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New Wintec Technology Degree receives accolades

August 11 2008

New Wintec Technology Degree receives accolades

Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics in New Zealand (ITPQ) has approved a three year Wintec Bachelor of Technology degree which has endorsements in Agritechnology, Biotechnology, Environmental Technology and Food Technology.

Peter Osborne Manager of Degree Programmes for ITPQ said the Board was impressed with the timeliness and comprehensiveness of the application and congratulated Wintec on the quality of its content.

Head of Wintec’s School of Science and Primary Industries School Rosemary Wyborn said the new technology degree was set to deliver excellent results for the region. Wyborn said students will graduate as agritechnologists, biotechnologists, environmental technologists and food technologist which are of vital important to the local economy.

“While Wintec has current strengths and expertise in Biotechnology, Environmental Technology and Food Technology, AgriTechnology is a new field that is a first for the Waikato,” she said.

The degree approval process involved a three-day panel visit with twelve scientists and specialists from Waikato and Auckland Universities, AgResearch, Environment Waikato and ViaLactia. Their role was to critique Wintec’s proposal, ensure the institute of technology had the capacity to deliver a quality programme, and was unique in what it was offering. The programme will begin next year.

“We have a great team of dedicated staff and we will also be making additional appointments,” Wyborn said.

She said the Bachelor of Technology degree builds on the existing strengths Wintec has already developed, and had been well received by industry. The degree programme provides options of business and IT papers which employers tell us is a critical component when highly skilled technicians are also managing staff.

Wyborn said the School has strong relationships with industry groups such as NIWA, Fonterra and Hill Laboratories, as well as AgResearch and Innovation Waikato, groups who have been behind the development of the degree because it will produce work-ready technologists, with a range of transferrable skills and who will have the capacity to deal with new challenges.

“ The message which has come through loud and clear is that our region needs these skills if it is to successfully progress and diversify. We are delighted that our response has been given approvel to proceed”.

“The degree will include new teaching approaches, in line with Wintec’s commitment to flexible learning and technology transfer. Students will be taught how to learn, and will be expected to develop their own scientific experiments for example, to produce a solution, rather than being instructed on the experiment itself.”

The degree will require students to study a generic first year, with some compulsory technology papers, taking up an endorsement in year two and will graduate with strong technology knowledge and skills, as well as specialist knowledge in one of the fields of agritechnology, biotechnology, environmental technology and food technology. Throughout the programme there is a strong emphasis on the application of knowledge. Students will work on an industry project throughout their third and final year.

ENDS

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