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Top IT professional and Council CEO honoured at Graduation

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Belfast Met has awarded honorary fellowships to a top IT professional and the CEO of Belfast City Council.

The college honoured Novosco founder and MD Patrick McAliskey, and Suzanne Wylie, the first female CEO of Belfast City Council, at its Higher Education Graduation, held in Titanic Belfast on November 15.

In ceremony one, students from the school of Creative and Digital industries graduated and enjoyed a speech from Mr McAliskey – a fitting honorary fellow for the college which has just been named the Northern Ireland sector lead for the curriculum area of IT.
In ceremony two which included graduates from the college’s Belfast Business School, Suzanne Wylie spoke about her journey to becoming the first female CEO of Belfast City council.

Belfast Met’s Principal and CEO, Marie-Thérèse McGivern, said: “We are thrilled with our choice of honorary fellows this year. Our theme for this year’s celebration is ‘inspiration and transformation’ and we have filled this brief with Mr McAliskey and Mrs Wylie. Patrick is at the top of his field and I know our staff and students were delighted to hear about how he founded Novosco and led it to become one of the leading managed cloud providers – a true local success story. Suzanne is a prime example of a female trailblazer – the first woman to take up the post of CEO of Belfast City Council. The council is a strong ally of the college and the Belfast Agenda 2035 plan – which is focused on growing the economy, attracting people to the city, City Centre Development, connecting our neighbourhoods to our city plus working & learning - is so closely aligned with Belfast Met’s core aim of making skills and education relevant while leading the city to work.”

Mr McAliskey said: “Relationships between IT companies and the education sector are extremely important to the future of the economy, and I am delighted to accept this Fellowship to support that agenda. Belfast Met plays a crucial role in developing the talent pool that we at Novosco and the IT industry as a whole needs to continue to grow.”

Mrs Wylie said: “I am extremely honoured to have received this award and as someone who has worked in the public sector all of my career, I am accepting it on behalf of Belfast City Council for the opportunities it has afforded me. Our schools, colleges and universities rival the best in the world, providing a strong talent pool for industry and investors across a wide range of sectors, and the Council has a growing influence in progressing the city and its economy through physical development, attracting investment and supporting the creation of job opportunities. Winning such a prestigious award inspires me to ensure that Belfast continues its renaissance and re-establishes itself as one of the world’s great cities”.

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