Macquarie partners with Microsoft, UTS and TAFE NSW to tackle digital skills demand


In news announced by the Premier of New South Wales, The Hon. Dominic Perrottet, on campus last week, Macquarie University has joined forces with TAFE NSW, Microsoft and the University of Technology Sydney to pilot the State’s first Institute of Applied Technology for Digital Technology.

The revolutionary education partnership was unveiled by the Premier when partners and media gathered at Macquarie’s School of Engineering labs to hear the announcement of the $154 million Meadowbank Education Precinct.

“This innovative partnership will see students merge the knowledge gained through university study with the hands-on technical skills acquired through vocational education, all in the one model,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It means New South Wales jobseekers will be getting the absolute best vocational training supported by industry leaders and world-leading universities.”

The NSW Government is investing $154 million to transform TAFE NSW Meadowbank into a technology-focused campus that will feature a new Multi-Trades Hub and Institute of Applied Technology (IAT) for Digital Technology.

Students who study at the IAT-Digital can gain credentials at all academic levels of study they undertake, including a certificate, diploma, or bachelor’s degree. Or they will have pathways into study at Macquarie or UTS.

Vice-Chancellor Professor S. Bruce Dowton said the innovative model, not previously seen in Australia, would allow the IAT to be agile in responding to change across all sectors and demonstrates the power of collaboration.

“Digital skills are in demand while the fast pace of technological change continues to impact the skill needs of the current and future workforce,” said Professor Dowton.

“Providing training in emerging digital technology skill areas will be vital, not only for jobs in digital technology but also for jobs across all sectors, where digital tools and new technologies are reshaping roles and the future of work.”


NSW MPs Victor Dominello (Member for Ryde, Minister for Customer Service, and Minister for Digital) and Geoff Lee (Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education), together with Tiffany Wright (Director Education, Australia at Microsoft) and Professor Andrew Parfitt (Vice-Chancellor, UTS), were also in attendance at the announcement and tour of the Engineering labs.

The group had a chance to see the work of the University’s MQ Speed team students and their design for the fastest human powered vehicle, and FIRST robotics representatives demonstrated robots they have built with high school students for competitions.


As a key partner in this exciting model, Macquarie has been working with other founding partners to address skills shortages in big data, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.

Staff from across the University have been involved in this work, with important ongoing contributions to the development of a new educational model and new approaches to teaching from the School of Education and to the design of distinctive curriculum from the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The IAT for Digital Technology is due to open in August 2022.





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