Two NI universities to benefit from £290,000 US funding

CME Group Foundation has announced it will provide strategic support and grants to the north's two universities. Pictured are: Dr Philip Hanna, Queen's University; Alison Hamilton, CME Group; Kevin Kometer, senior managing director, CME Group and Professor Gillian Armstrong, Ulster University. Picture by William Cherry/Presseye
Jonathan Gilpin

NORTHERN Ireland's two universities are to benefit from £290,000 worth of grants and support from a US financial firm towards education.

Queen's and Ulster University are to receive grants of £145,000 each over a two year period from the Chicago-based CME Group Foundation to assist with the development of financial engineering qualifications and training for ICT teachers.

The financial boost will allow the University of Ulster to fund post-graduate and doctorate schemes in financial engineering, as the university continues its drive to plug the gap in the north's requirement for skilled workers in the area of financial technology. Meanwhile, Queen's will develop courses for over 140 GCSE computing teachers to provide them with the necessary skills to successfully teach and inspire coding amongst their students.

Dr Phillip Hanna of Queen's University said the funding would enable them to "make a real and positive difference to the lives of many young people and, ultimately, to the economy of Northern Ireland".

Professor Gillian Armstrong from Ulster University believes the investment will address the need for expertise in the field of financial technology.

"Essentially, the funding will provide support for two PhD studentships and eight MSc studentships with the aim of introducing highly skilled graduates from non-financial engineering backgrounds to access careers in financial services.”

CME Group Foundation's executive director, Kassie Davies added: “We are proud to offer the support to these two institutions and to the valuable work they are doing for the sector and for their students. CME Group has a long track record of supporting educational initiatives that benefit individuals and the economy more broadly."

The CME Group Foundation was set up in 2008 and works to advance the economy by supporting younger generations through each stage of the educational process. Its focus lies with careers within the finance services and risk management. The group's Belfast office was set up in 2012 and has since established itself as an essential hub for technological innovation.

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