International education award highlights Deakin–IBM partnership

Deakin University has received the Victorian International Education Award for Excellence in Innovation in Industry Partnerships at an award ceremony at Government House in Melbourne this week. The award recognises the University’s strong partnership with international computing giant IBM.

The annual Victorian International Education Awards (VIEAs) recognise outstanding international education providers for their contribution to the sector in the Australian state of Victoria. The 2015 VIEA finalists included 19 education providers from across the state.

Through the University’s partnership with IBM, Deakin became the first university in Australia (and only the fourth in the world) to host an IBM Centre of Excellence in Business Analytics, an increasingly important field in today’s data-driven workplaces. Deakin is also the first university in the world to use the IBM Watson Engagement Adviser, a ground-breaking cognitive computing platform that students can use to get answers to wide array of University-related questions.

JoMo receives award from Minister[1] copy

Deakin International Executive Director John Molony receiving the award

The partnership commenced in 2012 with the launch of the IBM Centre of Excellence in Business Analytics at Deakin’s Melbourne Burwood Campus. With businesses increasingly looking to make key decisions through the capture and analysis of vast masses of data, the Centre assists students to develop highly sought after business analytics skills. Deakin students have access to IBM’s analytics technology tools and certification programs in analytics through this centre.

Launched earlier this year, the IBM Watson Engagement Adviser can be accessed from any device and students can ask questions about student life, their studies, campus info and more. Students receive instant online responses, and Watson is available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The initiative has proven especially beneficial for international students, who often have many questions about their new university and learning environment.

Deakin is committed to improving the student experience and focuses on incorporating the latest in technological developments to do so. It is this commitment to student satisfaction that led to the creation of this unique initiative with IBM.

Lucy Schulz, who is the Program Director: LIVE Implementation at Deakin University and who has been managing the Watson initiative, says working with IBM has been a challenging and exciting venture. ‘Watson has provided a whole new dimension to enhancing the student experience at Deakin and we are so pleased to be able to provide our students with such a unique information tool,’ she said. ‘Working with IBM has been a creative learning experience and we look forward continuing our partnership into the future.’

Watson has provided a whole new dimension to enhancing the student experience at Deakin and we are so pleased to be able to provide our students with such a unique information tool

In attendance at the VIEA award ceremony to congratulate the winners were the Hon. Linda Dessau AM, Governor of Victoria, and the Hon. Steve Herbert MP, Minister for Training and Skills.

Recipients both providers and students

Winners of the 2015 Provider and Student Awards

Speaking at the award ceremony, Minster Herbert was enthusiastic about the importance of international education to the identity of the State of Victoria as place that welcomes students from around the world.

‘These awards highlight the great achievements of people who come from around the world to study here, to better themselves, and join a community of educated people working for a better future,’ the Minster said. ‘The sheer fact that we have 160 000 young people studying here in the state every year, bringing their culture, their diversity, their ideas to Victoria is a great thing for our community.’

For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.

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