opens in new window
Dr. Tuck Leong mentoring UTS students.
Dr. Tuck Leong, UTS’s associate professor of Interaction Design and Apple Foundation Program director and mentor, says the program exceeded his expectations around student engagement and outcomes.
developers 31 March 2023
Students from two Australian universities have completed the country’s first Apple Foundation Program, introducing them to the fundamentals of coding and app development. The four-week program offered through RMIT University in Melbourne and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) introduces students to Apple’s powerful and intuitive programming language, Swift. Participants solve real-world problems in a challenge-based learning environment and in the process, learn to become better collaborators, creators, and conceptual thinkers — crucial skills for any career.
In the program, participants use Mac and iPhone to design and prototype an original app using Swift and Xcode. From undergraduates studying engineering, health sciences, marketing, and more, to adult learners and working professionals, Apple Foundation Program participants come together to learn the language of technology and acquire highly transferable skills to bolster their future careers.

Encouraging New Coding Skills and a Motivation for Learning 

In the first classes at UTS and RMIT, projects included apps to help new and substitute teachers understand the learning needs of their students, to create healthy habits, and support the languages and cultures of those migrating to Australia.
Jordan Pazdjara, a UTS student in his final year of study toward a Bachelor of Advanced Science, has always had an interest in technology and coding and was excited to participate in the Apple Foundation Program.
“My goal for 2023 is to explore different opportunities and learn new skills to help discover what I want to do after university,” says Pazdjara. “The Apple Foundation Program gave me that opportunity. It was my chance to learn app development, cultivate ideas, and tell a story. It enabled me to delve into a new aspect of learning that sparked a passion for coding and has me considering how I can combine it with my degree once I graduate.” 
As part of the program, Jordan teamed up with four classmates and they came up with the idea to develop a healthcare and wellbeing app, designed with their peers in mind. Under the guidance of their program mentors, the group simplified the idea to create Decaf, a caffeine-tracking app using Swift and Xcode on Mac, taking it through to the testing phase on iPhone. 
Dr. Tuck Leong, UTS’s associate professor of Interaction Design and Apple Foundation Program director and mentor, says the program exceeded his expectations around student engagement and outcomes. Leong says students came to the program with a focus on learning about Swift and Xcode and left with far more.
“We welcomed a diverse group of students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to the program. In participating, they learn about the power of design thinking, and to think creatively in exploring solutions to an issue they’re passionate about,” Leong explains. “Students collaborate to make decisions in a dynamic working environment, and walk away with confidence and passion to solve problems with app designs — a desirable skill they can take into their field of study and future career.”
Networking and cybersecurity student HyeJun Kim joined the program at UTS as she felt passionate about the importance of learning multiple coding languages for her future career. 
“It was my first time learning coding for iOS and the first time learning a language this quickly. I was surprised how easy it was to pick up Swift,” says Kim. “The program gave me a different experience than my university courses; everyone was really engaged and collaborative, and it was great seeing so many women involved — I’m used to being one of only a few females in my classes.” 
UTS student HyeJun Kim using a MacBook.
UTS student HyeJun Kim joined the Apple Foundation Program as she felt passionate about the importance of learning multiple coding languages for her future career.

Fostering the Skills of the Next Generation of Developers, Entrepreneurs, and Designers 

Around the world, the iOS app economy supports millions of jobs for coders, creators, engineers, designers, and more. Australia is home to a robust app industry, one in which the App Store supports nearly 160,000 app economy jobs across the country — and many of the most popular apps today are built using Swift.
“At Apple, we believe coding is an essential skill — one that empowers students to make a real impact in their communities,” says Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations and Enterprise and Education Marketing. “With the Apple Foundation Program we’re using Swift to introduce the fundamentals of coding and app development to aspiring entrepreneurs, developers, and designers in Australia. We’re proud to see everything students are accomplishing during our first program, and we can’t wait to see how their innovations are realised.”
Professor Ian Burnett, RMIT’s deputy vice-chancellor and vice-president of STEM College, says as a global university of technology, design, and enterprise, RMIT sees the Apple Foundation Program as an exciting opportunity to deliver an initiative that not only addresses the digital skills gap in Australia, but also aims to increase diversity. 
“We want to empower learners from all walks of life to embrace this free program and build on their passions and creativity with technology. We know that innovation comes from all angles, and we are confident that our learners will build a future-fit skill set and be well-equipped to make a positive impact on the world.”
The Apple Foundation Program will be ongoing at RMIT and UTS and is free to students of any academic background. Future programs will open to a broad range of cohorts including high school students, school-leavers, adult learners, and women in STEM. 
Share article


  • Text of this article

  • Images in this article

Press Contacts

Apple Media Helpline