10th March 2016

Birmingham City University

Birmingham City University is passionately committed to supporting student employability.  Since 2011, the University’s School of Computing and Digital Technology has been working with Future Cert (representing LPI in the UK and Ireland) and LPI to offer IT Certification alongside its academic programmes.

As a value-add for students, Certification provides evidence of highly sought-after knowledge and technical skills in Open Source systems.  Students report that Certification is an instant talking point in interviews with potential employers.

Stephen Murphy, academic lead for the BCU LPI academy says: “We’re a practice-based University and work hard to ensure our graduates are work-ready.  LPI is recognised by employers across the world and Open Source skills are in high demand.  It makes perfect sense to offer students Certification that is completely relevant to industry and which complements the rigour required from their academic studies.  There are very few Universities taking this approach.”

The fact that LPI is Open Source is important, says Rehan Bhana. Associate Professor at Birmingham City University..  “Open Source is highly relevant for advancements in the computing and technology industry.  It enables the productivity of innovation to occur amongst the next generation of ‘techies’.”

When selecting a partner to achieve its employability goals, the University met with a number of Linux Certification providers but the decision to choose Future Cert wasn’t a difficult one.

“We found the education offer from other providers to be costly and inflexible,” says Stephen Murphy. What attracted us to Future Cert straight away was the understanding of our goals and the flexibility it offers.”

The relationship has become a true partnership with students and academics from BCU involved in the development of LPI Certification, examinations and content.  BCU is the West Midlands Regional Centre for the government-funded Computing At School (CAS) programme which promotes and supports teaching of Computer Science in schools.  Through this programme, we provide training and consultancy to colleges and other universities.  With Linux now an important part of the computing curriculum, the School of Computing can now provide training for teachers across the West Midlands too, all using LPI Linux Essentials.