Tag Archives: student success

UC 3 Minute Thesis Final – Tuesday 10 August

Come join us for the finals of the University of Canterbury 3 Minute Thesis competition on Tuesday 10 August. This year’s competition is proudly brought to you by the Postgraduate Research Office and sponsored by Research First.

This is the culmination of the heats carried out across the campus and we will announce the top three research students who can summarise their entire thesis in only 3 minutes. The top PhD winner will represent UC at the Asia-Pacific finals, and the top Master’s winner will represent UC at the NZ finals. The competition winner receives $5,000. Second place still goes home with $2,000 and third place will receive $1,000.

We will also have some kai, spot prizes and voting for the people’s choice awards, so plenty of reasons to come along, learn about the exciting research happening across campus as well as connect with others from UC and beyond.

Register Here. See you in the Tī Kōuka room.

#StudentSuccess Building quake-proof bridges on uncertain ground

After the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes, there’s been an increased interest in creating earthquake-resilient bridge infrastructure in Aotearoa New Zealand. Researchers at UC, led by PhD student and chartered bridge engineer Sabina Piras, have developed a low-damage solution for bridges that would result in little to no damage if hit by a strong earthquake.

Read more> 

Kura kaupapa Māori students talk about the transition to uni life

Lilly Eckhold and Kiliona Tamati-Tupa’i are in their first year at UC after graduating from kura kaupapa Māori immersion schools last year. 

Kura kaupapa Māori are Māori-language immersion schools that are committed to revitalising Māori language and the philosophy, practices and values of Māori culture. In July last year there were more than 22,000 students enrolled in Māori-medium education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Lilly (Ngāi Tahu, Waikato) says it’s a big adjustment coming to a large institution from a kura kaupapa in Tāmaki-makau-rau Auckland.

“Having to wrap my head around mainstream education and the language has been a bit of a bumpy road. I’m enjoying it, but it’s challenging. This is what us kura kids have to open up to when we join mainstream education. There is a culture change there, but I’ve been sticking close to my mates and getting support from UC staff.”

Lilly is motivated by her family and being the first to enrol at university. “If I was to let myself down, I’d also be letting my family down too so that’s giving me the urge to push forward. I wouldn’t want them to be disappointed with me.”

She chose to come to Ōtautahi Christchurch to be closer to extended family here, while also living away from home. She’s studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce and wants to work in multicultural events management when she graduates.

Kiliona Tamati-Tupa’i (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Te Ātiawa, Samoa) is studying towards a Bachelor of Science (BSc) after graduating from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whānau Tahi last year. He says regular workshops held at the kura by UC staff in the last few terms of school smoothed the transition to university.

“There were a lot of us who weren’t even thinking about going to university but now the majority of my class from last year are studying at a tertiary institution – with four of us here at UC.”

Kiliona, who received the 2020 Top Subject Scholarship Award for Te Reo Rangatira from NZQA, says there are advantages in being from a kura kaupapa background. “There’s the cultural perspective that we bring, and that’s something I think has been a real advantage for me, and of course, the fact that we’re bilingual. I’m studying Environmental Sciences and even though I’ve grown up in cities there are a lot of things I can relate to because of my connections to my marae and my papakāika [ancestral home].”

Find out more here>