Category Archives: Scholarships

New financial support at UC: Pōhā Iti bursary

UC understands that being a student can be financially challenging, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has made this even harder. However, domestic and international PhD students who are currently experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19 may be eligible for a newly created bursary named Pōhā Iti.

A pōhā is a kelp bag that was traditionally used (and is still used today) for preserving meat and birds such as tītī (muttonbird) for extended periods of time. Just as a pōhā can hold several birds at once, but we only take them out one bird at a time as we need sustenance, this financial support provides an opportunity for ākonga (students) to receive incremental payments over time in order to help sustain them in their studies.

The monetary value of the bursary is $3,000 split across three payments of $1,000 each, and there are currently 100 available for students who meet the eligibility criteria. To apply, applicants must:

  • Be a currently enrolled student
  • Be a part time or full time domestic student (Undergrad, Postgrad, PhD) or an international doctoral student studying towards a PhD or equivalent
  • Be currently in New Zealand
  • Demonstrate that you require assistance as a result of COVID-19

For more information about Pōhā Iti and other financial support options available at UC, please visit the financial assistance webpage. The online application form for Pōhā Iti can be found here.

MA Scholarship: History of Canterbury Environmental and Conservation leadership and heritage

Research proposals are invited for a funded 1-year MA in History. The project will explore aspects of the history of environmental-conservation leadership and heritage in Canterbury using an oral history approach. Besides their supervisors, the successful candidate will work closely with contract partners Colleen Philip and Diana Shand at Sustainable Ōtautahi Christchurch and the ECO Canterbury Environment Network, and with Lyndon Fraser at the UC Oral History Centre. This unique public history opportunity allows the successful candidate to develop new skills in community network engagement alongside their academic work. An understanding of, and passion for, environmental-conservation activism and issues might be advantageous.

An essential outcome of the project is the recording, transcribing and archiving of between five and eight oral history interviews with local environmental leaders we have identified. The candidate will undertake and complete UC Human Ethics Committee and Māori Research Consultation applications in February 2020 and carry out the recordings by June 2020. They will work with sector partners and present their initial findings at a public forum in 2020.

Thesis topic proposals may address any aspect of environmental and conservation leadership in Canterbury which incorporates elements of oral history. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • A particular organisation or campaign (e.g. the Clean Air Society).
  • The role and methods of environmental and/or conservation leaders and activists, or a particular individual’s impact in this area.
  • A broad analysis of the environmental or conservation movement in the region.
  • Bicultural approaches to environmental and/or conservation activism.

A research proposal of no more than 1000 words, including a project outline and brief bibliography, should be submitted by Monday 20 January 2020 at 5pm.

Eligible candidates will have a first-class or 2:1 Honours degree in History or a related discipline, and are also encouraged to apply for a UC Masters Scholarship, alongside this award of $8,000. Students are welcome to contact Associate-Professor Lyndon Fraser (lyndon.fraser@canterbury.ac.nz) for further advice about the application.

Thailand Internship Programme was beyond expectations for Laura Sahng

My 2019 began with 6 incredible weeks on the Thailand Internship Programme coordinated by UC PACE which offers a unique learning experience by immersing students in a new culture.

Along with 13 other UC students, our weekdays were spent interning in Bangkok and staying at Mahidol University, while our weekends were filled with adventures across rural Thailand and Vietnam!

For my internship, I was placed at a company called HUBBA which provides co-working spaces to tech startups, digital nomads and other small businesses. They have a diverse customer base, who I would interview and collect data from in order to inform improvements to HUBBA’s services. It was such a special experience to learn and adapt to a foreign work culture.

This year we were fortunate enough to be funded by the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia (PMSA), which aims to strengthen UC’s international partnership connections.

For us as students, being globally aware and open to new cultures is more important than ever before. The range of activities included really gave us a wonderful taste of Thailand. By the end of the programme, we had a greater understanding of Thai culture.

Elephants at Sai Yok National Park

The most memorable moments for me would have to include feeding the baby elephants at Sai Yok National Park, learning Thai boxing, eating all the street food and being welcomed with a traditional ceremony in the rural village that we stayed at. Wherever we went, we were welcomed so warmly, and any language or cultural barriers were overcome with the kindness of the Thai people.

We were also fortunate enough to visit the New Zealand Embassy in both Thailand and Vietnam where we had some fascinating discussions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade staff, including the ambassadors of each country. 

As I reflect on our time in Thailand, there is really not a single thing that I could fault about this programme. It was beyond any of my expectations. When people say that something will be a “life changing experience”, I tend to be a little skeptical. I was proved wrong and I would recommend you to experience this for yourself.

A big ‘kob kun kah’ to Stephen and Hannah from the UC Centre for Global Experience, Chan & Mahidol University, and to the PMSA.

This will be one to remember forever.