News

Support for African IT charity made easy

The University is backing a student-led charity dedicated to improving education in Africa.

A search engine that raises money for the Turing Trust has been installed in computers across campus.

More than 1,100 University computers are currently being used within the campus using the search engine to support the charity, which enables rural African communities to access educational opportunities in IT.

The initiative also helps people to gain first-hand experience of using computers.

Student enterprise

The Turing Trust was founded by James Turing, who is completing a PhD at the University’s School of Social and Political Science.

The Trust is named in honour of his great-uncle, the celebrated mathematician Alan Turing.

Inspiring endeavour

The charity began as a volunteer project following a visit by James to Ghana in 2009.

The social enterprise now processes more than 1,000 computers every year from premises at the University’s High School Yards.

So far it has installed more than 2,500 computers in rural schools across Ghana, Malawi and Kenya, and helped train more than 15,000 rural students in IT skills.

Even as African economies speed towards the information age, many in the countryside have no access to the knowledge and opportunities fostered by the digital world. We’ve come a long way since 2009, but we still have so much more to do to bring the benefits of the digital age to those who need them most.

James TuringPhD Student, University of Edinburgh

Charity search engine

Easysearch raises funds by giving 50 per cent of advertising fees to an institution’s chosen cause.

This year the University chose to install the software to support the Turing Trust.

The search engine can be used by students and staff in open access computers across the University’s campus.

Internationally recognised

James was recently awarded a grant from the Clinton Global Initiative University Innovation Fund to bring solar-powered computing to off-grid Kenyan communities.

James was among 18 international students to be awarded a grant from the Clinton initiative.

The Fund aims to source and support the most effective, high-impact student innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world.

James was awarded £4,500 for Solarberry, a self-financing, community-owned, off-grid and solar-powered computer lab in a small primary school in Nyamira County, Kenya.

The University is very proud to help the hosting for the James Turing Trust and also assisting in raising funds for this vital charity. The work they are able to do in Africa bringing IT technology to schools is especially important as it provides the basic infrastructure that enables students in these countries to access free distance learning courses, such as MOOCS, open access knowledge and information provided by our University and many others.

Gavin McLachlanChief Information Officer and Librarian to the University

Related links

Study at the School of Social and Political Science

Study at the Business School

Clinton Global Initiative University Innovation Fund

The Turing Trust