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Western Sydney University partners with tech firms for hands-on learning
Fri, 12th Jan 2024

Undergraduate students at Western Sydney University are being presented with unique hands-on learning experiences, thanks to a new partnership between Western Sydney International Airport (WSI), technology services company DXC Technology, and the university itself.

Set to run until the airport's opening in 2026, the initiative offers students the chance to work directly with lead designers, technologists, and business stakeholders on real-world research and design projects.

As part of the programme, students will have the chance to gain invaluable industry experience whilst completing their final year capstone projects. This scheme allows students to earn credit towards their degrees while cooperatively tackling authentic technical challenges in a real-world setting.

WSI Chief Technology Officer Tom McCormack stated that the commitment to promoting career pathways for students in Western Sydney led WSI to align itself with Western Sydney University. "In our second round of engagement, we've provided problems to solve for a great airport experience, and the university has provided the intellectual capability of their brilliant final year students."

"Together, with great support from our partner, DXC Technology, we will create a technology hub of expertise, capability, and economic activity for both the airport and the West."

Anupama Ginige, Associate Dean in the School of Computer, Data and Mathematical Sciences at Western Sydney University, stated that this partnership represents a stellar work-integrated learning model.

The students are able to transition from theoretical learning to practical application by taking part in tangible projects at WSI. These experiences thus serve as a critical stepping stone, helping the students to establish professional relationships and networks even before they graduate.

Ms. Ginige also highlighted the gains made by students in enhancing soft skills through their collective projects. The students will foster essential skills in communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, which are highly desired traits in the global job market.

"The WSU-WSI partnership doesn't just prepare students for a job; it prepares them for a career, fostering an ecosystem of learning that blends academic rigour with real-world relevance," she added.

Allan Hill, DXC Technology’s Industry General Manager, expressed the company's delight at teaming up with Western Sydney University on a range of projects. “As Master Systems Integrator responsible for the airport's foundational technology platforms, DXC is committed to working with young minds to harness their creativity and identify smart ways that will revolutionise the travel experience for flyers."

Students will use technologies like AI, Video Analytics, and Cloud Computing for their projects, whilst adhering to industry-leading methodologies such as Agile, Design Thinking, and DevOps. The project aims to stretch students beyond the classroom, equipping them with non-technical skills.

The students’ ultimate goal is to create a software application designed to capture and display real-time data from key customer journey points throughout an airport precinct, thereby developing their careers in a future-proof manner.