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NWRC computing graduate follows big sister’s lead with a £22,000 All Ireland Scholarship

07 November 2023
Three people pictured holding on a sign saying North West Regional college

A North West Regional College Computing graduate is celebrating after finding out he is to receive a £22,000 All Ireland Scholarship funded by JP McManus.

Brian Barber (19) is following in the footsteps of his elder sister Aileen who was awarded the same scholarship last year. He comes from a family of 13 children five of whom also studied Information Technology (IT) at NWRC and two other siblings who studied Business and Engineering at Strand Road campus. Brian also has two younger siblings currently studying the Extended Diploma Level 3 in IT at the NWRC’s Strand Road Campus.

Brian is now at Queen’s University Belfast studying for a BSc in Computer Science.

The All-Ireland Scholarships Scheme, funded by JP McManus, provides financial support of £5,500 per academic year to the top performing students from low-income households, intending to do an undergraduate course within the UK or Republic of Ireland education system.

Brian who was home schooled along with his siblings before he came to NWRC said he was delighted to receive the scholarship.

He added: “I decided to study IT at NWRC because I knew that this course could lead me into so many different career pathways. The Extended Diploma Level 3 in IT is the equivalent of three A-levels and because I had watched so many of my siblings do well with the course it was a good choice for me.

“My brother Sean was the first of us to study IT at the college and he’s been a real trailblazer for us. In the future I’d like to work in the field of Programming and Artificial Intelligence, particularly in using Artificial Intelligence to create software.

“I am delighted to have received the scholarship which will make my time at university that bit less stressful.”

Violet Toland, HE Curriculum Lead - Quality Enhancement and Lecturer in Computing at NWRC said: “I am absolutely delighted for Brian, another exceptional student from the Barber family.

“Throughout his two years at NWRC, Brian has proved himself to be both hard working and dedicated. NWRC is committed to supporting students such as Brian and his siblings as they progress into careers in the computing industry. Our college offers computing qualifications ranging from Level 2 to Level 5 (Foundation degree) and this year for the first time we are running a Foundation Degree in Cyber Security, in partnership with the Open University building careers and progression pathways within the computing industry.

“I wish Brian and his siblings the best in their studies, and we look forward to supporting the rest of the family in their career journeys.”

To find out more about computing courses at NWRC visit

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