Fair Trade Celebration – 8 August

We’re so proud and excited that the Fair Trade Association of Australia and NZ has recognised UC as a Fair Trade University that we want to celebrate with you.

Between 12pm and 1pm on 8 August, we invite all staff and students to join us in the Undercroft to witness the presentation of our certificate, enjoy music, stalls and, of course, to taste samples of Fair Trade coffee, hot chocolate, tea and chocolate.

You can also see the draw of the SnapChat competiton for Fair Trade goodies the UCSA will run closer to the event. You can find out more about Fair Trade at UC here.

Engineering innovation improves students’ skills

Congratulations to Associate Professor Tom Cochrane who received the College of Engineering Teaching Innovation Prize recently.

Tom Cochrane with his Innovation Award
Tom Cochrane with his Innovation Award

The prize was for his ‘Preparing engineers for digital video communication’ framework, which enables students (and academics) to use video technology to communicate engineering results effectively.

Associate Professor Cochrane says communication skills are an integral part of an engineer’s formal education, but practice is needed to improve presentations.

PVC Engineering Jan Evans-Freeman presenting Tom Cochrane with his Innovation Award.
PVC Engineering Jan Evans-Freeman presenting Tom Cochrane with his Innovation Award.

“The ability to communicate effectively is a professional skill that all engineers should possess, but class sizes can limit students’ opportunities to do oral presentations and receive feedback on their skills.”

In response, Associate Professor Cochrane flipped the class room experience on its head by having students create video presentations to teach each other about different topics. Fellow classmates could then evaluate others’ skills, thereby learning skills for themselves in the process.

170725 Virtual Pres Tom CochraneThe technology is easy to use and allows for various learning and assessment opportunities.

“Self-awareness and practice are key elements for preparing engineers for digital video communication.

“Viewing yourself in a video can be daunting, but it does motivate you to practice and improve your communication skills,” Associate Professor Cochrane says.

Ground broken on new UCSA building Haere-roa

A ground-breaking ceremony was held on Friday to celebrate the new University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) building, with Leighs Construction to begin work before the end of the month.

Despite the wet weather there was a good turnout at the event. Guests included UC alumni, donors, friends of the UCSA, Leighs Construction staff, UC staff and UC clubs and students.

UCSA President James Addington and Chancellor Dr John Wood were on official ground-breaking duties along with Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr and Chair of the UCSA building fundraising committee David Caygill.

At the ceremony James also announced the new UCSA building will be named Haere-roa. The name has been kindly gifted to the UCSA by mana whenua, Ngāi Tūāhuriri and is linked to the Ōtākaro Avon River, which flows past the UCSA site. The name also strongly aligns with UC’s campus-wide cultural narrative.

James explained the name Haere-roa translates to the longest stream or the long wanderer. It recognises the UCSA as a space that hosts and welcomes people. For many UC students the UCSA will be an important part of their journey, it’s a place where they will receive support, access resources, learn new things and meet new people, preparing them for the next part of their journey.

Read the full story about the UCSA ground-breaking.

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Insider’s Guide sat down with UCSA President James to get his take on the new UCSA building.

What facilities/events can students expect in the new building?Everything that currently happens in the UCSA Events Centre (Foundry & Bentley’s) will move into the new building. The large events that happen on the fields (e.g. Tea Party) will also move back to the UCSA building site. Performance clubs will have a fit-for-purpose theatre. There will also be additional spaces, e.g. movie space, outdoor amphitheatre and multi-functional spaces, where our students can organise new events and activities!

What aspect of the new building are you most excited about?Personally, the Ngaio Marsh Theatre is what I am most excited about. Instead of our performance clubs having to make do with the Jack Mann Auditorium, they will now have a brand new student facility available for shows.

What will happen to the beloved Foundry building?
UC owns the building (UCSA operates and owns the fit-out) so who knows. It could potentially stay where it is and be repurposed.