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Source: University of Canterbury


Moves to see the University of Canterbury (UC) deliver the most advanced, smart cities focused MBA programme are under way as the University becomes the first university globally to sign as a Research and Knowledge Partner with the Smart Cities Council. 


Under the agreement, students in UC’s newly launched Connected MBA programme will have access to the Council’s leading Smart Cities Academy and Smart Cities Practitioner Certificate programme. Courses in the Connected MBA programme are driven by tag teams of industry and faculty; and SCCANZ will be the industry lead on the Societies in Smart Cities MBA course. Both parties will engage in a range of networking, thought-leadership and collaborative project engagement activities.


Executive Director of SCCANZ Adam Beck says, “This partnership is an exciting one for the Council, being our first partnership with a research and knowledge institution. With the combined resources of SCCANZ and UC’s MBA programme, we strongly believe we can help students lead in the strategic foresight of future city shaping and management”.


Director of UC’s MBA programme Associate Professor Dr Chris Vas and faculty lead Dr Anna Earl see the partnership as a major win for UC students. “For a long time in MBA programmes we have focused on organisations in a macro global context, taking the city and the communities in which these organisations function for granted. The UC approach to supporting leaders to understand how their organisations can create a positive impact on cities and society is needed,” Associate Professor Vas says.


Dr Earl adds, “This drive in the MBA is also underpinned by the programme’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This partnership with SCCANZ is pivotal to moving the needle forward, and we start in Christchurch.”


New Zealand Director for the Smart Cities Council, Jannat Maqbool added her excitement in this new partnership, saying: “Our approach has always been in building a network of collaborations and partnerships to support the smart cities movement and I see this as just the start in terms of the strength of such a network in supporting New Zealand to be at the forefront of cities, towns and regions that are liveable, workable and sustainable.”


The new two-year partnership will mobilise with the MBA programme kicking off on 7 September 2020. This partnership builds on the collaboration already under way across Australasia between UC, SCCANZ and local city councils of Christchurch, Wellington and Hamilton producing a Smart Cities MOOC, which is due for release in coming months.


About the Smart Cities Council

SCCANZ is part of the Smart Cities Council, the world’s largest network of smart cities companies, practitioners and policymakers, embracing technology, data, and intelligent design to accelerate liveability, workability, and sustainability in our cities and towns. Further information about the Smart Cities Council can be found here.