THE Department of Economic Development, in conjunction with the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education, has announced that an accredited qualification in e-Gaming will be launched in January 2013. It is to be delivered through a work based higher education framework (WBIS) validated through the University of Chester.
The qualification has come about as a result of close collaboration between the public and private sectors. Representatives of the e-Gaming sector were consulted during the development phase which was subsequently accredited by the University of Chester.
It is believed that the Isle of Man’s course is the world’s first accredited qualification in e-Gaming and it will be delivered as a postgraduate level qualification, available from January 2013. It is planned that it will be offered at undergraduate level in due course.
Alex Downie OBE, MLC, Political Member for e-Gaming, Isle of Man Government Department of Economic Development commented:
‘The development of this qualification is supportive of the e-Gaming strategy by helping to ensure that companies operating in the sector have access to a good pool of appropriately skilled labour. The Department is determined to build on the Island’s reputation as a centre of excellence for e-Gaming and we aim to achieve this by being at the forefront of developing new initiatives and innovation.
‘e-Gaming continues to make a significant contribution to our economy. The 2012 Manx e-Gaming Association (MEGA) survey estimated that there are 688 people employed in the sector and that the industry contributes some £164m a year to the Manx Exchequer.’
Tim Craine, Head of e-Gaming and Technology, said:
‘The industry has made it clear that there is a need for formal qualifications in e-Gaming and the courses can only help drive further success in the sector.
‘The sector is still growing rapidly with the number of licence holders currently standing at 46. This growth is testimony not only to the drive of the Government in helping new businesses to thrive but also to the robust regulatory framework we have in place.’
Joanne Richardson, Assistant Principal, Quality and Communication, Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education, said:
‘The College of Further and Higher Education is committed to developing bespoke provision that supports employers and their businesses. The flexible framework of the University of Chester WBIS provision allows such developments as well as ensuring that the qualifications retain the high quality standards that are expected at Postgraduate Study.
‘We are looking forward to supporting the e-Gaming curriculum and believe that this is an exciting time in Education on the Island.’
Gail Corrin, WBIS Programme Leader, Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education, said:
‘Responsible professional people can and should learn from their work. Learning through real world experience integrated with relevant additional study is a powerful way to learn and is exactly how the Work Based & Integrative Studies (WBIS) higher education programme works. The skills and knowledge required to be effective in e-Gaming are wide ranging, and they develop as the sector develops. An e-Gaming qualification needs to be able to adapt at the same pace and the work base focus of WBIS allows for this.
‘The Isle of Man College of Further & Higher Education is keen to provide educational opportunities that are of value to all sectors of the economy and e-Gaming is an increasingly important sector on the Island. Qualifications serve to both promote and protect e-Gaming and the Island’s reputation. A particularly exciting aspect of offering this e-Gaming qualification will be role that local experts play in contributing to course content and lectures.’