15 Oct 2015
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Wellington has a new ICT grad school

By Catherine Knowles

Wellington is set to be home to a new ICT Graduate School, designed to set the standard for advanced ICT education in New Zealand and fuel growth in the industry.

The Government has confirmed that the Wellington Graduate School will be a partnership between Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington Institute of Technology and Whitireia Polytechnic, with strong involvement from a number of Wellington ICT firms, start-ups and leaders in the capital’s technology ecosystem.

The school will provide practically-focused postgraduate programmes to 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 Mike Wilson, Victoria University professor and pro vice-chancellor of science, architecture, design and engineering faculties.

“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.

“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,” he says.

Chris Gosling, WelTec and Whitireia chief executive, says the ICT Graduate School is a good 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.  The new Graduate School has been established to respond to that need,” says Gosling.

The school's qualifications were designed following consultation with industry professionals.

Programmes include a Master of Software Development, which is 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, who have a Bachelor’s in a computing-related discipline, or are 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.

The school is due to open in Trimester 2 2016, and students can enroll through Victoria University, WelTec and Whitireia.

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 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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