London Metropolitan University 1st in UK to use IBM’s Academic Skills Cloud

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London, UK - 28 Aug 2012: London Metropolitan University is the first in the UK to use IBM’s Academic Skills Cloud to help focus faculty, students and business on developing workplace skills in an education environment.

The IBM Academic Skills Cloud makes key parts of IBM’s software portfolio available in a cloud computing environment to more easily allow universities to incorporate technology into their curricula. In this particular collaboration, an ‘IBM Smarter Planet Lab’ has also been set up at the University’s Moorgate campus. The IBM Academic Skills Cloud runs on IBM SmartCloud Enterprise.

Pat Wood, Associate Professor Enterprise, London Metropolitan Business School said “This exceptional IBM Lab initiative offers real added value for our students and the community. It is exactly what students and employers want from a university. The resources give them the opportunity to experience market leading products first hand and the IBM business culture, so that they have the tools and confidence to compete in a highly competitive global environment and, in turn, be enterprising with ‘smarter’ ideas and greater value to employers.”

Anthony Thomson, Chairman of Metro Bank, added, “Metro Bank hires for attitude and trains for skill, but can only recruit among the select number of graduates with strong aptitude for IT. Academic initiatives, such as the one set up by IBM and London Metropolitan University, are extremely useful in helping to build a level of graduates who have the suitable skills set that is required by employers and more programmes like these are needed.”

The faculty can take advantage of cloud-delivered skills resources to quickly integrate new IT courses in their curriculum; more easily facilitate group and long-distance learning programmes for students and free-up existing university technology infrastructure resources.

“By using the IBM Academic Skills Cloud London Met students are learning technology skills such as DB2 database software development, as well as the practical use of information management and how this technology can be applied for decision-making,” said Kevin Farrar, IBM’s UK Academic Initiative Lead. “Since launching, the participating students are increasing their employment opportunities, for example, one student cited that her ability to manipulate data gained through this initiative helped her to get a job as a business analyst with one of the world's leading integrated energy companies.”

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