How Auckland University of Technology is developing outstanding graduates | Top Universities

How Auckland University of Technology is developing outstanding graduates

By Aisha Khan

Updated July 6, 2023 Updated July 6, 2023

If New Zealand is one of your top possible study destinations, we can definitely see why. As well as boasting stunning landscapes and bustling metropolitan cities, New Zealand is also home to some of the best universities in the world.  

One example is New Zealand’s second-largest university, Auckland University of Technology (AUT). In addition to its high-quality teaching and education, AUT also prides itself on producing world-ready graduates. 

To learn more about how they’re helping students find success in their professional careers, we spoke to AUT’s Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Guy Littlefair.  

Award-winning employability and career services 

AUT city campus

AUT’s employability and career services were recognised as the best in New Zealand by the nation's leading graduate employment body, the NZ Association of Graduate Employers, with AUT winning the NZAGE Best Careers Service for 2022. 

So, what makes AUT the best when it comes to employability services?  

“This was in recognition of the work AUT has done over several years to engage with industry, opening up networks and opportunities to students and graduates” Professor Littlefair said. 

“Our employability relationship managers have been incredibly successful in creating a large number of informative and engaging events for our students.  

“For example, we work directly with industry partners to ensure our students gain practical experience during their time at AUT. 92 percent of our bachelor’s degree students complete work experience as part of their studies.” 

Divya Kataria, an international student from India, studied construction engineering at AUT and achieved a first-class honours’ degree.  

She said: “I loved the amount of group projects we got to work on at AUT. This showed that AUT has a more practical approach towards engineering because as an engineer you often work in teams that also include architects and other professionals.” 

Focus on delivering real-world opportunities 

Employability Lab at AUT

AUT also has a dedicated physical space on its city campus for students who want extra support - the Employability Lab.  

“There are various ways in which students can get help through the Employability Lab, including practical workshops, information sessions, opportunities to meet with employers and community leaders, plus one-to-one appointments to help students with CV and cover letter writing, job interviews, networking, social media skills and more.” 

Silivia Arini shared her experience as a student on the Master of Analytics programme. “The lessons are exciting and applicable. I’ve also enjoyed the fact that our teaching staff regularly invite data analysts to AUT to share their experience with students.  

“For our final project in the last semester, we’ll have the opportunity to work with an industry organisation, which will enrich our experience in gaining knowledge and skills related to data analysis.” 

To help students find exciting job opportunities, the university has its own recruitment service, talenthub, which matches AUT students with employers for internship and graduate roles.  

“Employers will provide a job description to AUT talenthub’s experienced recruitment consultants who create the job advertisement and advertise it to students and graduates on behalf of the employer,” Professor Littlefair said.  

“Our consultants go through the applications, interview applicants they feel fit the employer requirements, and then create a shortlist of AUT candidates for the employer. 

“It’s a free recruitment service for all AUT students. Graduates can apply for talenthub roles for up to a year after graduating from AUT.” 

Importance of diversity and inclusion in helping every student achieve their goals  

AUT campus

AUT’s diverse student body represents an impressive 143 countries, including a large cohort of Māori and Pasifika students.  

“Our student success plan, Ki Uta Ki Tai, is predicated on our belief that everyone with academic potential can flourish through our commitment to equity and excellence. 

“We believe that diversity is not simply an end in itself; rather, diversity is seen as a means by which AUT can achieve its educational and strategic goals and fulfil its role in society.” 

AUT is also the first New Zealand university to appoint a Professor of Diversity. Professor Edwina Pio, the university’s Director of Diversity, works on ensuring AUT is an inclusive environment and diversity is embedded into everyday university life.  

It’s clear that this effort translates into fulfilling student experiences. Samuel Kafiar is studying International Studies at AUT. As an international student from West Papua in Indonesia, he appreciates the diversity of students on AUT’s campus. 

He said: “Studying here gives you the chance to connect with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and there are lot of opportunities to explore your interests and gain the knowledge, skills and experience needed to succeed in your chosen career.  

“I’ve enjoyed being able to meet new people with different cultural backgrounds and loved connecting with AUT students with the same interests through the various clubs around campus.” 

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This article was originally published in June 2023 . It was last updated in July 2023

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