SQA renews Memorandum of Undertanding with Cisco

Cisco MoU

Donald McLaughlin, Country Manager for Scotland at Cisco and Alastair MacGregor, Head of STEM Qualifications at SQA sign the agreement


Cisco announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to provide education institutions in Scotland with free of charge technology training and services.

Under the new agreement, Cisco will deliver online and hands-on-learning to students from Scottish secondary schools, colleges and universities, that have signed up to its Academy Programme. SQA will support the deployment of the Academy Programme in Scotland, by raising awareness of it through its established contacts with secondary schools, colleges and training providers. The agreement will also see Cisco and SQA working together to link the relevant elements of the Cisco Academy Programme with SQA qualifications. 

“The main focus for the Academy Programme is on extending access to learning, and helping improve the quality of instruction and technology available to education institutions,” said Donald McLaughlin, Country Manager for Scotland, Cisco. 

Alastair MacGregor, SQA’s Head of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Qualifications, said, “My team and I are looking forward to working with Cisco to raise awareness of their Networking Academy Programme within Scotland’s schools.  The memorandum we have signed with Cisco Systems is part of SQA’s Digital Media and ICT Vendor Alliance (DIVA). DIVA aims to expand and enrich computing science and digital media qualifications in Scotland, by fostering collaboration with the industry. 

DIVA members recognise the potential in SQA’s widely available qualifications, but understand that their own expertise can enrich these awards, giving learners a valuable insight into the skills and knowledge that is required to succeed in these industries.” 

The Cisco Networking Academy Programme was established in 1999 with the objective of providing programmes and facilities that promote the innovative use of technology in education. The Cisco Networking Academies aim to enhance their students’ career prospects, helping them to develop the knowledge and skills required to succeed in a technology-driven market and fill the global demand for IT professionals. Since its launch the scheme has generated an estimated in-kind contribution of £46.3 million to UK education and inspired 170,000 students to pursue ICT careers.
“New figures suggest there will be up to 900,000 ICT vacancies in Europe by 2015. It’s clear that technology skills are driving economic and employment growth, and it’s of vital importance to improve the image and attractiveness of ICT careers to the next generation,” said McLaughlin. 

“Our programme gives students real-world training and experience, not only helping them excel in their careers but also helping produce clear continuity from classroom to the workplace. We’re honoured to be helping SQA give the next generation of Scottish innovators and entrepreneurs the support and help needed to succeed in the workplace.