A new Education Innovation Hub opened on Wednesday 22nd June at The Leigh UTC, under the Fujitsu Education Ambassador Programme, supported by Intel, Brocade and Kyocera. The hub is situated at the centre of The Leigh UTC in Dartford, Kent and follows the announcement at Bett 2016 of the growth of the Ambassador Programme and The Leigh UTC as the first educational institution to open its Innovation Hub in the second phase of the programme.
The Ambassador Programme is a national engagement initiative led by the four global IT leaders that aims to highlight the use of computing power to underpin knowledge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and drive forward innovation and digital skills development at The Leigh UTC as well as its wider community.
The Innovation Hub will form the central piece of an on-going partnership between The Leigh UTC, Fujitsu, Intel, Brocade and Kyocera. The hub will be equipped with a range of the latest computing technology, and will be used to promote the use of technology and development of digital skills.
The Leigh UTC is committed to being actively involved in the economic, social and cultural development of the people and businesses that surround it. Once opened, one example of how the Innovation Hub will be used is to support the training of local primary students as they prepare to access the STEM related programmes at secondary level.
Ash Merchant, Director of Education at Fujitsu, said: “The Leigh UTC is passionate towards digital transformation and the role of digital in supporting its students – and we’re excited to be a part of that with the launch of the Innovation Hub. A recent survey by Fujitsu revealed that around a fifth (22%) of consumers believe that digital education should be part of the modern education curriculum, which points towards a real need to see education establishments focusing on the digital journey. Educational institutions like The Leigh UTC will play a crucial role in making this happen – and Fujitsu, supported by our partners, is committed to supporting them in bringing their vision to life.”
Tracey Rawling Church, Head of CSR at KYOCERA Document Solutions UK said: “We’re proud to have been selected by Fujitsu as one of only three partners for this initiative, and to support in meeting its goal to establish 20 new Hubs in Ambassador organisations this year to inspire students and equip them with the practical skills and knowledge for the digital future ahead.
Amit Samani, Education Manager at Brocade said: “Brocade is dedicated to cultivating innovation and harvesting creative potential within students as a conduit to the changing network requirements and the new IOT era. On this programme we look forward to creating a platform for students to continue their journey through technology while creating ambassadors for the digital future.”
Councillor John Burrell, Mayor of Dartford and Mrs Eija Burrell were guests at The Leigh UTC for the first time and were given a guided tour by some of the students. Councillor Burrell commented that he had not realised that such a fabulous facility existed in Dartford and that it is working so closely with not only local but international businesses. The Mayor and Mayoress are looking forward to visiting again in the future.
Steve Leahey, Principal of The Leigh UTC said: “The students are extremely excited by the opportunities this programme will provide; development of their digital skills is fundamental to their future career pathways. This partnership will be central to our future plans in igniting a STEM passion amongst the younger students across the area”.
The main objectives of the Ambassador programme are to support greater collaboration between industry and education, aiding career skills development and providing expertise on personalised technology in teaching and learning.