Marking a milestone for the Cupertino company, today Apple unveiled its first iOS Developer Academy. Based in Naples, Italy, the program will empower 200 students with the skills needed to write code and in turn produce apps for Apple's iOS ecosystem.
Each student receives an iPhone, iPad and a MacBook free of charge, with the cost of the course itself also covered by Apple and its joint-venture partner, the University of Naples Federico II, both of whom have invested sums totaling €10 million to make the project a reality.
Competition for places was fierce, with around 4,000 would-be students applying over an 11-day period. Though only 200 were successful, the course is expected to expand to 400 students next year, and assuming the academy yields successful results, Apple expects to expand the program around the world, so all eyes will be on the students and what results they yield.
As is the case in most of its work, Apple has taken a keen interest in the design and aesthetic look and feel of the workspace within the university, ensuring things like lighting, classroom layouts and even break-out spaces that are designed to meet Apple's strict requirements. The course will be delivered in English to make it as accessible as possible to students of different nationalities.
The collaboration between Apple and the Naples Federico University is being hailed as a great success by the Italian Prime-Minister Matteo Renzi, who has been criticised in the past for policies which have seen foreign investment flocking to central Italy, but apparently neglecting the South.
The aim of the program is to enable students with the skills needed for a career in code writing, whilst strengthening and maintaining the dominance and future development of Apples app store ecosystem.