Northern Ireland

Cyber security expert in warning to Northern Ireland over education

Cybersecurity is a key concern for global business Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Cybersecurity is a key concern for global business

A cyber security expert says Northern Ireland could be at a disadvantage because pupils are not studying the best courses available.

It is estimated that cyber crime costs the local economy more than £100m a year.

David Crozier from Queen's University in Belfast said there was a potential difficulty if the Computer Science GCSE is dropped by schools.

He was speaking to the BBC's Inside Business programme.

"There is potentially a difficulty coming up in terms of the GCSEs, where some of the schools will drop the English GCSE in Computer Science which would be a more technical course than the CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment) ICT GCSE we have locally," he said.

"That would be disappointing for us as a university in terms of people coming in with a stronger Computer Science background."

Last month, the two largest English GCSE exam boards said they would no longer offer GCSE courses in Northern Ireland.

The change will come into effect for pupils beginning GCSE courses in September 2016.

About a quarter of courses taken by pupils in Northern Ireland are taken through the AQA and OCR exam boards.

There will be more on this story on Inside Business at 13:30 GMT on Sunday.

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