Tuesday 8 March 2016

From left, Vice Chancellor Nick Petford, Senior Lecturer in Information Technology Service Management, Sandra Whittleston, Ash Merchant, Fujitsu Director of Education, and Mairi Watson, Deputy Dean, Northampton Business School

The University of Northampton has been chosen by technology giants Fujitsu and Intel to host a learning centre specialising in the use of technology in education.

The University is one of the newest members of the Fujitsu-Intel Ambassador Programme (FIAP). Also known as Innovation Hubs, they are a philanthropic venture to enhance digital skills through regional teaching centres.

Once the Innovation Hub has been established, its facilities – including the latest Fujitsu and Intel laptops, tablets and PCs – will be available for University students, local schools, and the wider community of Northampton who want to increase their knowledge in using technology. In addition, the learning facilities will be available for local companies to increase their knowledge and benefit their business and the Northampton economy.

The proposal to run the Innovation Hub was led by University of Northampton Senior Lecturer in Information Technology Service Management, Sandra Whittleston, who said: “The Innovation Hub will provide a centre where students and staff can access the latest technologies to extend the work we already do to give students wider access to real-life computing projects.

“Also by helping local teachers and schoolchildren to develop their own computing skills – an increasing requirement in the curriculum – and developing digital skills for anyone who needs help, we will continue the University’s mission to transform lives and inspire change.”

Chosen for their commitment and desire to support in shaping future generations of students by inspiring them to take-up technology subjects, Fujitsu, alongside partners Intel, Brocade and Kyocera, set up Innovation Hubs at each Ambassador institution and then use the hubs and technology to support project-based learning and skills development.

Ash Merchant, Fujitsu Director of Education, UK & Ireland, said: “One thing I have learnt over two decades in and around the education sector is that passion goes a long way and supports in driving success and achievement. However passion is sometimes not enough – education needs collaboration and support from the industry to really support the right skills development for young people, to lead to future employment opportunity, and that’s what the Ambassador Programme is all about.”

The University of Northampton Innovation Hub is scheduled to be completed in late 2016.

Pictured from left: Vice Chancellor Nick Petford, Senior Lecturer in Information Technology Service Management, Sandra Whittleston, Ash Merchant, Fujitsu Director of Education, Northamptonshire Growth Hub Manager, Janette Pallas, and Mairi Watson, Deputy Dean, Northampton Business School.

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