10 Dec 2015
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Digital technology subjects crucial in the modern world

By Catherine Knowles

For the first time computing related subjects at NCEA level are going to count towards admission to the University of Auckland.

Up until now, NCEA Level 3 credits in Digital Technologies have not been included on the list of subjects considered as best preparation for study at university level, particularly in science and engineering.

However, the world is changing and the university wants to recognise that.

John Hosking, University of Auckland dean of science and professor, says this decision is acknowledging digital skills and knowledge as increasingly important across a wide range of study areas marks an important change for students, parents and schools.

It sent a clear signal to schools on what the university considers the most suitable preparatory subjects for admission to many Bachelor programmes, he says.

“Literacy in computer technologies and a fluent understanding of the digital world not only provides a strong foundation for tertiary study but the University recognises that it has become a core employable skill.

“I welcome the addition of Digital Technologies to the list of subjects we believe are of prime academic importance for success at tertiary level,” says Hosking.

The addition of NCEA Digital Technologies has been welcomed by the IT industry, according to Hosking.

“This is a very significant step towards transforming Digital Technologies into a strong academic area with the potential to attract top students into related areas,” says Paul Matthews, Institute of Information Technology Professionals CEO.

“It’s also a critical step in addressing high-level shortages within the industry and signally the importance of tertiary study in this field,” he says.

Recent changes in the computing curriculum for NCEA, in consultation with universities, has resulted in a revised curriculum for Digital Technologies.

The new curriculum progresses from Level 1 studies to Level 3. Level 3 NCEA Digital Technologies includes database creation and management and an introduction to networking and programming skills

The University’s Department of Computer Science has a new Stage 1 course which builds on the Digital Technologies curriculum and allows students entry to an accelerate pathway if they have completed NCEA level 3 in the subject.

“The Faculty of Science will be strongly recommending Digital Technologies for all science students,” Hosking says.

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