National Software Academy expands

Cardiff University’s National Software Academy has expanded into new offices in Newport, taking up residence in Newport Council’s Information Station in the city’s old railway station building.

The move helps accommodate the ever-growing cohort of students choosing to study for a degree at the Academy, which offers a unique and innovative programme heavily focussed on engagement with industry.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “The National Software Academy is a prime example of the way universities can fulfil their civic mission in their regions...”

The new facilities also enable the Academy to expand its teaching facilities, providing students with a study space that mimics a workplace environment and integrates industry working practices.

The Academy was established in partnership with Welsh Government and industry leaders, including the Newport-based Alacrity Foundation, and its ethos is centred on giving students ‘real life’ projects to work on throughout their studies and providing opportunities to engage with experienced software engineers from industry.

Professor Rudolf Allemann, Pro Vice-Chancellor College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, said: “The expansion of the National Software Academy is a sign of success. I’m delighted that the University has been able to maintain a presence in Newport and therefore continue to forge a strong relationship between our two great cities.

“The move will allow the Academy to build on the foundations that is has already laid and continue to attract the best businesses from across Wales, the UK and the rest of the world.”

The Academy has made significant strides in the past two years, growing its student numbers, hosting ministerial visits and family open days, and picking up a number of technology awards. In June 2017 the Academy picked up the ‘Trailblazer of the Year’ award in the ESTnet Wales Technology Awards.

The current three-year degree programme (BSc Applied Software Engineering) is run by Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science & Informatics and is helping to address the current unmet demand for skilled software engineers in Wales.

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