The doors of Apple’s first-ever iOS developer academy in Italy are set to open to students tomorrow, but according to a new report, getting through the doors is harder than getting into Harvard.
About 4,000 people applied to be part of the inaugural class at the development center in San Giovanni a Teduccio, a suburb of Naples. Only 200 were accepted, giving the school an acceptance rate of 5%. That’s slightly lower than Harvard’s 5.8% acceptance rate in 2016.
Next year Apple plans to admit 400 students to the nine month program that covers how to develop and market apps using Apple’s tool. Students will be handed an iPhone, iPad and MacBook for the course which is free of charge.
The Guardian reports that Apple isn’t just throwing its name behind the school and writing a check either. The iPhone-maker had a say in minute details of the school. Everything from the color of the walls to the lighting of the classroom received Apple’s attention.
Apple also designed the layout of the large classrooms, insisting the back half of the classroom have couches and a lounge area so students can rest. The rest of the open-plan room features small round tables with speaker systems that let teachers talk to groups individually.
“Apple thinks that all of these activities, learning and rest and so on, have to stay very close to each other, because this is the best way to ensure that the concepts are absorbed and understood very well,” said Leopoldo Angrisani, a professor at the university who help Apple organize the academy.
Competition will also play a significant role in the students’ education. Developers have to innovate to stand out from the pack. Apple plans to open similar iOS academies in Brazil, India, and Indonesia in the future.