The recommendations to ring-fence CDIT alongside STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects are published today in a report entitled The Fuse (pictured), ahead of the coalition Government’s first Comprehensive Spending Review, which will conclude on 20 October.
The council’s digital and IT industries task force created the report, and a broader task force on innovation will follow next year.
CIHE chief executive Dr David Docherty, who edited the report, says, ’One of the big problems we’ve got to look at is how universities and business help transform the digital and creative world.’
The report calls on CDIT employers to work with universities on graduate employability and course design.
Docherty says, ’UK universities and businesses need to learn from and replicate the initiatives and innovation environments which brought the world Google, Amazon and Facebook.’ He adds, ’We need to punch above our weight in the Internet world.’
Industry bodies such as TIGA, the trade association for the UK games sector, are encouraged to promote ’volunteer schemes’, where professionals help students develop skills for the CDIT job market.
The report also highlights the need for schools’ information and communication technology education to include the principles of games and Internet services.
Dr Docherty identifies a ’chain of problems’ beginning in schools, which leaves students unprepared in ICT for university and business. He says, ’There’s too much emphasis on spreadsheets and [Microsoft] Office. Computing is still dominated by blokes. We need to make it appeal more to girls and less geeky.’
The Fuse report
The Council for Industry and Higher Education task force is made up of leading figures from industry and academia. It is co-chaired by Rona Fairhead, chairman and chief executive of the Financial Times Group, and Professor Christopher Snowden, vice-chancellor of the University of Surrey
It highlights how US government backing benefited Silicon Valley by leveraging investment from the private sector
CIHE chief executive Dr David Docherty says of higher education, ’You can’t cut forever – you’ve got to invest at some point’