22 December 2017
Just over a year ago, Qufaro announced its intention to help deliver the cyber workforce necessary to protect British citizens and organisations against the increasing threat of cyber-attack. The first element of this was to develop and deliver the UK’s first Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in cyber security.
The EPQ is equivalent to an AS-Level and can represent up to 28 UCAS credits on university applications. And, being based on the National Occupational Standards in Information Security, the course directly reflects requirements as defined by industry experts.
The course was run as a pilot in 2106/17 and saw 60 students successfully graduating and receiving their certificates in the summer in front of the world-famous rebuild of the Colossus computer at The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park.
Now in its second year, the 2017/18 Qufaro CyberEPQ has proved very popular with school-aged students, mature career-changers and teachers wanting to understand better the cyber security industry. New modules in Cyber Essentials, GDPR and Cryptography have been added and student numbers are up. In addition, this year the course has been generously sponsored by Deloitte, resulting in the enrolment fees for all students being reimbursed on successful completion.
Looking forward, in 2018 Qufaro will be starting to develop the next wave of qualifications and training material. These will include training material and courses for teachers in computer science and cyber security, as well as a new enhanced (Level 4) cyber qualification for students.
We continue to await an announcement by the government on the next wave of applications for the Department for Education’s (DfE) Free Schools program. The delays have impacted on the opening date of The National College of Cyber Security at Bletchley Park. Whilst Qufaro’s vision remains to provide a free and unique environment to teach cyber security to gifted 16-19 year-old students applying from across the nation, for pragmatic reasons the planned opening date is now September 2020.
In the meantime, the Qufaro team, with supporters from across industry and academia is continuing to refine the application for the College in preparation for an announcement by the DfE. We are very grateful for the pledges of support that we continue to receive.
There will be further announcements early in the new year. In the meantime, everyone at Qufaro would like to wish all our students, supporters, partners and well-wishers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.