Govt-funded computer school for Chch
Christchurch will get one of three computer schools to be built with $28.6 million of Government funding.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce revealed the investment today while officially announcing that Vodafone's new South Island headquarters will anchor the Christchurch innovation precinct.
The Government would invest $28.6m over the next four years in three information and communications technology (ICT) graduate schools to "help address significant high-level skills shortages in the rapidly growing ICT industry", he said.
The schools will be based close to ICT firms in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
The Christchurch school will be in the innovation precinct.
They would have funding for education, research and collaborative initiatives to attract top students and academics and connect them with high-value hi-tech firms to "accelerate the growth of New Zealand's ICT talent", Joyce said.
"We're expecting to see a combination of final-year undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at the schools, plus an innovative use of internships and research with hi-tech firms, to improve the connections between providers and businesses and ensure a smooth transition of students into work," he said.
Tertiary institutions had "significantly boosted" the number of higher-level ICT places by 19 per cent since 2010, but demand continued to grow.
"The Government will continue to increase its investment in quality ICT education and these new graduate schools will take the training of work-ready ICT graduates to another level," Joyce said.
"It is crucial New Zealand lifts significantly the number of people with high-level ICT skills and knowledge so they can help drive innovation in this sector and build a more productive and internationally competitive economy."
A tender process, managed by the Tertiary Education Commission, would be used to seek innovative proposals from education providers and their industry partners to develop and operate the schools.
"We want to see the business sector involved in the design and delivery of the new programmes at the graduate schools to ensure they remain current and relevant in what is a dynamic and rapidly evolving industry," Joyce said.
It was expected the first students would enter the schools in the second semester of 2015, with full implementation by 2018, he said.