STUDENTS pursuing information technology qualifications at the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT) can now obtain a degree from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle (UNN) in Britain.
Thanks to a partnership recently forged between the two education institutions, students can continue their studies at the university for a period of nine to 12 months after completing a two-year programme with NIIT. The students will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Computing upon finishing their studies at UNN.
The computing degree track is part of the first phase of the NIIT-UNN partnership which focuses on creating more foreign degree pathways for NIIT Malaysian students for the study of IT, through areas like the exchange of expertise, technology, personnel, and researches in related fields.
“We will work on exchanges in design and delivery of on-line courses, and curriculum design and development, while organising seminars and conferences that will enhance IT knowledge and skills globally,” said UNN Vice Chancellor Prof Tony Dickson at the MoU signing ceremony.
NIIT Education and Training for Asia Pacific head Animesh Jain said the partnership was motivated by the “rapid pace of development in the Asia Pacific region” which “is leading to a surge in the demand for IT trained manpower.”
Prof Dickson predicted that “over the next 10 years, many more of such partnerships will exist to meet the high demands of quality higher education in this global economy.
“We are striving to meet the demand for more specialised IT manpower by focusing more on quality rather than quantity.”
The reason for this is the “growing number of students demanding international education because they want a recognised quality education,” he said.
“We have an outstanding record for teaching quality and our total enrolment has increased tremendously,” he claimed, adding that the number of students from China had increased from 30 to 850 in the span of three years
University of Northumbria in Newcastle was first established as a polytechnic in 1969 and inaugurated as a university on Sept 1, 1992. Prof Dickson said the university has been voted by The Sunday Times as the Best New University for three consecutive years from 1998.
The National Institute of Information Technology is an IT services corporation that offers training, education, knowledge management, e-learning and software solutions in over 38 countries worldwide. NIIT has trained more than two million students worldwide and 4,000 students in Malaysia.
About 200 students are expected to obtain their degrees from UNN in the first year of the partnership between NIIT and UNN.
At present, 18 students from NIIT have commenced their third year of study in Britain. The final year programme at the university will cost the students an additional RM55,000 to cover both tuition fees and living expenses.
Apart from opting to complete their final year at the University of Northumbria, students undertaking this programme at NIIT can also apply for enrolment in Malaysia's Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (Unitar) or the University of Sunderland in Britain.
In line with its efforts to enhance IT education, NIIT recently introduced a new diploma programme called Futurz. Technologies covered in the new programme include Linux, Windows Server and Professional, SQL databases, Information Systems Security and mobile technologies.
The NIIT Futurz Diploma in Information Technology also meets the eligibility criteria of the Professional Diploma in Information Technology Certification from NIIT Academy in India. Students are thus eligible for dual certification upon successful completion of the programme here.
The diploma course is now open for enrolment. Students who register for the course before March 31 can opt for an overseas study tour to India’s Silicon Valley in Bangalore.
For more information, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03-8313 5200.