21 Oct 2015
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New ICT grad school set to pump NZ tech industry

By Shannon Williams

Wellington is expected to reap the benefits of a new ICT grad school set up via a partnership between Victoria University, WelTec and Whitireia Polytechnic.

The Government says the Wellington ICT Graduate School will deliver a wealth of benefits to Wellington and fuel growth across the region and New Zealand.

The school can expect strong involvement from several Wellington ICT firms, start-ups and leaders in Wellington’s technology eco-system.

The school will provide practically focused postgraduate programmes that will equip graduates with the skills and attributes sought by industry.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Wellington, which is a high performer in terms of New Zealand’s ICT-related GDP,” says Professor Mike Wilson, pro vice-chancellor of the Faculties of Science, Architecture and Design and Engineering at Victoria University.

“The Wellington region has the highest concentration of web and digital-based companies per capita in New Zealand and the new Graduate ICT School will provide a pipeline of graduates with the skills and research capacity to ensure those companies thrive,” says Wilson.

“We are excited to be able to join with other tertiary providers in Wellington to leverage our existing networks, resources and education capabilities to develop a school that will lead to a pool of ICT talent and collaborative research partnerships.”

Chris Gosling, chief executive of WelTec and Whitireia, says that the ICT Graduate School is a great example of collaboration between Wellington’s leading tertiary education providers, working directly with industry partners, to provide high quality graduates.

“ICT is a fast-paced and rapidly-changing industry, which demands innovative approaches to education and training,” he says. “The new Graduate School has been established to respond to that need.”

Consultation with industry has informed design of the qualifications to be offered by the school. These include a Master of Software Development focused on developing real-world software-based systems and a Master of Information Technology, which is designed to sharpen the technical skills and knowledge of those already in industry or who have a Bachelors in an ICT or computing-related discipline and seeking to enter the ICT workforce.

A Master of Engineering Practice will also be available through the school and aims to give students the skills to design and implement engineering solutions.

Qualifications that offer specialisation in emerging creative technologies and user experience design are expected to be offered further down the track.

Students can enrol at the new school through Victoria University, WelTec and Whitireia, with many of the courses to be offered in the CBD.

The school is expected to open in trimester 2 2016.

The Graduate School will be closely connected with the Wellington Tech Hub, established by the Wellington City Council and Biz Dojo, to provide a place for the tech community to connect, collaborate and generate new and exciting ideas.

The Tech Hub will provide a point of engagement between ICT firms and the Wellington ICT Graduate School, a base for the school’s non-academic staff and a venue to deliver workshops, bootcamps, competitions and networking events.

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