In Brief

Bletchley Park to become new college for codebreakers

Teenagers will be taught cyber skills at site where Germany's Enigma machine was cracked in World War II

Bletchley Park, where codebreakers cracked Germany's Enigma machine during World War II, is to open its doors to students who want to become cyber security experts.

The UK's first National College of Cyber Security will launch for 16 to 19-year-olds in 2018. 

Students will study a syllabus drawn from experts working at the forefront of the industry, combining maths, computer science and physics, and spend 40 per cent of their time focused on cyber security.

Alastair MacWillson, the chairman of Qufaro, the not-for-profit educational group behind the project, told The Guardian it will be open to anybody "providing that they can demonstrate the key talent - people who have natural ability to solve logic problems".

While aptitude tests will determine who enters the college, students will board at the site to ensure teenagers from across the country can attend. It is also hoped this will encourage them to see themselves as a collective "linked by a common goal", said MacWillson, with organisers hoping to foster the same informal ethos as the original Bletchley Park.

Richard Brunton, a cyber security expert at Burwell IT, said: "The 16-year-olds are ideal in that they have grown up in this technologically reliant world and perhaps are not held back by naivety of older generations, who think a single firewall or a decent password is enough to secure their data."

The new institution will tackle a major skills gap in the UK that currently leaves the country vulnerable to severe cyber attacks, says the Daily Telegraph

The paper adds that industry experts say the disparity between the abilities of online criminals and those in defence is partly because schools and universities have struggled to keep up with advances in hacking. 

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