News Article

Two more UK universities awarded Academic Centre of Excellence status in Cyber Security Research

Last Updated: 24 Mar 2015
The University of Kent and the University of Surrey become Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, bringing the total in the UK to 13.

News article - 24 Mar 2015

Two further UK universities conducting world class research in the field of cyber security have been recognised as an "Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research" by GCHQ in partnership with Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Announced today by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for Cyber Security, The University of Kent and The University of Surrey will join eleven existing Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, bringing the total in the UK to 13.

These Centres of Excellence help make the UK government, business and consumers more resilient to cyber-attack by extending knowledge and enhancing skills in cyber security.

The universities of Kent and Surrey, as Centres of Excellence, will both help enhance the UK’s cyber knowledge base through original research and provide top quality graduates in the field of cyber security. In addition, they will both be supporting GCHQ’s cyber defence mission and driving up the level of innovation in the UK.

All Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research also benefit from:

  • Closer collaboration with GCHQ, the UK Cyber Community and industry
  • Partnership endorsement in associated publications and prospectuses
  • Better understanding of Government and industrial cyber issues
  • Helping to formulate the future Cyber Security research agenda

The scheme to recognise Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research was the first in a number of initiatives outlined in Protecting and Promoting the UK in a Digital World, the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy. The Strategy describes how Government is working with academia and industry to make the UK more resilient to cyber-attacks.

A GCHQ spokesman said:

"We are delighted that the universities of Kent and Surrey are joining the fold as Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research. We look forward to them joining the rest of academia currently working to ensure the UK develops the skills and knowledge it needs to prosper in cyberspace."

The new Academic Centres of Excellence will be recognised for a period of two years. During this time GCHQ will continue to encourage the universities to develop their capabilities in order to meet the stringent criteria for recognition. This will position the UK cyber research community as the pre-eminent environment in which to conduct leading edge research and in turn attract the best academics and research students in the UK and from overseas.  The research conducted will support the drive for better cyber protection for the UK Government and enable businesses and consumers to safely benefit from the huge opportunities offered in cyberspace.