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Seeds of the Future program gives uni students a taste of things to come

Chris Player | June 20, 2016
Huawei to host Australia’s top ICT university students in China

Chinese technology giant, Huawei, has picked the latest crop of promising young minds for its annual exchange program, Seeds of the Future.

The program is run in conjunction with the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) and will see 10 students hosted in China as part of Huawei's technological and cultural exchange program.

Students from RMIT University (RMIT), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), University of South Australia (UniSA) and Curtin University will join lecturers from the schools on a two-week, hands-on learning experience in Shenzhen, China in July 2016.

Students will be taken on a tour of the campus in Shenzhen, visit Huawei's Research and Development labs, its Exhibition and Logistics Centres and gain work experience.

Huawei chairman, John Lord, has previously highlighted the company's commitment to developing capabilities in its Australian operations as it sees these as capital the company can on-sell in other markets around the world. The program is one of the ways the company plans to foster talent and develop such capabilities.

One of the participating schools, UTS, has been running placement programs as part of the curriculum for some time.

UTS director of teaching and learning in the faculty of Engineering and IT, Alan Sixsmith, told ARN the chance to see an operation on the scale of Huawei's in Shenzhen was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students.

Sixsmith runs the UTS program where the two students from the university chosen for the program studied and said the cultural experience would be just as valuable as any curriculum related content the students would be exposed to.

"I think it is imperative, if you can finish your degree having some engagement with industry in some way, whether it is in this study tour or as in an undergraduate program. If you can engage with tech leaders on this level it is a huge opportunity," he said.

"If you have come out of your degree and you have had exposure to industry and worked in industry, but not part time, you have an advantage over the pool of graduates.

"If students can get exposure to these global IT leaders, even if it is just a study tour, it is just going to benefit you as a student and you will come back with different perspectives," he said.

One of the attendees on the trip is UTS student, Bronwyn Mercer, who said:"I aspire to be a technology and business leader within the Asia-Pacific region,"

"ICT and cultural skills are vital to Australia's economy and global competitiveness. Participating in the Seeds for the Future programme will allow me to experience world class technology and develop invaluable technical, cultural and professional skills," she added.


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