Students from the University of Ulster will benefit from the internationally renowned Microsoft Scholarship Programme. In recognition of course innovation and high quality student performance, computing students at Coleraine will now be supported in their learning by a fund of 5000 Euros per year. The scholarship supports innovation of approaches to student engagement within Computing, retention, the attraction of a more proportionate percentage of females to Computing disciplines, and the development of infrastructures to inspire our best performing students.
Dr Darryl Charles, a lecturer of Computing on the Coleraine campus, commented "We are delighted that the efforts of both our staff and students have been recognized by the award of this scholarship. In recent years we have been working hard to improve the student experience on campus and this fund will support the ongoing work. We encourage students to consider their education at university as a multi-dimensional experience and, for example, we actively support student entry into computing competitions such as Microsoft’s Imagine Cup".
In recent years, Computing students at the University of Ulster have been successful in participation in the Imagine Cup, a competition with over 100,000 participants from over 100 countries world-wide. This year again a group of computing students from the Coleraine campus has qualified for the Software Design challenge Irish finals. They are the only successful team from the North of Ireland to attain to this level and Michaela Black, a lecturer at School of Computing and Information Engineering, Coleraine explained "This is a fantastic opportunity of our students. They have worked hard to get through to the Dublin finals and are continuing to prepare themselves and polish their software product for the next level of challenges in the final. We were delighted with last year’s team success and the stream of opportunities they have achieved from that. This year’s team again will undoubtedly gain a fantastic experience for their efforts and continue to reap the rewards for some time to come. The theme of the 2008 competition is ‘Imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment’, and our students have definitely addressed this theme in imaginative and innovative ways."
University of Ulster students have also struck success in the Game Development challenge section of the Imagine Cup 2008. Three teams comprising computing students from the Coleraine campus have made the second round of this challenge which began with over 600 teams entries from right across the world. Dr Darryl Charles said, "This is a remarkable success for our students in a very highly competitive international competition. There is also considerable local interest in the game development challenge but out of nineteen entries from Ireland for this particular challenge only six teams qualified – three of those were University of Ulster teams! Our students will now pit their wits against the best teams from Japan, USA, Canada, and other countries with a strong pedigree for game development. We wish our students success in both of the Imagine Cup challenges and we will support them as best as we can in their endeavours as we feel this is an important supplement to their education."
For further information on this story, please contact:Dr Michaela Black