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ICT trends: Tertiary enrolments failing to bridge the gap


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The Skills Crisis – What to do about IT

The NZ Herald’s front page headline on Monday 19 November; “Skills crisis: Minister's threat to uni on funding”, presages an article that focuses on skill shortages in the fields of engineering and computing. In an attempt to redress the issue the NZ government budgeted (in bulk funded money) an extra $42 million for engineering and $17 million for science (and computing) at universities and polytechnics. The problem for the government lies with the bulk funding arrangement whereby institutes are free to direct the money into whatever subject offerings help them meet their objectives, including those of equity; e.g. higher participation rates for Maori and Pacifica students.
In a related article; Skills crisis: Growing firm struggles to find suitable graduates Orion, a health software company, states that it needs to hire 50 software engineering graduates this year, but is unlikely to find them. The shortage of CS/IT graduates has been exacerbated by the dotcom bubble bursting over a decade ago, with Auckland University numbers, for example, tumbling from 1225 fulltime-equivalents in 2003 to 731 in 2008 and recovering to just 949 this year.

The situation is not helped by the capped environment, whereby Government is paying for a certain number of domestic undergraduate students, thus discouraging polytechnics and universities to increase enrolments (over and above the cap). Overall CS/IT enrolments (EFTS), charted in the November edition of the ICT trends series, have gradually increased from the very low numbers reached in 2007 (50% down on 2002 enrolment numbers).

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: polytechnic, university, ICT, trends, EFTS, enrolments
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Business, Information Technology and Enterprise > School of Information Technology
Depositing User: Garry Roberton
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2013 00:03
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 03:02

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