Monash University this week became the first Australian institute to join Sun Microsystems' prestigious Authorised Academic Java Campus (AAJC) alliance, one of only 12 worldwide.
In conjunction with Sun, the university's Peninsula campus at Frankston will teach Java within its networking computer course. "The basis of our agreement with Sun is that Java is not just a programming language, it is a new technology," said Titian De Colle, marketing manager for Monash's IT faculty.
The university has an existing Java curriculum based on the Blue J teaching package which focuses on object-orientated Java and IT staff already hold 100 per cent pure Java certification, according to De Colle.
The program will be extended through access to Sun's teaching materials and the establishment of an Advanced Technical Service Laboratory. "Students will undergo industry training and Sun will make available equipment so that students have access to the latest developments," De Colle said.
The program will be categorised under two new degree courses, the Bachelor of Network Computing and the Master of Network Computing. Subjects within these courses will focus on Java-based development, distributed systems using Java RMI and CORBA and the development of small systems for local businesses using Java technology to give students practical experience.
The university will also benefit from the arrangement, according to Russ Bate, managing director for Sun in Australia. He anticipates Java initiatives will create new revenue streams by developing Java technology class libraries, localise Java applets and help developers prepare products to gain Java certification. "Sun's Authorised Academic Java Campus program is the perfect example of how universities and business can collaborate to better prepare students for the workforce and benefit the local economy," said Bate.
As Australia's "largest IT faculty", according to De Colle, Monash was the obvious choice for the establishment of a Java course. "There is such a huge shortage of IT skills now and the Skills Task Force has identified one of the key areas of shortage as Java training, so this was a natural step."