The IT world in Jersey received a boost with the news that Highlands College is offering a foundation course, Information Technology for Business, starting in September. As anyone who lives in Jersey, Guernsey or similar islands will know, such small communities cannot have everything they would like as regards education, purely in terms of supply and demand. Good ideas have to be taken up by enough people to make them profitable ventures.
Similarly, while in the UK, someone wanting to study a particular subject could commute to a university some distance away, to do that from an island would be both impractical and prohibitively expensive.
A round of applause, then, to Highlands College for setting this up. The course has been designed by a partnership of the University of Plymouth, the States of Jersey and IT sector leaders in the island.
Using a programme of lectures, practical workshops, tutorials and work-based learning, its aim is to give students an understanding not just of the technology, but of the role of IT in the business community and the relationships between customers and suppliers.
The foundation degree takes one year, and there is an option to upgrade to an honours degree through a further year at the university.
The foundation degree is open to students over the age of 18, while potential mature students with extensive practical experience are invited to contact the college to see if they would be eligible for a place, even if they don’t have formal level three qualifications.
AP Technical’s Jersey consultant, Lee Jarvis, welcomed the development. ’IT plays a crucial part in Jersey’s success,’ he said. ’Without it, the local finance industry would not exist, for instance. And given the working and housing restrictions, it is vital that the island produces as many highly skilled, qualified people as possible. This course will help local businesses to recruit more highly qualified individuals from within Jersey instead of having to search off island.’