Staffordshire University is to develop its community links through the Staffordshire Learning Net, a public/private initiative to put computers and Internet connections into all the county's schools (Stoke-on-Trent excluded). In video conferences with local schools, university staff will answer questions from potential students. Schools will open up their computer rooms in the evenings, allowing adult students to take further education courses provided online by the university.
The county's 51 secondary schools have been equipped with at least six PCs, a server and an ISDN line. By the end of the year each primary school will have a multimedia PC and a modem. BT and computer maker RM are contributing to the Pounds 2 million investment and Pounds 500,000 annual running costs. RM's Bob Lindblom has managed the project. Staffordshire's director of education Philip Hunter believes it is a step towards the goal of a National Grid for Learning.