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Christchurch Computing College Proves A Drawcard

Christchurch Computing College Proves A Drawcard

Christchurch’s outstanding secondary schools have long been a magnet for students from around New Zealand. Now a unique addition to the ranks of established schools is attracting attention and enrollments from senior secondary students wanting to pursue careers in Information Technology.

The Christchurch College of Computing is the only one of its kind in New Zealand. It is a state funded high school offering a full Year 13 course specialising in computing and computer science. Its director, Prue Purser, said that in less than two years since it opened the school had developed a reputation for producing outstanding results in external exams and competitions.

Ninety-two percent of last year’s students gained tertiary-level qualifications and the school’s run of success in competitions is continuing this year with a gold medal for computer literacy in the 2003 Australasian Schools Computer Skills Competition going to student Tamryn Howard.

Ms Purser said almost all of the 34 students at the school this year planned to do tertiary studies, and are competing for full-fee scholarships worth a total of almost $20,000 being offered by Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, NatColl and Lincoln University.

With enrollment applications now open for 2004, Ms Purser is receiving enquiries from students outside Christchurch whose schools are unable to provide the resources and challenges needed to keep them on track for tertiary courses in computer-related subjects.

She said the Government sees the school as a model of collaborative success amid rising concern about the short supply of suitable graduates to help achieve the high rates of growth expected in Information and Communications Technology over the next 10 years. A $1m a year fund has been set up to encourage similar ventures, but Christchurch College of Computing remains the country’s only specialist Year 13 school of its kind.

Christchurch College of Computing is a cooperative venture established by secondary schools in Christchurch and managed by Burnside High School.

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