Chairman for new ICT school named

Signal ICT Graduate School governance board chairman David Band outside the school’s Dunedin...
Signal ICT Graduate School governance board chairman David Band outside the school’s Dunedin campus, in the Granary Building, in Vogel St, yesterday. Photo: Linda Robertson.
An international businessman has been appointed chairman of an information and technology graduate school to open in Dunedin in February.

Dr David Band, who served as the director of the University of Otago’s advanced business programme from 1991 to 1995, will chair the governance board of the school, which will have campuses in Dunedin and Christchurch.

The Signal ICT Graduate School is a collaboration between the University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic, the University of Canterbury, Lincoln University and the Ara Institute of Canterbury.

Yesterday,  Dr Band said the Dunedin campus would open in the Granary Building, in  Vogel St.  The final stages of a lease for the Christchurch campus were still being confirmed.

University of Otago research and enterprise deputy vice-chancellor Prof Richard Blaikie declined to comment on the number of students the school hoped to attract next year, or the likely split between campuses.

"Significant numbers of students" were expected to be based at both locations, he said.

The school aimed to have at least 140 equivalent full-time domestic students (efts) across both campuses by 2019. However, course offerings could be a mix of online and work-based learning, which made predicting numbers difficult.

"So depending on what they take, a student based in Dunedin will potentially be taking components of their programme delivered by experts from all partners.

"Likewise, students based in Christchurch will tap into components delivered by experts based here in Dunedin as well as Christchurch."

The core of the Dunedin-based staff would come from relevant IT fields at the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, and industry experts would assist when relevant, Prof Blaikie said.

Dr Band said the school would offer IT and digital technologies courses for schoolteachers wishing to develop their knowledge, graduates from non-IT areas wanting to move into the sector, entry-level career employees with IT roles and IT professionals wanting to develop leadership skills.

The courses would vary in length and fees would be similar to those of comparable tertiary courses, he said.

Enrolments for the school were now open.

margot.taylor@odt.co.nz

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