Remote Welsh colleges put on the net

November 17, 2000

Thousands of Welsh students will to benefit from the new technologies for learning in a £5.4 million funding boost.

The Welsh Learning Network infrastructure project, managed by the Welsh funding councils for 24 universities and further education colleges, is the first project in Wales to win approval under the European Regional Development Fund.

The information and communications technology initiative is aimed at campuses eligible for European Union Objective One funding to support underdeveloped areas.

It will provide 65 videoconferencing studios, as well as equipping further education colleges with 1,200 internet-connected personal computers.

Steve Martin, chief executive of the Welsh funding councils, said: "Double the amount of videoconferencing studios will be installed as a result of Objective One funding, many of these at smaller sites serving traditionally isolated communities."

The majority of colleges will be able to use videoconferencing in teaching for the first time, while universities and those colleges that already have studios will benefit from the extra links and upgraded facilities.

Experts on videoconferencing will be available at regional support centres to help guide staff throughout the project, which runs until July 2002.

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