World-class aspirations and total integration with industry – just two of the reasons why people are increasingly taking notice of Animation College NZ Ltd.
“This is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic industries in the world,” said Director Adam Berry. “We need to be agile in our approach, as agile as the industry itself.”
Agile they are. Over the last three years, leaders at Animation College have spoken to hundreds of companies in the content and tech space about what skills they want graduates to come out with.
The resulting innovations in their programmes and facilities – they now offer a Bachelor degree, digital internships and ‘passion projects’, for example – have seen them start to jostle for position amongst the best animation schools in the world.
“We asked ourselves, what does a great animation school look like?” Berry said. “We benchmarked against the best animation schools in the world – schools in the US, Canada and Europe. That’s the profile we want for our school.”
Strong industry partnerships and collaborations integrate the College’s students with the animation profession as well as offering them extensive bridging opportunities, digital apprenticeships and graduate platforms to help graduates find employment.
The ambition is paying off. Last year, following a robust and lengthy judging process, Animation College NZ Ltd took out the ‘Best of the Best’ award for Best Emerging Business in the Westpac Auckland Business Awards. Judges looked at the school’s vision, growth, strategy and finances, talked to stakeholders about their perception and experience and interviewed leaders before awarding it the top prize.
It’s valuable external validation for the young company, which formed in its current iteration three years ago with a remarkable strategy and vision. It is now the only college in New Zealand to offer degree and diploma level courses specialising in 2D & 3D animation, and has a growing reputation as a specialist in character animation.
“We know where we are and where we’re going,” said Berry. “We want our students to be able to head overseas and compete with the best in the world, so we have to make sure we’re prioritising the right pathways for them.”
With 20 years’ experience in the corporate sector, a love of education, and a fascination with how cutting-edge technology can strengthen New Zealand’s ties with the world, Berry is well poised to lead the College’s growth through its next phase.
“You have to understand the essence of what you’re about organisationally. That’s why we offer applied animation programmes that position us as the top in the industry,” he said. “That’s why our graduates can animate, why our students take on paid digital apprenticeships, and why we ensure our facilities are at the cutting edge – from green rooms and labs, to gaming and drawing rooms. Ensuring our students get the best opportunities and training is everything.”
*Immigration New Zealand has added the Bachelor of Animation at Animation College NZ Ltd to the Long Term Skills Shortages List. This means there is a severe shortage of these skills and the industry is struggling to fill jobs. This degrees is one of the few Bachelor Degrees recognised by Immigration NZ providing the skills sets required in New Zealand for the long term.