The first industry-accredited computing degrees have been announced from a mix of institutions around New Zealand.
Institutions now offering accredited and industry-endorsed computing degrees include AUT University, Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Massey University, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) and Whitireia New Zealand.
The comprehensive Degree Accreditation programme, run by the Institute of IT Professionals NZ (IITP) and aligned with similar accreditations in many other countries around the world, recognises computing and IT degrees that provide the best pathway to industry in New Zealand and abroad.
At the invitation of tertiary institutions, the accreditation process involves a comprehensive review of everything to do with a computing degree programme, including a multi-day campus visit by a panel of academic and industry experts.
Professor Stephen MacDonell, IITP Accreditations Board chair, says, “Before a programme can be endorsed by the IT industry's professional body, the visiting panel and Accreditations board follow an in-depth process to consider whether it meets the needs of local industry - as such we pay particular attention to evidence of things like industry engagement, team-work, practical application of theoretical skills, staff capability, and professional practice.
“It's a very thorough process, and students of these programmes can be assured their degrees are robust and will be recognised both locally and on the international stage,” MacDonell says.
IITP's Degree Accreditation is modelled on the international Seoul Accord agreement, of which IITP is a provisional signatory.
Once full signatory status is granted, accredited computing degrees will be formally recognised across all signatory countries as meeting robust international best practice standards for computing undergraduate degrees. Current Accord signatories include Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and United States.
The first six New Zealand accredited programmes include:
AUT University: Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT): Bachelor of Computing Systems Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT): Bachelor of Information and Communication Technologies Massey University: Bachelor of Information Sciences (majors in Computer Science, Information Technology and Software Engineering) Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT): Bachelor of Information Technology Whitireia New Zealand: Bachelor of Information Technology
IITP Chief Executive Paul Matthews says he is pleased with the result.
“We're very happy to be in a position to endorse these programmes, following significant work putting this programme in place over several years,” he says.
“It's also great to see a mix of institutions from large to small, and from across the main centres to the regions achieving accreditation. The offerings from these institutions are as diverse as the industry itself and we can confidently say these programmes provide excellent pathways to the IT industry,” Matthews says.
The number of accredited programmes is expected to grow, with several other institutions currently investigating accreditation including the University of Auckland and Ara (formerly CPIT).