Nottingham University donates old PCs to Chile

Together with Computer Aid International, the university is helping to bridge Chile's digital divide, by shipping 500 out-of-use PCs to rural schools

Nottingham University is sending its old computers on a retirement trip to Chile.

The university has donated 500 out-of-use PCs and laptops to rural schools in the South American country with the help of charity Computer Aid International.

The computers could now be used for up to four years by students in northern Chile to gain vital computer skills.

Phil Andrews, of Nottingham University's IT operations team, said: "Instead of being broken down and recycled, our PCs are given a new lease of life to help disadvantaged communities."

"As a prestigious education establishment in a wealthy country, it's great to know that our old equipment is being used to boost education in other parts of the world," Andrews said.

He added: "We can also communicate our corporate social-responsibility efforts to staff and students, to ensure they know how the university is helping disadvantaged students."

Louise Richards, chief executive of Computer Aid International, added that, while Chile was a relatively prosperous country in South America, it suffers from uneven wealth distribution.

She said: "Government-run schemes to increase access to ICT in education have made good headway, but children in extreme geographical regions in Chile face a gaping digital divide."

"Maintaining provision of good quality ICT equipment to schools is essential to ensure children grow up computer literate to improve their employability and future quality of life," Richards said.

All of the computers were tested by Computer Aid International prior to being shipped to Chile. Any products deemed too old, defective or not guaranteed to be useful for three more years were disposed of at treatment facilities within Europe, with no waste going to landfill.