University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Transdisciplinary School partners with the University of Arizona to take transdisciplinary learning to new international heights

A new partnership between the UTS Transdisciplinary School (TD School) and the University of Arizona (UA) in the USA will see the award-winning UTS Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation delivered at UA, opening exciting new opportunities for students and staff at both universities.

SYDNEY, Australia, Aug. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The world-first, award-winning UTS Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII) sees undergraduate students from across 26 different disciplines come together to collaborate and work with industry partners on real-world briefs to solve complex problems, start businesses, and get ready for a future where they will have, on average, seventeen different employers across five different careers[1].

Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII) students working in a UTS studio space. “It’s wonderful to be able to extend the BCII program overseas,” says UTS Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Andrew Parfitt. “We know that innovation is not bound to one single country or continent: it’s a global concern. And so, creating global citizens is an important part of our remit.” Image: Maja Baska

It’s not surprising, then, that the University of Arizona W.A. Franke Honors College is enthusiastic to equip their students with similar skills for success, with the BCII degree now available to UA students.

Students of the BCII are introduced to unique ways of thinking, learning, collaborating, and problem-solving, which founding Course Director, Professor Bem Le Hunte describes as “future-proofing” their careers. These skills are highly sought after in today’s employment marketplace, often skyrocketing graduates of the BCII to success in a range of industries.

UTS has a longstanding connection with UA; the latter is an established Key Technology Partner (KTP), with both institutions working together on a broad range of collaborations. But this is the first time a degree conceptualised and developed by UTS will delivered in the US in partnership with a local university, and Professor Martin Tomitsch, Head of TD School, is excited about the possibilities such a partnership will create.

“The TD School and the W.A. Franke Honors College, which is the home for the BCII at UA, have a lot in common,” Professor Tomitsch says. “They both engage in research and transformative programs that are driven by creativity and a commitment to impact.”

A unique combined degree, the BCII has seen exponential growth since its inception at UTS in 2014. Professor Le Hunte describes the program as follows: “The BCII has become something of a distinctive, homegrown capability of UTS,” she says.  “It has really served to put UTS on a global stage in terms of its transdisciplinary curriculum delivery and research, and with more than 800 industry partners on board we’ve also developed a deep understanding of work integrated learning for the innovation economy.”

“We want to create the same passion and contagion – the same secret sauce at the University of Arizona that we have here in Sydney. I think I speak for every staff member at TD School when I say that’s our main agenda – to create more impact and transformation in the lives of students globally.”

The pioneering BCII cohort at UA Franke Honors will begin their first subject of the course during their upcoming Summer School, beginning in August. The first few sessions of teaching will be delivered by UTS’ TD School staff, but Professor Le Hunte is excited to equip UA staff with the skills to not only teach their students but simultaneously contribute to further collaboration and growth of the unique transdisciplinary pedagogy on an international scale.

And this partnership will see benefits for both UA and UTS students and staff across the board, from student exchanges to creative industry collaborations on an international level. With this partnership, the Franke Honors College will distinguish itself as the top destination for the best student scholars who want to benefit from the learning experiences BCII at UA Franke will offer.

“It’s wonderful to be able to extend the BCII program overseas and to work with such brilliant collaborators at the University of Arizona to expand our network and multiply possibilities for students all over the world,” UTS Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Andrew Parfitt says. “We know that innovation is not bound to one single country or continent: it’s a global concern. And so, creating global citizens is an important part of our remit.”

Professor Le Hunte agrees. “We know that this course changes students’ lives,” she says, “And we need to change students’ lives faster in order to change the world they’re living in quicker, and for the better.”

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is one of Australia’s leading universities of technology. It is known for fusing innovation, creativity, technology and industry in its teaching and research. UTS has a total enrolment of over 40,000 students and is among the top 100 universities in the world. Find out more about transdisciplinary innovation on the UTS website.

[1] Foundation for Young Australians, New Work Order Report, 2015: