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AUT & CAANZ Form Development Partnership

Thursday, March 10, 2005

AUT & CAANZ Form Professional Development Partnership

AUT has signed a Heads of Agreement with the Communication Agencies Association of NZ (CAANZ) to provide a professional development programme to members.

AUT will run a contemporary communications and advertising programme involving all marketing disciplines aimed at industry and agency staff as well as marketing executives and will be distinct from the existing undergraduate programmes for marketing and advertising at AUT.

The kinds of study that the programme will aim at include things like account management, the client-agency relationship, media strategy and the skills of buying.

The Dean of Business, Professor Des Graydon says the partnership holds benefits for AUT and CAANZ.

“I think it’s an opportunity for CAANZ to have access to and exposure to the academic staff and to research activities in marketing and communication at AUT. Once they come in the door they will see staff are research active. There are definite benefits to both sides as they get access to intellectual capital and research and we get insight into current professional practice,” says Professor Graydon.

CAANZ chief executive Mark Champion agrees saying AUT is the ideal tertiary provider to partner with CAANZ and believes that the partnership will provide a broad industry practice benchmark.

”Most of the people in our industry who have tertiary qualifications have gone through AUT and that kind of transition provides a natural fit with the industry training and AUT’s real-world training.

“I think what will also happen is that as we’re talking to industry professionals that will feed back into the tertiary offerings of AUT and it will strengthen AUT’s links with industry practitioners, and also the way it is being structured will potentially feed into new customers for AUT as they get their cross-credits from these and they can move into their first degree or post-graduate studies,” says Mr Champion.

CAANZ called for submissions from universities to run a professional development programme for communication agencies and their staff. AUT’s tender was successful based on its natural fit with industry – many members studied at AUT – and its real-world learning approach.

It was also based on AUT’s facilities including use of the new $35 million dollar purpose built Business School building where case study rooms, innovative class and lecture room designs will support dynamic and interactive teaching and learning approaches. The building will be equipped to support wireless online access and liberally supplied with cable jacks so students can have computer access to web-based resources in any situation and is due for completion this June. AUT will also offer credits on papers to industry people.

“It’s just part of the realisation that if AUT and the agencies work together then there is lots of outcomes that we could potentially leverage,” says Mr Champion.

Professor Graydon believes the relationship between industry and academic staff is an important one.

“We need to find ways of getting industry to open its doors to academics and the way to do that is through a good working relationship. There is no other way to do that because business is focussed on generating revenue and it’s got to be that way. So this is a way that we both benefit - we get in touch with current professional practice and with leading practitioners and they gain valuable credits,” says Professor Graydon.

The two are also hoping to build and promote research among AUT and agencies so both can get a snapshot as well as depth on industry trends, “and I think everyone is always interested in that,” says Mr Champion.

The first course will be held on April 7. An official announcement of the agreement will be made upon completion of the new Business School building.


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