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University of Canterbury in global first partnership with Smart Cities Council

Submitted by Adam Beck on August 31, 2020

Moves to see the University of Canterbury (UC) deliver the most advanced smart cities focused MBA program are under way with the announcement that the University has become 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 program will have access to the Council’s leading Smart Cities Academy and Smart Cities Practitioner Certificate program. Courses in the Connected MBA program 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 said, “This partnership is an exciting one for the Council, being our first partnership with a research and knowledge institution”. Mr Beck continued, “with the combined resources of SCCANZ and UC’s MBA program, we strongly believe we can help students lead in the strategic foresight of future city shaping and management”.

Dr Christopher Vas, who is Associate Professor and Director of UC’s MBA program, and Dr Anna Earl (faculty lead) see the partnership as a major win for its students.

“For a long time, in MBA programs 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”, Dr Vas said.

Dr Earl further emphasises saying that “this drive in the MBA is also underpinned by the program commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This partnership with SCCANZ is pivotal to moving the needle forward and we start in Christchurch.”

Jannat Maqbool, New Zealand Director for the Smart Cities Council, added her excitement in this new partnership, by 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 NZ to be at the forefront of cities, towns and regions that are liveable, workable and sustainable”

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

Further information about the University of Canterbury MBA program can be found here:

A copy of the join media release is available below.