Education, education, education

Sun Microsystems commits up to US$500,000 matching grant to the Lebanese American University (LAU).

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By  Sarah Gain Published  January 3, 2006

Executives from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) operations of Sun Microsystems have extended the offer of a matching grant for classroom or laboratory technology facilities worth up to US$500,000 to Dr Joseph Jabbra, president of the Lebanese American University (LAU). Once ratified by both parties, the joint investment from Sun will assist LAU to achieve its goal of building new academic and research labs, especially for its medical and pharmacy schools. LAU has specified that a number of technology deployments, taking place throughout 2006, will play a critical role in the success of its recently completed strategic plan. During the meeting in Dubai between Dr Jabbra and Sun MENA’s managing director, Chris Cornelius, Sun also extended additional support to LAU’s computer science and engineering schools, specifically in the areas of grid and high performance computing. “Central to Sun’s regional strategy is the ability to empower educators with the latest software and hardware solutions, and we are offering LAU a matching grant as well as number of strategic programs that provide technology access to the broadest range of students effectively and affordably,” says Cornelius. “Issues ranging from the digital asset management of thousands of student records, to ensuring that graduates have marketable employment skills, are challenges currently facing the MENA education community,” adds Tarek Ayass, Sun MENA’s regional manager for education and research. In addition to the matching grant, LAU and Sun officials also discussed the Sun Academic Initiative, aimed at introducing students to Sun Microsystems technologies, preparing them for industry-leading certification, and equipping them with marketable IT job skills. The vendor has also offered LAU its latest software technology with no-cost licensing. The Sun EduSoft Academic Edition would provide LAU teachers, students, and campus IT staff with unrestricted access to software, enabling them to evaluate, test and develop applications. “LAU’s approach to technology has two primary pillars — we use technology at the heart of our research efforts across all of the different disciplines and curricula being taught at the University,” explains Dr Jabbra. “We also have specific engineering and IT programmers for students interested in those fields. [Projects like this one enable] LAU to deliver the latest solutions to our students.”

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