IT Education Is Essential To Isle Of Man’s Ambition To Be World Class Tech Hub

The campus is the result of a partnership between the University College Isle of Man (UCM) and the International Centre for Technology (ICT). The new hub will offer degrees in computer science and cybersecurity among others, as well as boot camps, short courses and paid placements with local tech employers.

Despite not being a member of the EU, Brexit does present some challenges for the territory, which is reliant on the UK’s membership for it to be included in the EU’s customs area.

The Isle of Man campaigned for residents to be given a vote in the referendum and new Chief Minister Hoard Quayle has been in London to discuss the implications. But regardless, UCM and the ICT are looking at the creation of a ‘Manx Erasmus’ to ensure students have learning opportunities abroad.

“The Isle of Man has world leading IT infrastructure, and e-business now represents 25 percent of the Island’s GDP,” claimed Philip Vermuelen, who heads up the private ICT. “By launching the IT & Education Campus, we are directly nurturing the continued growth of the sector and developing its future workforce.”

Technology park

The plan is to eventually turn The Nunnery site into a technology park where IT firms can directly benefit from the students and an increasingly educated workforce. The government believes most ‘innovative’ firms will employ between 10-50 staff and will start small and grow fast – hence the need to invest in education – not just at a higher level but also in schools.

“[UCM] is committed to preparing students for the future and the Island’s future requires highly skilled and enterprising graduates, especially in the IT and business sectors,” added Jo Pretty, Principal of UCM.

“It connects the students we provide higher education courses and apprenticeships for, with the entrepreneurial hub that’s being established at the Nunnery site by the ICT.

“And it signifies our continued commitment to offering students exciting courses and practical experience, enabling them to continue studies where they grew up, and get employment in the Island’s thriving e-business sector. Our partnership with ICT will enable our students to gain additional professional qualifications and experience and allow them to contribute directly to Island businesses through real world research projects.”

“This partnership is just the beginning of a very exciting project for the Island,” said Vermuelen

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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