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Aber computers head for Nigeria

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(L-R): Aberystwyth University PhD students Expo Otu and Edore Akpokodje, David Lowe, Commercial Manager at Cambrian Printers, and Professor Chris Price, from the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University

(L-R): Aberystwyth University PhD students Expo Otu and Edore Akpokodje, David Lowe, Commercial Manager at Cambrian Printers, and Professor Chris Price, from the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University

COMPUTERS from Aberystwyth University have found a new lease of life in Africa.

Staff at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology in the Nigerian city of Jos were facing the prospect of expanding their recently launched computer degree without enough computers for their students.

Their plight was brought to the attention of the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University by PhD student Edore Akpokodje.

Edore was head of the Nigerian college’s Computing department before coming to study in Wales.

As a result, 60 reconditioned computers, powerful enough to run the software needed on the course, have been shipped to Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos.

From Lagos, they will be taken to Jos and installed in a new computer laboratory at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology.

After being reconditioned, the computers were taken from Aberystwyth’s Computer Science Department to Cambrian Printers in Llanbadarn Fawr, whose staff packed them ready for export, free of charge.

Professor Chris Price said: “We are delighted to be able to help our friends at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology in Jos. It is great to see these computers being reused and put to good educational use, rather than recycled, as would have been the case here in Aberystwyth.

“I am grateful to colleagues here at Aberystwyth for making this possible and to Cambrian Printers who helped us pack everything for the journey,” added Professor Price.

“This donation of computers by the Aberystwyth University Computer Science department which was facilitated by Professor Chris Price has come as a very big relief to my College back in Nigeria,” said Edore.

“We were faced with the prospect of not having enough facilities for the newly mounted program. It will go a long way in strengthening our infrastructural base and I hope that this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration between our two higher institutions.

“I sincerely thank Dave Price (Director of Infrastructure, IMPACS), Sandy Spence and some of my PhD colleagues at Aber CompSci for all their help,” added Edore.

As part of his PhD, Edore is working with Professor Price on the use of mobile phones in Africa to help farmers improve the quality of agricultural crops.

Edore and Professor Price will travel to Nigeria in January 2017 as part of their research, and are also planning to visit the new facilities at the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology during their time there.

The Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Vom, Jos was established in 1941 and is the first higher institution in West Africa to produce graduate Veterinary Surgeons.

It presently has two campuses and offers nine academic programs with a population of over a thousand students.

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Christmas gift fair returns

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Last year at the Food Fair: The annual Christmas celebrations return this year

NEXT Friday (Oct 20), the annual craft and gifts extravaganza will return to Aberystwyth Arts Centre to get the locals in the mood for Christmas.

The Winter Craft & Gift Fair is sure to get visitors feeling festive in the run up to Christmas with over 80 stalls selling a wonderful array of crafts and gifts, many produced by local makers from Ceredigion and mid Wales.

This year will feature many regular stalls, as well as some who will be selling at the fair for the first time, so prepare to discover the unusual and unexpected at this year’s fair with it’s new layout and products for 2017.

The fair will be open from 10am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday and 12 to 5.30pm on Sundays all the way up until December 23.

On Saturday​,​ ​November ​​25, ​the Arts Centre’s Christmas Food Fair will take over the Great Hall for the day. There will be the very best of Welsh produce with cheese, meats, fish, wine, cider, pastries, puddings, jams and much, much more from many local producers. The Food Fair is the perfect place to stock up on a few gastronomic goodies in the run up to Christmas. There will also be live musical entertainment to get you in the Christmassy mood! The fair will be on 10am-4pm and entry is free!

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‘​I​t’s ok to say’

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FUW raise awareness: Urging people to 'say' on World Mental Health Day​

​ON WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY, farmers across Wales are being reminded that ‘it’s ok to say’ and the Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging them not to hide problems from themselves, their families and friends and to talk about their personal feelings.

The FUW made a commitment at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in July to continue raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and is therefore renewing the call for those who might be suffering from mental health problems to seek help.

“The focus of this year’s World Mental Health day is on mental health in the workplace and farms are just that. In our places of work we’ve faced some pretty low-points in the last few years. Bovine TB, price volatility and uncertainty about our future post-Brexit, this all puts a strain on our resolve and will have many feeling stressed and under immense pressure,” said Union President Glyn Roberts​.​

“But we must break the stigma attached to mental health, so if you’re feeling vulnerable, please open-up and speak to someone. That doesn’t just mean today, but always. Farmers and farming families need to continue talking openly about what they are experiencing and the FUW strongly encourages anyone who is worried about their own mental health or a loved-one, to seek help from the Farming Community Network, Tir Dewi, The DPJ Foundation, Mind Cymru or Call Helpline Wales,” added Glyn Roberts.

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Scholarship scheme funds student’s Masters

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One of the chosen few: Stella Foster (Pic. Mark Woodward)

A TALYBONT native is one of just 28 people in the UK to be awarded a scholarship granted by energy company ScottishPower.

Stella Foster, 32, gratefully received the grant from the Scottish Power Foundation for the 2017/18 academic year.

Having just completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of York, Stella will begin her Masters in Environmental Sciences this week at the University of East Anglia. Environmental science degrees integrate biology, physical science and information sciences to examine environmental systems (air, water, etc.) and how they interact.

The sought-after scholarship covers full enrolment costs as well as a living allowance. On top of this, the scholars will receive unique opportunities including meeting leading industry professionals.

“Travelling around the world and living in China before I started my undergraduate studies made me aware of the astounding change of pace in urbanisation; the two-hour bus ride from where I lived to Shanghai, there wasn’t a moment where you couldn’t see a construction site,” Stella said.

“This fast and dramatic development creates issues with the environment, and I’m really excited to learn about the creative and fascinating solutions out there, and hopefully come up with some of my own,” she added.

Since it was launched in 2010, the ScottishPower Foundation scholarships programme has provided £1.5m in grants towards training the next generation in their chosen field.

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