ICT Graduate Schools

ICT Graduate Schools

Last updated 29 April 2021
Last updated 29 April 2021

The ICT Graduate School programme will deliver industry-focused education and research that builds connections between tertiary education providers and high-tech firms.

May 2019 update: Budget 2019 has reprioritised unallocated ICT Graduate Schools funding to other areas.

Existing ICT Graduate schools will continue to receive funding until the end of the current funding agreements in 2020, but will not be renewed. Specific SAC funding for ICT Graduate schools has also been removed.


Agreed through:  Contract (off Plan)

Budget 2014 allocated $28.6m over four years for an ICT Graduate School programme. The programme will deliver industry-focused education and research that builds connections between tertiary education providers and high-tech firms.

The objectives are to produce graduates with work-relevant and business-focused skills, provide more direct pathways from education into employment, and help grow New Zealand’s ICT talent.

The programme funds education, research and collaborative activities in ICT Graduate Schools in Auckland, Wellington and the South Island, linked to local industries' innovation precincts or technology hubs.

The programme also involves the development of more broadly applicable ICT education initiatives that can be delivered through affiliated education providers throughout New Zealand.


The funding mechanism for ICT Graduate Schools is issued by the Minister responsible for tertiary education. The funding mechanism outlines the general form and essential components of the fund. It provides the mandate for us to allocate the funding and what the funding can be used for, and details how we administer the fund.

Funding is agreed off-Plan via a funding confirmation letter.

A tertiary education organisation (TEO) that receives ICT Graduate School funding is required to:

The Government contribution towards the costs of teaching and learning services is funded through the Student Achievement Component (SAC).

The Auckland school

The Auckland school is hosted by the University of Auckland and University of Waikato, with satellite campuses in Hamilton and Tauranga. It is focused on developing industry-focused post-graduate ICT students with the communication, critical thinking, business and enterprise skills that employers need.

Find out more on the Auckland ICT Graduate School website.

The Wellington school

The Wellington school is a collaboration between Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington Institute of Technology and Whitireia New Zealand, and will be based in the Wellington CBD.

The school will provide industry-focused education to equip graduates with the technical skills and personal attributes sought by industry.

Find out more on the Wellington ICT Graduate School website.

The South Island school

The SIGNAL ICT Graduate School is a collaboration between the University of Canterbury, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Lincoln University, Otago Polytechnic and the University of Otago. It has a Christchurch campus located in the Christchurch Innovation Precinct and a satellite site in Dunedin.

The school focuses on key ICT areas relevant to the regional economies, including agri-tech, health technology and communication products and services.

Find out more on the SIGNAL ICT Graduate School website. 

Funding wash-ups

Information and Communications Technology Graduate Schools end of funding period Recovery

We will write off and not be recovering Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Graduate Schools funding from TEOs which under-deliver in 2020.

Recoveries and write offs are based on:

  • EFTS enrolled in each ICT graduate school programme (or component part of a programme), reported in the TEO’s latest 2020 SDR report,
  • applicable 2016-2020 Student Achievement Component level 3 and above (SAC3+) funding rates, and
  • total delivery by all members of the consortium

How we will calculate any Recovery for the five year funding period to 31 December 2020

Any final Recovery calculation for the 2016-2020 funding period will exclude the value of any under-delivery during the 2020 funding period.

  • Any dollar value of over-delivered EFTS in the 2020 funding period, will set-off under-delivery during the 2016-2019 period (any 2020 under-delivery is written off).
  • If the dollar value of delivery, by all members of the Consortium, is less than the expected value of the funding period prior to 2020, the members will have received funding greater than it should have been.
  • Any over-funding will be recovered from the host university

How we will calculate any 2020 Recovery for write off purposes

  • We will write off the dollar value of under-delivery during the 2020 funding period.

We will calculate early withdrawal of enrolments at course level

We will recover funding for students who have not completed 10% or one month of the ICT SAC 3+ course for which they have enrolled, whichever is the earlier.