, government, educators and students.

Alongside its MSc courses, DMU also offers a BSc in Cyber Security and a Cyber Security Technical Professional Integrated Degree Apprenticeship.

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All teaching across the subject is underpinned by the work of academics and researchers from DMU’s Cyber Technology Institute (CTI) which, as well as being named an NCSC- and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-recognised ACE-CSR, is also an Airbus Centre of Excellence in SCADA Forensics.

The CTI’s research and industry expertise provide the perfect environment for students and apprentices to develop the skills they need to respond to real-world cyber security challenges.

Professor Eerke Boiten, Head of the School of Computer Science and Informatics and Director of the Cyber Technology Institute at DMU, said: “Cyber security is a main area of strength in our teaching, with some 400 students on programmes in that area, and many others also taking cyber security modules.

“We are extremely pleased to receive this top recognition for our integrated package of teaching, outreach, and involvement with cyber security across the entire university.”

Professor Eerke Boiten, Head of DMU's Cyber Technology Institute
Professor Eerke Boiten, Director of DMU's CTI

DMU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Katie Normington, said: “To receive gold standard recognition from the NCSC is a great testament to the hard work, dedication and expertise of all colleagues working across our cyber security courses. 

“Not only does this certification highlight the exceptionally high standard of cyber security at DMU, it also reinforces our commitment to developing and nurturing a skilled workforce for one of the fastest-growing industries in the country.”

DMU is currently one of just four post-92 university (former polytechnics that were granted full university status following the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act) to gain the gold standard ACE-CSE recognition.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said: “I am delighted we can recognise De Montfort University as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education for its outstanding approach to cyber security education.

“It is a testament to the continual efforts of academics, support staff and senior management that cyber security remains high on their agenda.

“We very much look forward to working with them over the coming years and strongly encourage other universities to work towards achieving similar recognition in the future.”

Posted on Tuesday 21st September 2021

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