Case Study: Spotswood College enabling student-guided education in partnership with Johnson Corner


Adnan Belushi, Johnson Corner CEO and Nicola Ngarewa, Principal of Spotswood College

The challenge: building stronger partnerships with the business community, creating an authentic and experiential learning experience for students that also benefits the business

  • Introduce the strategy behind how Spotswood College planned to engage and partner with the business community.

  • Share Spotswood College’s newly launched platform that’s connecting experts to students to drive more student-business collaboration learning. 

  • Connect, strengthen and inspire each other (business and students) to create, innovate, design, plan and communicate solutions to real-world business challenges and opportunities. 

The solution: A strategic partnership with Johnson Corner to access the space, it’s business community and technology infrastructure

Spotswood College partnered with Johnson Corner to establish the foundations that make experiential learning accessible to students. 

An experiment portfolio was constructed to test whether such a partnership can produce the desired outcomes for businesses and students; 

  • The experiment started with one student working 2 days a week for 8 weeks at Johnson Corner. The objective was to build a framework that consistently facilitated student-business collaboration learning

  • Launching the Startup Grind community in New Plymouth, curating events to connect, educate and inspire people to take the entrepreneurial pathway. 

  • Working on connecting New Plymouth city’s innovation ecosystem to other cities and regions across New Zealand; increasing more connectivity across regional innovators. 

  • Creating a campaign to attract people to live and work in New Plymouth. This project included assisting talent to settle in New Plymouth; from finding places to rent or buy to finding the best school or kindergarten for their children to attend. 

  • Assisting other businesses in Johnson Corner; whether they are hosting clients or have queries about the services Johnson Corner offers.

The results: A successful partnership that has the capacity to grow, having students work on more complex problem-solving experiments

Students learnt to be agile and responsive to real-world experiences, where they were guided to turn challenges into opportunities, building on essential 21st Century skills and the core competencies of collaboration, creativity, communication, inquiry and planning. 

Businesses (involved in the above experiments) are now converting the experiments into actionable projects to drive new business value and growth. 

The second phase of this partnership will explore scaling the scope to include more students across different education providers and more businesses that work at Johnson Corner.

Maruata is among the 1st cohort of students who have successfully completed an internship involving many innovative experiments. She is now exploring building an app that drives more student-business collaboration learning.,h_738,al_c,q_85,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01,enc_auto/7a5d6b_ad481d29f0ea43dea02951df1708ab1d~mv2_d_4867_3245_s_4_2.jpg