The Government will invest $28.6 million in funding over the next four years in three ICT graduate schools to help address significant high-level skills shortages in the rapidly growing ICT industry.
It is expected the first students will enter the schools in the second semester of 2015, with full implementation expected by 2018.
Part of the 2014 budget initiative and the government’s business growth agenda, the ICT schools are meant to be located close to ICT firms in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. In Christchurch, it will be located inside the city’s Innovation Precinct.
According to the government, the new schools will be provided with funding for education, research and collaborative initiatives to attract top students and academics.
“We’re expecting to see a combination of final-year under-graduate and post-graduate programmes at the schools, plus an innovative use of internships and research with high-tech firms, to improve the connections between providers and businesses, and ensure a smooth transition of students into work,” said Steven Joyce, minister for tertiary education.
“The total number of domestic ICT equivalent full-time places at advanced levels has increased by 19 per cent since 2010. However, the demand from employers for skilled graduates is strong and continuing 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 added.
A tender process will be used to seek innovative proposals from education providers and their industry partners to develop and operate the ICT Graduate 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.
The tender for the graduate schools will be managed by the Tertiary Education Commission with support from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.