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September 2016

Alliance Manchester Business School wins funding boost from top firms

(4 September 2016)

Alliance Manchester Business School’s award-winning student collective project, IT Counts, has received funding from a leading software company and an IT employer partnership to boost its programme aimed at inspiring 11-18 year-olds to become engaged with IT at school and beyond.

Founded in 2014 by Dr Ali Owrak and his BSc Information Technology Management for Business (ITMB) students, IT Counts is a social enterprise which focuses on driving positive change in how IT is taught and conveyed in secondary education. Its ultimate aim is to motivate and inspire students to consider careers in technology.

Following IT Counts’ initial success in its first two years of summer schools, award-winning software company, CA Technologies, has become a partner for the programme, providing important funding to sustain the IT Counts summer school and provide important materials for the students.

The Tech Partnership, a network of employers creating skills for the UK’s digital economy, is also involved in the programme and has provided funding for the summer school.

The summer schools have proved to be a success with secondary school students, where students get to experience a ‘day in the life’ of the ITMB course at the Business School.  The day consists of interactive classes led by university students, alongside talks from IT employers, removing misconceptions of a career in IT and shedding a positive and exciting light on the industry.

IT Counts is not only proving useful for students.  Through the programme, Alliance MBS students noted that the way in which IT is taught in secondary schools could be the root cause of a common disinterest in students.  IT Counts is now researching ways in which it can support IT teachers in secondary schools to ensure the work the students and teachers are doing is sustainable and effective.

IT Counts is now being extended beyond the Manchester community, with franchises of the programme appearing at UK-wide universities.