'Government should subsidise maths and computer science tuition fees'

'Government should subsidise maths and computer science tuition fees'
Michael French

By Michael French

August 14th 2008 at 10:14AM

Tiga says UK authorities must help find ways to attract students by reducing costs

Tiga has called on the UK Government to subsidise tuition fees for students who study mathematics and computer science at degree level.

The organisation said the move would 'encourage more students with good A-level grades in mathematics and computer science to study these subjects at university' and recommended that the Government introduce a pilot programme whereby the tuition fees for students studying these subjects be
reduced.

The comments come following today's publication of A-level results - a report on the BBC says that, as usual, the pass rate has risen and more students got A grade results than ever before.

Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said: “The UK games development sector relies on highly creative, technical people with skills and qualifications in areas such as design, programming, artificial intelligence, animation and mathematics. Approximately two-thirds of games development employees are qualified to first degree or the vocational equivalent. Some games developers employ an even higher proportion of graduates. For example, 81 per cent of Rebellion’s employees are qualified to degree level.

“However, the video games industry and others are desperate for good quality mathematics graduates and computer programmers. The Government should introduce a pilot programme whereby the tuition fees for students studying mathematics and computer science at university are reduced. This would give a strong incentive to study these courses at university.

“The scheme should be piloted and a cost/benefit analysis undertaken before a decision is taken whether to make the scheme permanent or not. If successful, a similar pilot could be applied to other science and technology disciplines after thorough cost/benefit analyses.”

“The UK video games industry employs a highly qualified and experienced workforce. It constitutes a key competitive advantage for the UK development sector. If we can encourage more of this year’s successful mathematics and computer science A-level students to study these subjects in higher education, the UK games industry should have access to a greater pool of high quality potential recruits, thereby strengthening the industry’s competitive position.”