The Government has today revealed details around new graduate schools to be based in Auckland and Christchurch and specialising in information and communications technology.

Once a third school opens in Wellington, the institutes will train more than 350 students in the fast-growing field each year.

This morning, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce announced the school in our largest city would be hosted by Auckland University, with a collaboration with Waikato University providing satellite locations in Hamilton and Tauranga.

The South Island school - consisting of a campus in the Christchurch Innovation Precinct and a Dunedin satellite site - would be hosted by South Island Tertiary Alliance, comprised by the University of Canterbury, Christchurch Polytechnic and Institute of Technology, Lincoln University, Otago Polytechnic and the University of Otago.

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The schools will accept not only computer science graduates but students who have studied in non-ICT subjects who show strong critical thinking, communications or business planning skills.

The southern school will particularly focus on key ICT areas relevant to the regional economies, including agri-tech, health technology, and communications products and services.

A key initiative of the Government's Business Growth Agenda, the new ICT graduate schools have been funded to the tune of $28.6 million over the next four years.

Mr Joyce said they would provide a "vital link" between fast-moving hi-tech industries and tertiary education to deliver more of the skilled graduates the country needed.

"They will provide a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with students and education providers, and help shape ICT talent and R and D."

The global ICT industry was expected to grow by US$1.3 trillion between 2013 and 2020.

"For New Zealand businesses to make the most of this opportunity, they need hi-tech professionals working in their businesses."

The dean of Auckland University's Faculty of Science, Professor John Hosking, said a significant feature of the new school would be the way it allowed students, who did not initially consider an ICT career, to complement their initial degree with an industry-focused postgraduate programme.

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"If we are to keep pace with the rest of the world, it is more vital than ever that education in this sector is delivered in ways that will produce highly-skilled graduates with work-relevant skills."