TIGA, the network for videogame developers and digital publishers, today announced the launch of the TIGA Accreditation system for universities and colleges.
Games developers compete to a critical extent on the quality of their teams. TIGA has introduced the TIGA Accreditation process to ensure that universities and colleges can produce graduates with industry relevant skills. The TIGA Accreditation system accredits the very best undergraduate and postgraduate university courses enabling both prospective students and game developers to identify those courses that are producing industry ready graduates.
Key features of the TIGA Accreditation process:
- All TIGA Accredited courses teach skills required by the games industry. These skills are also becoming increasingly in demand in other related industries such as the synthetic training industry.
- Courses are examined by a panel of industry and academic experts to ensure that students are developing games industry skills as well as transferable skills (communication, team working, problem solving and so on) important to the games industry and at an appropriate level.
- As an important part of the accreditation process courses provide details of the percentage of their graduates finding work in the games industry and also in related industries.
- Each course is judged on its own merits and must demonstrate that it works closely with the games industry to stay up to date and relevant. By judging courses in this way TIGA Accreditation is suitable for a wide range of games courses, including those with a programming, art, design or business/entrepreneurial focus.
- Universities are also required to show that they have the resources (hardware, software, staff, labs and so on), curriculum, syllabi, quality systems and student support to deliver their courses.
- One of the key strengths of TIGA accreditation is that it is not confined to only ‘technical’ or ‘art’ courses, but also covers other game development skills (such as game design, mobile game development, indie development entrepreneurship).
- Additionally it is able to keep up to date with the latest developments in game technologies and does not have prescribed lists of skills, which can become limiting in the extremely fast moving games industry. For a course to be accredited the university must have identified specific game developer skill needs and developed their course to meet these.
- Accreditation lasts for 5 years at which time courses are re-examined to ensure they are maintaining their standards. If successful they are re-accredited. Courses must also submit a yearly report to the TIGA Accreditation Committee.
- Accreditation is open to all TIGA education members. TIGA Accredited courses are supported through TIGA’s educational initiatives and have assistance in remaining abreast of current industry practices. TIGA Accreditation is focused on campus based university and college courses.
The TIGA Accreditation process has been in development since January 2010, with a number of models being explored before settling on the simple, robust and rigorous process of requiring courses to demonstrate that they are producing students who have developed skills that are in demand by game developers, while allowing courses the freedom to address a wide range of industry needs.
A first set of six courses, from the University of Portsmouth, Sheffield Hallam University and Bournemouth University, have either been accredited or are currently going through the accreditation process. A further sixteen courses are at the start of the TIGA Accreditation process.
For more information on TIGA Accreditation, please contact: Dr Mark Eyles, University of Portsmouth: email@example.com.
Giselle Stewart, General Manager, Ubisoft Reflections and Chair of Creative Skillset’s Video Games Industry Council, said:
“TIGA Accreditation will enhance the connections between industry and higher education and help to ensure that more students have the skills that the games industry needs.”
Chris Kingsley, Chair of TIGA’s Education Committee and Vice-Chair of Creative Skillset’s Video Games Industry Council, said:
“Games development businesses need to recruit the very best people from universities, colleges and other education providers. TIGA’s Accreditation process identifies courses that provide the skills needed by industry, signals skillsets suitable courses to students, and highlights best practice.”
Professor Carsten Maple, Professor of Cyber Systems Engineering at Warwick University, said:
“TIGA Accreditation is an effective and efficient process for highlighting games industry relevant courses, identifying excellence and strengthening the relationship between business and academia. Above all, it will encourage universities and colleges to produce graduates with industry relevant skills.”
Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO, said:
“TIGA Accreditation system accredits undergraduate and postgraduate university and college courses, enabling both prospective students and game developers to identify those courses that are producing industry ready graduates. It will be good for students, for education providers and for the wider games industry.”
Dr Mark Eyles, University of Portsmouth, said:
“TIGA Accreditation of the two games courses at the University of Portsmouth has reinforced our confidence in their industry relevance. This is a clear demonstration for our current, and future, students that our courses are of the highest quality. The TIGA accreditation team thoroughly examined our course content and delivery and was able to make insightful and helpful suggestions to further increase the relevance of our courses.”
Dr Christos Gatzidis, Programme Coordinator for BSc Games Technology and BSc Games Programming, Bournemouth University, added:
“We are delighted that our Games Technology course here at Bournemouth University has now received TIGA accreditation approval and are very glad that our industry engagement efforts have been recognised. Moreover, it is excellent to see the heavy emphasis placed on employability during the accreditation process, as one of the main aims of the course is to provide a set of skills which will place our graduates in the domestic and/or national games development sector and set them up for a successful and long-lasting career. We hope to be able to accredit our more recent Games Programming course too in the near future”.
Mark Featherstone, Course leader BSc/MComp Game Software Development at Sheffield Hallam University, said:
“Accreditation of all three games development course at Sheffield Hallam University provides independent confirmation of their industrial relevance. The team from TIGA examined course content, talked to staff, toured our facilities and met our students; it was a thorough process and resulted in some excellent feedback to further improve what we do. The accreditation makes it clear to our current generation of students, and the next, that SHU is delivering the highest quality courses.”