Media Design School Partners with Digital Natives Academy

Media Design School is excited to be partnering with Digital Natives Academy, to deliver our Digital Creativity Foundation (DCF) programme online to learners based in DNA’s digital hub in Rotorua.

As a first-of-its-kind relationship for Media Design School (MDS), we are proud to be linking up with Digital Natives Academy (DNA) to provide more learners access to study digital and creative arts.

“This partnership provides an innovative way to reach learners, many of whom may not have the means or funds to study in Auckland or are less confident in studying from home. This approach also enables the community to play an active role in supporting these learners, which is critical to their success,” says Ruth Cooper, Country Director – NZ.

MDS delivers the DCF programme fully online with their industry experienced lecturers based in Auckland. Learners opting to study from the DNA hub will receive additional support on the ground from the DNA team, with access to high-quality computers, software, and pastoral care.

“To engage more Māori and Pacific learners in Creative Tech, delivering our DCF programme regionally makes sense. This initiative opens opportunities for more Māori and Pacific learners in other regions, with their communities and whānau part of their educational journey,” says Bonnie Kea, Programme Coordinator – Digital Creativity Foundation.

"DNA is all about illuminating career pathways into digital and creative tech, so to be able to offer our rangatahi access to Media Design School's foundation course is exciting. It's exciting because it's so meaningful. The kind of skills that are harnessed really help rangatahi work out which part of creative tech they are most interested in," says Nikolasa Biasiny-Tule, co-founder of DNA.

DNA’s vision is to inspire the next generation of digital leaders, through three pou (pillars); coding, animation and eSports. Their foundation is based on a Te Ao Māori worldview that provides Kaupapa Māori and Matauranga Māori programme delivery open to all who wish to join.

To support organisations like DNA meet the needs of Māori and Pacific learners wanting to learn in their local community and with the support of their whānau, MDS donated over 40 computers to establish further digital hubs across the Bay of Plenty region.

"Our rangatahi deserve both access to the best gear and to the best training, being able to work with Media Design School makes that possible. What makes their programmes so successful is that they are developed by industry experts and as a result provide incredibly relevant training," says Nikolasa.

"What's special about this partnership is that it takes a really holistic approach to our student's learning journey. We have Media Design School providing their expertise in training, while we provide pastoral care and support in a way that really keeps our students motivated while building our student's confidence.”

Building on this partnership, Skyward Studios, founded by MDS alumni, are developing Mythos Party - an online, multiplayer, brawler-style game set in a light-hearted, mythological universe where you compete for the glory of your chosen God.

This will provide DNA with an age-appropriate, multi-player eSports game targeted to younger audiences that can be used as an educational tool for learners and schools.

Once Mythos Party is released on Steam later this year, the team will begin work on a Māori and Pasifika expansion pack, so it becomes even more relevant for learners in Aotearoa and will secure itself as an outlet to help support the growth of gaming content for our rangatahi.

If you’re keen to study our DCF programme, applications are now open for the 4 October 2021 and 22 February 2022 intakes. DCF is eligible for the Fees Free initiative and Studylink for student loans and allowances.

Please visit our course page for up-to-date and detailed course information, entry criteria and fees.

MDS and DNA Team Members outside DNA's Hub
The DNA and MDS Team
What Digital Natives Academy is all about