Video Games: Higher Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 9th November 2022.

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Photo of John Nicolson John Nicolson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many lecturers at UK universities teach courses on video games.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Education)

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes statistics on staff in the higher education (HE) workforce. Cost centres are an accounting concept used as a proxy for academic departments. All HE providers arrange their academic schools, faculties, and departments differently. HESA cost centres are designed to be as comparable as possible between different providers.

Information on the number of academics by cost centre can be accessed at: The table shows that in the 2020/21 academic year, there were 8,720 academic staff at UK providers allocated to cost centre 121, named ‘IT, systems sciences & computer software engineering’. Video game academics could be allocated in other cost centres, but the aforementioned 121 is the most likely.

This is the most granular breakdown available and does not specify video games or computer games. As such, lecturers who teach video games comprise some subset of that number. Additionally, not all academic staff are engaged in teaching, therefore the number includes researchers and other staff, in addition to lecturers.

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