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Oracle Academic Initiative Delivers US$154 Million

Oracle Academic Initiative Delivers US$154 Million In Software And Services To 152 Asia Pacific Educational Institutions

**** Over 50,000 Students in the Asia Pacific Region Trained Using Leading-Edge Oracle Business Software****

Oracle Corp., the largest supplier of software for e-business, announced today it has channeled in excess of US$154 million worth of cutting-edge software licenses and support services to over 152 educational institutions in the Asia Pacific region, as part of the Oracle Academic Initiative (OAI) Program.

A US$1 billion global program, Oracle Academic Initiative provides participating schools with world-class IT training tools at a fraction of the retail cost, including business application software, curriculum, professional development, certification and recruiting resources across every department and discipline. Since its inception in the US in 1997, OAI has been introduced in 15 markets across Asia Pacific - in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Korea, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore.

"OAI's phenomenal success in Asia Pacific further underscores Oracle's deep commitment to bridging the digital divide by improving and expanding information technology learning," said Derek Williams, Executive Vice President of Oracle Asia Pacific. "It is incumbent upon companies like Oracle to catalyse learning at all levels of education as we partner with governments and academic bodies to diversify and strengthen the technology workforce in Asia. We will continue driving the geographic expansion of OAI and hope to implement the program in China this year."

Oracle Academic Initiative is part of a four-pronged program driven by Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison's vision of bringing the organisation's core Internet technology competency to society. Spearheaded by the Oracle Education Initiatives team, the program encompasses Help Us Help, a US$100 million commitment to donate internet computers to under-served schools; Think.com, an interactive Internet-based learning environment for student communities; The Oracle Internet Academy, a collaborative technology training course for secondary students and the Oracle Academic Initiative.

In an effort to address the ongoing shortage of skilled IT professionals, OAI has been implemented to develop powerful partnerships with colleges, universities and secondary schools across the world to help cultivate the legions of qualified knowledge workers. The goal of the program is to help institutions prepare students for the high-tech market by providing them with the most practical experience and leveraging 'tried and tested,' state-of-the-art business application software when they enter the workforce. As of this year, Oracle's e-business program will also be made available to participating institutions.

*** Bridging the Digital Divide in the Philippines

One of the key goals of OAI is to help address key national and international technology issues by increasing Internet access, improving learning and building IT education communities. Shortly after the launch of OAI in the US, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Former President Ramos' presence by Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison. Since its inception in 1997, the program has achieved significant milestones. Over the last three years, Oracle has provided software, support, curricula and faculty training valued at US$3.3 million to 15 institutions, benefiting more than 20,000 students across 13 regions in the Philippines. The success of OAI has resulted in the enrollment of 17 additional schools involving over 10,000 students and a further investment by Oracle of US$2.08 million. It has also paved the way for OAI's expansion to 15 countries in the Asia Pacific region.

The Virtual Center for Technology Innovation in Information Technology or VCTI-IT is one of the flagship projects of the Department of Science and Technology in the Philippines. It aims to strengthen the local IT manpower base and develop the country's R & D capabilities with the government, academia and industry as stakeholders.

"One of the key project areas of the VCTI-IT is the Training and Certification Program, which aims to produce 10,000 certified Filipino I.T. professionals by year 2004," said Undersecretary Dr. Rufino C. Lirag, Jr. of the Department of Science and Technology. "Oracle has been supporting the VCTI-IT Training and Certification Program since its inception in February 2000 through the Oracle Academic Initiative. Ultimately, we would like our IT graduates to be equipped with the necessary skills and expertise to be globally competitive. We are pleased to be sharing the same vision with the OAI."

*** Creating a Dynamic IT Talent Pool in Pakistan

To support the government's concern over the large number of under and unemployed university graduates in the Punjab province, Oracle collaborated with the Punjab IT Board (PITB) in Pakistan to develop a comprehensive OAI program comprising recruitment, computer training, Oracle certification and practical experience. With approximately US$30 million invested in Pakistan since 1999, the program has impacted 18 institutions and over 300 students have been successfully awarded as Oracle Certified Professionals, many of whom have been employed as a result of the program. The PITB has also built an IT training centre where 100 University faculty have been trained.

"Pakistan is now the fastest growing economy for IT vendor certification," said Mr. Zahur ul Haq Sheikh, Chairman of PITB. "With OAI in action, Pakistan is rising up the ranks as one of the leaders in producing certified IT professionals. IT is now the career of choice as more and more skilled workers fill the burgeoning demand across different technology sectors."

*** OAI in Action in Hong Kong

Launched in February 2000 in Hong Kong, OAI was a direct response to the SAR government's aspiration to propel Hong Kong as the technology leader in the information age by cultivating and harnessing its local IT talent.

"OAI has received an immense amount of interest among the academic community here as demonstrated by the 100% participation rate of the regions' Universities in OAI," commented Arics Poon, Country Manager for Oracle Hong Kong. "The program has been developed to meet local needs, foster curricular innovation and create strong matriculation pathways for diverse students coming into the IT field."

*** The Oracle Academic Initiative includes several core elements:

* OAI Software and Support Program Provides access to core Oracle software, support and tools for an unlimited number of users within a department, and Silver level technical support via telephone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

* Faculty Education Offers corporate education courses at a substantial discount to upgrade faculty skills and equip instructors to train other faculty members.

* OAI Curriculum - Oracle University is one of the world's largest IT training organisations with over 15 years of experience in developing courseware for the corporate community. Participants can choose from a wide variety of Oracle University courses or adapt the courseware into existing curriculum. Disciplines covered include such areas as database technology, data design and modelling, and web applications.

* Oracle Certification Upon completion of certain required courses, students can become Oracle Certified Professionals (at a special 40 percent OAI discount), a globally recognised credential to provide graduates the experience and visibility needed to succeed in the IT industry.

For more information on OAI, please visit the World Wide Web site at http://oai.oracle.com/

ENDS


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