Queen’s University Belfast in the UK has been recognized for its cybersecurity education program and work promoting cyber-skills in its local community.
As a result of these efforts, the institution has been awarded silver recognition from its Academic Center of Excellence in Cyber Security (ACE-CSE) program by the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC). The ACE-CSE initiative was introduced by the NCSC and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport with the purpose of developing a community of cybersecurity influencers who support education in this area as well as engage with industry, government, educators and students.
Queen’s University Belfast’s ACE-CSE program forms part of efforts to increase the number of cybersecurity professionals in the region of Northern Ireland to 5000 by 2030, and it is hoped the recognition will support the university to continue building a strong pipeline of highly skilled graduates to enter the industry.
The Center for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s was formed in 2009 and is renowned for its cybersecurity research and collaboration. In 2011, it was recognized as one of the first Academic Centers of Excellence in Cyber Security Research by GCHQ.
Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for cyber-growth, commented: “I am delighted we can now recognize the first tranche of universities as Academic Centers of Excellence in Cyber Security Education, complementing our existing programs which recognise high quality cybersecurity research and degree courses.
“It is a testament to the continual efforts of academics, support staff and senior management that cybersecurity 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.”
Professor Ian Greer, president and vice-chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast, said: “I welcome this recognition of Queen’s by the NCSC as one of the first Academic Centers of Excellence in Cyber Security Education highlighting our commitment to rolling out cybersecurity awareness and knowledge across all education pathways, operational areas of the institution and the wider community. I congratulate the ACE-CSE team led by Dr Sandra Scott-Hayward, which has secured this recognition.”
Scott-Hayward, the University’s ACE-CSE director, added that plans are in place to further develop awareness and knowledge of cybersecurity both inside and outside the institution, as this is “fundamental to addressing the societal challenge of cybersecurity.”