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College Of Computing Set To Revolutionise IT Ed


Christchurch College Of Computing Set To Revolutionise IT Education

Prime Minister Helen Clark today (7 March 2002) officially opened a revolutionary new computer college set to redefine the way IT education is administered in New Zealand.

The Christchurch College of Computing, established in partnership with Burnside High School and Christchurch secondary schools, is the first of its kind in the country. Managed by Burnside High School, it caters for Year 13 students who have identified IT as a significant part of their tertiary studies or future employment.

The new college is government-endorsed and has the support of the IT industry. Leading computer company Hewlett-Packard (NZ) has donated $200,000 in latest computer hardware, including servers, PCs, printers, CD writers and scanners. Christchurch company Allied Telesyn has provided routers and switches for the network while Telecom has provide lines and Jetstream internet support.

Students of the new college are offered a totally new approach to information and computer technology, with a focus on creativity, social and communications skills, as well as technical knowledge. Students will be able to gain University Entrance, as well as a number of computing qualifications. Programming and software packages are being taught, as well as web design and multi-media applications.

“IT is considered to be one of the keys to improving the New Zealand economy. However teaching IT in schools creates problems because of the high cost of specialised hardware and software and because of the absence of a University Bursary Computing qualification,” Prue Purser, the college’s director says.

“The college has been established to overcome these issues, providing a specialised and focused approach to students studying information and communication technology. It has been expensive and difficult to do and without the fantastic support we have received from the IT industry, we couldn’t have done it,” she adds.

The Ministry of Education is watching the college to see how well it works with a chance that the model could be introduced elsewhere in New Zealand.

Hewlett-Packard’s involvement follows the company’s participation in last year’s Catching the Knowledge Wave conference in Auckland. HPNZ managing director, Barry Hastings says, “One of the outcomes of the conference was the need to invest more in the education sector and, through our contribution, the college will be able to immerse students in the type of high tech environment that’s becoming increasingly important to all types of business.”

“If we want New Zealanders to become a nation of innovators and achievers, then we have to start in our schools. The Christchurch College of Computing is an excellent beginning,” he adds.

Located in central city Christchurch, the college is a modern purpose-built facility. The first intake of 28 students, from 11 different contributing high schools, started studying at the college last month. Aside from studying, the students will also spend time during the year in industry placements in order to understand the requirements and challenges of the business environment.

Enrolments are now being taken for 2003 from Year 12 and 13 students. Information and enrolment forms can be obtained from the web site www.ict.school.nz or, for enquiries, contact the director at 03 982 9822 or at admin@ict.school.nz.

ends

About Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard is a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services. The company is focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to all. HP had total revenue of $45.2 billion in its 2001 fiscal year. For more information visit http://www.hp.com

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