Global technology leader Fujitsu opened its new Education Innovation Hub at Swansea University’s £450 million Bay Campus this week.
The technology-focused hub is the latest notable development to be announced at the University’s School of Management, following last month’s news that The Bevan Commission has relocated its headquarters from Cardiff to the Bay Campus.
A host of guests from across academia, industry, health, education and government gathered at the School of Management on Tuesday (October 18) to see the ribbon cut to officially launch the education hub, which is supported by the Talent Bank Further Education programme, and to welcome the University’s prestigious new partner.
Talent Bank, which is led by Gower College in a partnership with Institute of Life Science at Swansea University’s Medical School, is a new bespoke education and skills programme specifically designed to support the evolving life and health science sector in South West Wales.
Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, Chair of the Bevan Commission, who formally opened the hub, said: “The School of Management is delighted to welcome such as prestigious and multi-national partner as Fujitsu to the University’s Bay Campus, which strengthens the University’s position in digital innovation and will ensure a strong collaboration with the University.
“Relationships such as this between the University and Fujitsu and Intel will ensure local students can be immersed in an innovation-rich environment working with leading industry, health and life science partners.”
Ash Merchant, Director of Education at Fujitsu, who helped open the hub, said: “The Talent Bank is vital to transforming the way students learn
“A recent survey by Fujitsu revealed that around a fifth of consumers believe digital education should be part of the modern education curriculum, which points towards a real need to see educational establishments focus on an embedded digital journey. Contemporary models such as the Talent Bank 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.
“We are incredibly excited to further grow our commitment to putting technology at the heart of education by adding Swansea to our 2016 Young Ambassador Programme and opening the Innovation Hub in Swansea University.
“Passion goes a long way, 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.”
Professor Marc Clement, Executive Chair for the Institute of Life Science and Dean of the School of Management, said: “This really is pioneering stuff, and now students will be able to benefit from unprecedented access to the world-leading state-of-the-art resources the Fujitsu Innovation Hub will bring.
“It will also provide them with one of the most advanced technological learning spaces in the region and will inspire and create a new generation of talent for the 21st Century.
“The brand power Fujitsu and Intel bring to the table and the opportunities they present for our young learners in South West Wales is invaluable.
“Collaboration with such big-name firms as Fujitsu and Intel, along with the two university health boards and the University will provide Talent Bank learners with a unique and ideal learning environment.”
The Talent Bank project is a full-time education programme for young people aged 16+ wanting to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) A-levels or vocational and technical qualifications.
The project is being driven by Gower College’s Beverley Wilson-Smith and will ensure young people in Swansea graduate with the necessary work-based skills to progress to university, go on to work-based learning or directly into employment.
Talent Bank also announced the start of its Fujitsu and Intel Young Ambassador Programme at the opening of the hub.
Ms Wilson-Smith said: “We are delighted that Talent Bank can welcome such high profile companies as Fujitsu and Intel into our work. The opening of the hub here at Swansea University is a key milestone for Talent Bank in that their Ambassador Programme will help us emerge our students in the world of innovation, industry and next generation tech.
“Fujitsu and Intel recognise the rising demand for STEM subject students across all sectors and their pilot industry-led programme is designed for selected students and focuses on digital and emerging technologies and innovation in order to grow local talent and skill supply across the South West Wales region.
“Students across South West Wales will be able to get hands-on, world-class exposure to industry experts from across the UK.
“There are a few remaining places available on the Ambassador Programme, if you are 14 to 16 years old and currently in school and interested in technology and computer science, there is still time to be part of this unique opportunity.
“There is a programme of monthly meet-ups hosted at the new Fujitsu Innovation Hub, which will support youngsters in their GCSE Computer Science studies and are also an opportunity to showcase emerging technologies and all available career options.”
The Fujitsu programme already supports 10 schools, colleges and universities across the UK, by setting up Innovation Hubs to equip these establishments with high performance solutions and support digital skills development. The initiative aims to enhance teaching and unleash students' potential by putting technology at the heart of education.
Image: Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, Chair of the Bevan Commission (front, right) with Paul Hoey, Head of Business Development, Fujitsu (front, left).
- Thursday 20 October 2016 01.00 BST
- Thursday 20 October 2016 13.02 BST
- Swansea University, Tel: 01792 295050