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October 24, 2005

Source: St. Mary's University:

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It is hard to believe, but a growing number of North American students and grads are steering away from the tech-sector.

According to a study by the Computing Research Association, a group of more than 200 North American universities and laboratories, enrollment in Computer Science Bachelor degree programs plunged 19 percent in 2004. On the other hand, European colleges are seeking opportunities to enrich their Computer Science offerings with international collaborative opportunities.

This is why representatives from Vejle Business College (VBC) in Denmark are visiting Saint Mary's University this week to discuss sending VBC Diploma students to attain Bachelor degrees in Computer Science from Saint Mary’s.

"This is a project in which most of our region is involved. For us, this project is an approach to reach a higher level of education in our local region," says Rasmus Kristensen from Vejle Business College.

"We find that Saint Mary’s is a good choice because of its location on the Eastern coast of Canada, and because of its good reputation," he adds.

Dr. Pawan Lingras, Chair of the Saint Mary’s Mathematics and Computing Science Department, states: "We are receiving more interest from colleges in Europe to host their Computer Science students for higher studies, which is wonderful news for our University."

As low enrolment threatens the future of IT in the region, more Canadian universities are considering academic linkages with post-secondary institutions abroad. In Europe, globalizing university and college programs is now becoming a standard.

With the apparent long-term implications on the tech-industry, Bill Gates has taken to the streets in an attempt to revive student interest in Computer Science.

In his recent visits to university campuses across North America, the Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect admitted falling enrollment and incomplete skill sets made it difficult for the software giant to find good employees.

"Not our students," says Dr. Lingras. "Our famed Computer Science Huskies netted awards at the most prestigious competitions like the recent International Collegiate Programming World Finals in Honolulu, Hawaii."

Saint Mary's University is known for its community outreach projects, both in Canada and around the world. Saint Mary's, founded in 1802, is home to one of Canada's leading business schools, a Science Faculty widely known for its cutting-edge research, a comprehensive and innovative Arts Faculty and a vibrant Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.


For More Information:

Paul Fitzgerald
Public Affairs Officer
Saint Mary's University, Public Affairs
(902) 420.5514



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