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Memorial University and IBM Canada team up to provide IT students with enhanced mobility and connectivity

Ref. No. 133

DATE:     May 23, 2002
SUBJECT:     Memorial University and IBM Canada team up to provide IT students with enhanced mobility and connectivity

Memorial University's Division of Lifelong Learning announced today the introduction of IBM Canada's ThinkPad University Program into Memorial's post-baccalaureate diploma in information technologies. Under the program, Memorial's full-time IT students will be provided with an IBM ThinkPad notebook computer for the duration of their program, including the work term. Starting in the fall 2002 semester, the ThinkPad program will offer students a standardized platform, a library of IBM software, and 24-hour access to the learning resources of the IT program.

"IBM's ThinkPad University Program adds an exciting new dimension to the university's IT diploma," said Dr. Evan Simpson, Memorial's vice-president (academic). "Our IT students will have a competitive advantage when entering the workplace, because they will have been learning and working with a level of technology consistent with what you'll find in industry today. Everyone benefits from this agreement: the university, the people who hire our graduates, but most of all, our students."

IBM's ThinkPad University is an integrated program that includes technology, support and services. It helps higher education institutions provide students and faculty with universal access to computing and network resources. IBM helps develop and implement strategic mobile computing programs that connect students, faculty and staff with compatible programs for sharing information.

"Technology is playing an increasingly important role in education. It's critical that the technology implemented enhances the learning experience," said John Kutcy, general manager, education industry, IBM Canada. "IBM is committed to working with post-secondary educational institutions to develop a technologically-advanced, highly-educated and competitive professional workforce."

"The 24-hour access to our IT resources and the mobility of the laptops are important considerations," said Doreen Whalen, director of Memorial's Division of Lifelong Learning. "Persons in the IT industry are typically highly mobile. Our students should be attuned to that mobility issue and to the borderless nature of information networks. This agreement will certainly help promote that way of thinking."

The agreement also includes the IBM Scholars Program in which IBM provides Memorial students and faculty with a wide range of software applications and associated resource materials for studies and applied research. Many of those applications belong to families of products which are in high demand by public and private sector organizations deploying new online applications. For example, WebSphere provides many components for developing e-business applications, including on-line malls and secure payment systems.

As part of the ThinkPad University Program, Memorial will provide service and support for the hardware and software included in the agreement. The university guarantees service or replacement of their equipment in the event of software/hardware difficulties or failure.


For further information, please contact Deborah Inkpen, acting manager, News Service, Memorial University, 737-8665, inkpend@mun.ca.


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