Manchester Metropolitan University welcomed HRH The Duke of York, to meet students, staff and apprentices who have completed the opening stage of The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA).
HRH presented Bronze level certificates at Manchester Metropolitan’s Business School to 30 awardees from across the University, before speaking about the online mini modules – known as ‘badges’ – on iDEA, which is described as the digital and enterprise equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Last year the University became the first institution in the UK to introduce iDEA across all courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as its academic and professional staff.
Speaking at the event, HRH The Duke of York, said: “I’m delighted to visit Manchester Metropolitan and present the certificates which mark the completion of the first stage of the iDEA programme.
“We introduced iDEA as the digital and enterprise equivalent of my father’s Duke of Edinburgh Award and it is inspiring to see so many people benefitting from the programme’s challenges and opportunities, while gaining industry recognised awards that help them stand out from the crowd.
“I’m looking forward to developing iDEA and seeing more people progress through the Bronze, Silver and Gold stages with the support of organisations and institutions such as Manchester Metropolitan.”
iDEA was introduced by Prince Andrew as a free resource for anyone of any age. It is accessible on any modern device with learners completing a series of web-based bite-sized challenges and tasks.
The tasks are divided among the categories of citizen, worker, maker, entrepreneur, game and independent, with learners earning badges and points towards a Bronze beginner, Silver intermediate or Gold advanced certificate.
It can be completed at the learner’s own pace and the activities can be undertaken individually, with friends or in a classroom or workshop environment.
Professor Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Welcoming the Duke of York to present our students with their Bronze certificates is a major milestone in our commitment to this fantastic and inspiring programme.
“iDEA is something that reflects all five of the University’s pillars – place, ambition, partnership, community and sustainability.
“We look forward to continuing to support many more of our staff and students through the programme.”
With students and staff now participating in the iDEA Bronze Award, many are looking forward to completing the Silver and Gold awards which will be introduced later this year and in 2019 respectively.
Jeff McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing and iDEA project lead at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “With more than 50,000 learners in over a quarter of countries in the world now signed up to iDEA, the University is perfectly positioned to offer support through our modern facilities and wide-range of expertise.
“Our staff and students are able to take the skills they gain from the modules to support their learning and research, making a real impact on their personal and career development.”