Unis unite to lead high-tech revolution
Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire are at the centre of a major scheme to bring massive expansion of high technology training and education to Lancashire and Cumbria, following a successful bid for funding to establish a New Technology Institute (NTI) in the region.
The bid to establish the Lancashire and Cumbria NTI is one of only 18 in England to have won government backing and is set to secure a high-tech future for the region by providing an IT-education centre in every one of its major towns. Around £1.3 million has been pledged by the Government to equip these centres with more to follow for education and training.
The two universities have brought together a consortium of a dozen local colleges to set up the network of training centres which will offer advanced IT courses to everyone from 16 year old school leavers to adults retraining for a new job. Courses will be highly vocational, with some of the training taking place in the workplace of high tech employers such as BAe Systems and BNFL, who are also part of the consortium.
And with the backing of world-leading software companies like Microsoft and Oracle, the courses are sure to be at the forefront of international IT developments.
NTIs will focus on local delivery of advanced IT training with students able to study up to degree level, with the support and backing of the universities. Classrooms of the NTI will be equipped with the latest technology and will be connected together through high-power video and data links, so that distance is no object and expert teaching will be available wherever the course takes place.
Richard Davies, Pro Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University said: ?Lancaster University is proud to be a leading part of this tremendously important initiative. It will enable us to use our world class research in computing and our links with multinational IT companies to support local people and local businesses. We are also delighted to be part of such a large and broadly based consortium with everyone committed to making a real difference to the economic prospects of the two counties.?