Game-changing facilities for Staffs

Staffordshire University has announced more than £12m investment in new computing and games facilities at its Stoke-on-Trent campus

The new Digital Kiln project will go ahead thanks to a successful £5m bid for STEM teaching capital funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Welcoming the announcement Rosy Crehan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “Confirmation of HEFCE funding is a massive boost as it enables us to create a game-changing facility to raise the profile of Computing and Games design at Staffordshire University, increase our work with employers and act as a driver for the digital economy.

“This exciting project is the final piece in the jigsaw in terms of bringing together all of the University’s STEM subjects on our main campus at Stoke-on-Trent.”

The Digital KILN will involve repurposing existing building on College Road to support a range of courses including cloud computing, cyber security, networking, games design, big data and the Internet of Things.

New facilities will include industry supported/sponsored suites, three new 20-seater networking labs and GCHQ equipment to support Cyber Security teaching.

Design work on the Digital Kiln project will take place in the spring, with the majority of works scheduled to take place between October 2015 and August 2016.

In addition to the physical elements of the scheme, the Digital Kiln project looks to produce highly skilled graduates to plug the digital skills gap and to recruit more female students.

Crehan added: “We are strongly represented in Computing and Games Design by female staff in senior roles and they are excellent role models for our female students.  Our ambitious project, which involves engaging with schools and colleges, will seek to attract more female students into these male dominated subject areas.”

“The University has seen a 10% growth in recruitment to our Computing and Games Design courses over the last five years and the Digital Kiln project will enable us to increase student numbers in key areas of demand by a further 500 over the next five years.”