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Academia Working with Industry

By John McPhee.

High on the list of reasons why students choose specific universities is that of employability. This is also a sentiment echoed by their parents who are keen to ensure that their daughter or son is equipped with the appropriate skills to contribute to society and also identify and enter a well-paid, enjoyable and challenging career; not just a “job” that pays the bills with few other redeeming features.

Swinburne through its strong relationship with its industry partners is renowned for the employability of its graduates. Our relationship with Fenwick Software through the Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) Scholarship program is a great example of how such a partnership can be enduring and mutually beneficial. Through ongoing student placements at Fenwick Software, students have gained priceless experience under the supervision of Fenwick’s highly skilled practitioners from both a business and technical perspective; skills which are sought after by the IT industry.

Fenwick has translated the regular placement of students into a steady flow of graduates joining the firm since 1999 – one of whom is now the CEO of the organisation. Fenwick Software has taken a lead role in the Bachelor of Information Technology program with both Peter Fenwick and more recently Andrew Ferguson chairing the program’s Steering and Curriculum Committee. This University Committee has oversight of the program from a policy perspective with our industry partners contributing to the formulation of the curriculum, ensuring that it will meet the needs of industry into the future.

The mutually beneficial relationship between Swinburne and Fenwick ensures that our graduates are able to gain well paid, challenging and enjoyable work; the industry gets graduates who are work-ready; and Swinburne is able to attract high calibre students. Everyone wins.

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