Massey’s communication school joins ranks of world’s best

Massey University’s journalism and communication programmes have received prestigious ACEJMC accreditation.

Massey University’s School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing is the first in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve a highly sought-after accreditation for its journalism and communication programmes.

The US-based Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) this week awarded full accreditation to Massey’s communication programmes, noting the school’s strong leadership, large research output, good connections with industry and its commitment to constant improvement.

Head of the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing Professor Shiv Ganesh says it required a lot of work over the past two years to achieve the accreditation.

“We are enormously proud to be joining a select number of universities – universities like Columbia, Northwestern, Washington and Southern California – which are all world-renowned for their programmes,” he says.

“We are only the seventh institution outside of the United States to have our programmes recognised in this way and we are the only three-year degree in the more than 100-year history of the council to receive accreditation.”

Professor Ganesh says the ACEJMC stamp of approval will differentiate Massey’s offering in the international market. He hopes to see an increase in international student numbers into the Bachelor of Communication and the school’s postgraduate journalism qualifications, which include New Zealand’s only Master of Journalism.

“This will really expand our international market, making us much more marketable in both Asia and the United States, where the ACEJMC accreditation means a lot to students.

“The site visit team were satisfied that we are achieving everything that is required of a world-class communication degree in a three-year programme. That will make us particularly attractive to American students who would otherwise be paying expensive fees for a four-year course.”

The AJEJMC site assessment team meets with Massey faculty. From left to right: Dr Elizabeth Gray, associate head of the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing; site assessment team members Peter Bhatia, Professor Marie Hardin (dean of the College of Communication at Pennsylvania State University), Jennifer Sizemore and John Paluszek; Professor Shiv Ganesh.

Recognition for a commitment to constant improvement

The assement team, which visited New Zealand in February, was made up of industry heavy-hitters, including Jennifer Sizemore, vice-president for communications at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Centre and the former vice-president of NBC News Digital; John Paluszek, senior counsel at Ketchum Public Relations in New York and a former president of the Public Relations Society of America; and team leader Peter Bhatia, chief editor of the Cincinnati Inquirer.

The team’s report highlighted the strong connections the school has forged with industry and its ability to prepare students for New Zealand newsrooms and businesses. It said having journalism and communication programmes sitting within the Massey Business School also helped to build marketing expertise, create innovative academic partnerships and broaden the student experience.

But it was the school’s commitment to constant improvement of the curriculum that really impressed the assessment team, Professor Ganesh believes.

“They said the way we assess our programmes is better than anything they had seen in the United States. That’s the result of our direct assessment programme, which sees student work evaluated by external industry professionals to ensure the required levels of professional standards are being achieved.

“The learnings from those assessments then go into our internal process for reviewing and improving our programmes.”

For more information on the ACEJMC accreditation visit:

The accreditation applies to the following Massey University programmes:

  • The following majors within the Bachelor of Communication – Marketing Communication, Public Relations, Journalism Studies and Communication Management
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism
  • Master of Journalism

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