A computer science course in the United Kingdom has been found to have been a ‘false flag’ and used to spread propaganda about the UK government.
A leaked document from the Department for Education, published by The Independent, claims that a computer science degree course in Edinburgh had been used by British officials to ‘mobilise’ supporters for Brexit.
The leaked document, entitled ‘Electronic Communication Systems for Public Policy’, was drafted by academics from the University of Edinburgh and has been obtained by The Guardian.
It says: ‘The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS) has published a draft version of this document, with the intention that it be shared with the wider public.’
The draft version was prepared by the Department of Education, with support from the Government, and the purpose of this public consultation is to assess the potential impact of this draft version on the development of a new course of study.’
This draft version contains some inaccuracies which may affect the way the public understands the document.’
There is no need to make any further comment.”
We are committed to maintaining a high level of professional standards in the public service, and will work closely with the relevant organisations and bodies to ensure this level of professionalism is maintained.’
However, the Department For Education confirmed that a number of its departments and academies had ‘already undertaken a review’ of the course, which has now been withdrawn.
It added: ‘We will continue to work closely to ensure that the curriculum is as accessible and relevant as possible, and are committed that the quality of this course remains high.’
All the courses we offer will be in full compliance with all relevant legislation, with any exceptions or modifications in accordance with the syllabus.’
As this is an independent review, we will not be making any further comments at this time.”
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The documents claimed to show how officials had ‘moved large numbers of people into the EU’ by spreading false information about the impact of Brexit.
They said the course would teach students about ‘electronic communication systems for public policy’, with an emphasis on how ‘the EU is not a single entity’ and that the UK should stay in the EU.
The course, entitled Digital Policy for the 21st Century: How the EU is Changing the World, has been set up by the Scottish Government in the wake of Brexit, and is meant to teach students how to think about the digital future of the UK.
The Department of Business, Innovations and Skills said: ‘As part of the consultation, the Government is seeking views on whether the course should be re-examined and updated.’
It added that it is ‘working closely with academics and others to review the draft syllabus’ to ensure the course is ‘as accessible and suitable for the current needs of students as possible’.
A Department of Defence spokesperson said: ‘[We] will be taking further action as appropriate, including taking further steps to ensure all students are taught in a way that is relevant to the UK’s current and future needs, and that all the syllabi are updated to reflect the latest evidence.’