University computers get second wind in Africa

University computers get second wind in Africa

The University of Aberdeen has been providing plenty of cheer for disadvantaged children both locally and further afield.

Youngsters have been enjoying increased access to information technology thanks to the University which has donated computers to under privileged children in Scotland and Africa.

The University has sent around 350 computers to Kenya, Sierra Leone and Ghana, where they are now used in community schools, orphanages and primary health projects.

A recent shipment of 100 computers to Kericho, South West Kenya, saw a new school in the area kitted out with the PCs.

To keep pace with the ever-changing world of IT, the University replaces 25 percent of its computer stock annually in order to ensure it meets the high demands of staff and students.

But the PCs no longer suitable for the University’s computer suites are far from obsolete, and as such the University teamed up with Scottish charity, Reusing IT, to make sure that those in disadvantaged areas can still benefit from the systems.

Irene Bews, Director of Information Technology at the University of Aberdeen, says, “We have a Technology Renewal Programme in place to ensure we have state-of-the-art PCs for students and staff.

“However, this does not mean the machines are redundant – just that they cannot necessarily take advantage of the very latest operating systems and applications needed in our environment

“It is great to see equipment that we can no longer use being given a new lease of life and helping community and volunteer-run projects in vital areas such as health and education, which would not otherwise have access to this kind of technology.”

Ross Cockburn, a Trustee of Reusing IT added, “The University of Aberdeen is at the forefront of Scottish Universities in terms of technology charity.

“These computers were originally bought for educational purposes and they have years of use left and should continue to be used for education rather than being destroyed.”

Before computers can be reissued for use, secure auditable data destruction must be carried out to ensure the systems are completely blank when given to a new user.

Whilst the University of Aberdeen carries out this process itself, Reusing IT repeats the process ensuring this operation is completed and that the computers are ready to be passed on.