Epic Games has announced a neat two-year partnership with Staffordshire University in the U.K. to provide the university's game design program with hardware, software, and time from folks who work at Epic Games.
The centerpiece of the partnership is the Epic Games Centre, a dedicated workspace stocked with game design equipment that can be freely used by students enrolled in the university's game design courses.
“There’s a lot of talk about the need for the industry to get more involved with the academic process and have a greater input into how games design is taught. This collaboration will enable Staffs students to have a direct link with Epic and a direct line to the heart of the industry," stated Epic Games European Territory Manager Mike Gamble in a press release. "In turn, Epic and its developer partners will have access to these world-class facilities along with a new generation of game makers totally immersed within the world of Unreal Engine technology.”
Gamble was named a visiting professor at Staffordshire in October 2013, and began giving lectures to computer games design students at the university.
It's also worth noting that Staffordshire University was an academic partner in Epic's Make Something Unreal Live 2013
student game development competition, and one of its teams went on to win second place in the competition with their game Polymorph
Epic also intends to make use of the Epic Games Centre as a space to host Epic Developer Days for U.K.-based Unreal Engine developers. The first of these events is expected to take place this spring.