In a major development for the FM industry in New Zealand, Massey University opened enrolments in October for New Zealand’s first entry-level university qualifications in facilities management. Ahead of semester one commencing on 22 February, we caught up with Associate Professor James Rotimi from the School of Built Environment to find out how enrolments are tracking, how the qualifications will benefit the wider FM industry, the role FMANZ members will play in the delivery of the qualifications, and a number of other exciting plans in the pipeline.
ForuM: What has feedback been like and how are enrolment numbers looking for the diploma and graduate diploma?
James Rotimi: We have had very strong interest in the two qualifications with loads of enquiries through Massey’s contact team and directly to our School of Built Environment team. At this stage the DipFM has higher confirmed enrolments than the GradDipFM and is on course to meeting projected enrolments.
F: Do you have a sense of who is enrolling and what the split between full-time and part-time study, and on-campus and distance learning is?
JR: A large percentage (over 90%) of those currently enrolled have opted for the distance learning offering (over the internal offering), which means they would be taught fully online. This is not unexpected because we know that most students are working full time. We are well equipped for this mode of delivery and our planning was towards a blended approach, which meant either face-to-face or online, or a combination of both.
F: Remind us again who the two programmes are targeted at, in particular, what level of experience is required to enrol in the graduate diploma.
JR: The DipFM is a Level 5 qualification that is targeted at school leavers and early career FMers while the GradDipFM is more for mid-career FMers and those with non-cognate backgrounds who are wanting to convert to FM/make FM their careers.
F: Elevator pitch time: why should someone working in FM consider enrolling in one of these programmes?
JR: Our blended learning approach will benefit work-committed individuals. The qualifications were developed with FMANZ so meet all of their 13 core competencies. Delivery modes accommodate everyone’s needs, no matter what part of NZ they are in.
F: Big picture-wise, how will these new qualifications benefit the wider FM industry?
JR: The qualifications were developed for industry by industry. We collaborated with FMANZ and industry experts to develop a curriculum that has a good fit with industry needs. Our Diplomates will be work-ready with state-of-the-art FM skills and tools.
F: Semester one commences on 22 February. Is everything in place to welcome the new DipFM and GradDipFM students?
JR: We at the School of Built Environment are excited and look forward to the commencement of the FM quals later this month. We have made considerable planning towards a successful start. The delivery team for the FM quals has been carefully sourced to give a good balance of industry experience and academic scholarship.
F: What role do you see FMANZ’s members playing in the delivery of the qualifications?
JR: As guest lecturers, and through the hosting of site excursions to their organisations/facilities, FMANZ members will play a significant role in the training of the next generation of FM practitioners. We believe that tapping into the contributions of “voices from the field” will serve two main purposes:
(1) It will serve to lift interest in FM as a career destination for school leavers and junior FMers.
(2) It will provide complementary knowledge on FM from a real-life, practice-based viewpoint.
F: Any other exciting plans in the pipeline?
JR: There are plans to revive the Bachelor of Construction programme in FM, and to revise the content of our current FM specialisation under the Postgraduate Diploma and Master of Construction Management qualifications. This way we will be creating pathways for a new category of well-educated FM professionals who can aspire to the highest level of study through Massey University.
Note: FMANZ has put together a few FAQs to help you decide which programme best suits your needs – see here.