Massey’s ‘big data’ sponsorship deal a New Zealand first

Massey University’s data analytics programme has attracted the sponsorship of the world’s leading business analytics software provider. The agreement with SAS is the first of its kind with a New Zealand university and will provide students with SAS certification credentials, research funding and internship opportunities at some of Australasia’s largest firms. In partnering with SAS, Massey joins the ranks of internationally-renowned business schools, including those at the University of Melbourne and Oklahoma State University.

The sponsorship agreement will enhance Massey’s Master of Analytics programme, New Zealand’s most business-focused analytics degree. Programme leader Professor Leo Paas says the collaboration means students can be confident they will develop the skills needed by industry.

“Our students will not only get a Master of Analytics but also SAS certification for many of its licensed courses. These are the most widely-used analytics software packages for big data applications and therefore highly sought after by employers.”

According to SAS New Zealand general manager Geoff Beynon, “Increasingly, our customers are asking the question, ‘where will my organisation find its next analytics talent?’ This partnership with Massey will not only help industry locate high calibre resources and assist in addressing the skills shortage, but also provide SAS skilled business graduates who will hit the ground running.”


Professor Leo Paas discusses big data research.

Keeping academic learning in line with business practice

Professor Paas says SAS’ sponsorship will ensure that Massey’s academic programme continues to be cutting-edge and in line with business practice.

“SAS’ business insights will ensure our lecturers remain up-to-date. It’s important we know what’s happening out on the frontline so we can teach the latest methods and address the challenges companies face through our research.”

Students will also benefit from research grants and access to SAS’ global network of clients.

“At the end of our programme students complete a real analytics project for their employer or another company. This sponsorship will allow us to expand those projects by opening up options for travel or to purchase additional data sets,” Professor Paas says.

“The SAS network includes many of the leaders in data analytics, so the opportunity to get our students into those firms to undertake internships and research is really important. That is the sort of experience that makes you really employable.”


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