Press Release: 30 May 2012

Belfast Metropolitan College Pilots HP Institute

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Pictured (l-r): Justin Edwards, Martin Murphy and Andrew Flood

With over 30,000 students and with campuses right across the city, Belfast Metropolitan College is the biggest further and higher education college in Northern Ireland and one of the largest anywhere in the UK.  The organisation prides itself on being at the forefront of developing its course provision so that it meets today’s skills needs and anticipates those of the future -  supporting its students into employment, into better employment or on a route towards employment.

[Pictured (l-r): Justin Edwards, Director of Curriculum and Assistant CEO at Belfast Metropolitan College, Martin Murphy, Managing Director, HP Ireland and Andrew Flood, Chief Operating Officer, Prodigy Learning]

Belfast Met recently opened its award-wining building located in the rapidly developing Titanic Quarter area of the city – a hot spot for innovation and entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland.   The Titanic Quarter campus is part of a £60 million investment which also includes the College’s state-of-the-art, £16 million e3 economic development building. Opening in September, e3 is specifically designed to enhance the employability skills learners, support enterprise through incubation and SME programme delivery, and foster pioneering approaches to economic development.

Belfast Met was first introduced to the HP Institute in early 2012, and has since successfully completed a pilot scheme of the programme. 

Justin Edwards, Director of Curriculum and Deputy CEO, Belfast Metropolitan College said:

“We were approached by our partner, Prodigy Solutions, with the opportunity to meet the HP team at a trade fair in London, where we were subsequently offered the chance to participate in the pre-release pilot programme of the HP Institute programme.  

“Cloud computing is very much a buzz phrase in the IT industry at the minute, with more and more businesses moving that way every day. However, there is very little in the way of certification for IT professionals in this area and certainly no other qualification encompassing such a broad spectrum of skills. We were instantly attracted by the industry-relevance and potential of HP Institute, with its strong focus on cloud computing.

“The students themselves found the various modules of the programme easy to work through.  The resources are second to none – particularly the remote labs, which enable the students to get hands on practical experience that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to avail of otherwise due to budget restrictions. 

 “We now are planning to run more of these courses, combining on-line learning with classroom based teaching initially. We’re targeting IT professionals who wish to study part-time with us whilst having to balance work commitments. That’s the big advantage of the HP Institute – it allows the students to work remotely, meaning that they can learn in their own time, fitting their studies in around their work schedule and other commitments.“

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