UCSA building site, trial evacuation 6 Sep

The ground has been broken, Leighs Construction are on site, and work has started on the new UCSA building. Leighs are currently marking up the site and working on the construction of ground beams.

Trial evacuation
Leighs will be conducting a site evacuation trial on Wednesday 6 September (tomorrow) at 8am. Please be aware an air horn on the site will sound three times and may be heard from other parts of the campus. Leighs will be carrying out trial evacuations every 3 months as part of their safety plan.

Think first – Kia mataara
Take care when you’re near a construction site on campus. Watch for trucks and other vehicles coming and going.

Postgraduate Info Evening – 20 September

Thinking of returning to study? Want to experience UC from a student perspective? Come along to the Postgraduate Info Evening and learn about UC’s flexible postgraduate study options at the expo and information sessions. You could even study while you work.

Wednesday 20 September, 5.00pm – 7.30pm
Engineering Core, 69 Creyke Road

Attend information sessions to get an overview of flexible study options, and how to finance, structure and plan your postgrad study. Chat one to one at the expo with staff from different departments and support services about your specific study options and how to balance study with your lifestyle and other commitments.

Drop into the expo anytime from 5.00pm – 7.30pm.

See information session times here>

UCSA ‘Staff of the Year’ Finalists Announced

The Staff of the Year Award 2017 nomination/voting ended last Friday at 5pm.  UCSA had a record number of students participating in this year’s voting – a total of 1,197.

The top nominees of each category are (in alphabetical order):

Lecturer of the Year – Arts:

  • Associate Professor Peter Field
  • Dr Masayoshi Ogino
  • Karen Saunders
  • Professor Alex Tan
  • Dr Kevin Watson

Lecturer of the Year – Business & Law:

  • Dr Steve Agnew
  • Dr Herb de Vries
  • Dr John Hopkins

Lecturer of the Year – Education:

  • Tracy Clelland
  • Heather Lindsay
  • Associate Professor Brigid McNeill

Lecturer of the Year – Engineering:

  • Dr Sid Becker
  • Professor Charles Fleischmann
  • Associate Professor Michael Hayes

Lecturer of the Year – Science:

  • Dr Richard Lobb
  • Dr Pieter Pelser
  • Professor Ian Shaw

Supervisor of the Year:

  • Professor Angus Macfarlane (Education)
  • Dr Tammy Steeves (Biological Sciences)
  • Dr Kevin Watson (Linguistics)

Administrator of the Year:

  • Sarah Brown (Fine Arts)
  • Heather Couch (Business & Law)
  • Maria Hellstrom (Linguistics, English Language, Media & Communications)

Technical Staff of the Year:

  • Garry Cotton (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Chris Grimshaw (Geological Sciences)
  • Julian Murphy (Mechanical Engineering)

Superstar of the Year:

  • Liz Ackerley (Mathematics & Statistics)
  • Roisin Bennett (Māori Development Team)
  • Heather Couch (Business & Law)
  • Simon Dorset (Law)
  • Jane Hall (Student Experience)
  • Dr Valerie Sotardi (Education)

Great Character of the Year Award:

  • Dr Steve Agnew (Business & Law)
  • Dr Herb de Vries (Business & Law)
  • Jean Kim (Education)
  • Karen Saunders (Arts)

Make Your Own Award (Titles of awards will be revealed on the night):

  • Dr Steve Agnew (Business & Law)
  • Te Hurinui Clarke (Education)
  • Associate Professor Travis Horton (Geological Sciences)
  • Associate Professor Brigid McNeill (Education)

Now that the students have nominated (and voted), UCSA invites staff to join them at the Staff of the Year Awards 2017 event to celebrate those who have been nominated.

Friday 15 September at 6:30pm

Location: The UCSA Event Centre (Foundry)

Dress code: Smart Casual.

There are limited tickets available for UC staff members not on the nomination list, offered on a first come first serve basis.

Ticket includes a glass of champagne on arrival, nibbles and cash bar.

Nominees can reserve your free tickets for yourself and one guest by Monday 11 September, 09:30am, via https://soty17.eventbrite.co.nz.

UCSA has also released 50 General Admission tickets – these are on a first come first serve basis.  Please reserve these tickets via https://soty17.eventbrite.co.nz.

Caution urged about potential for misuse of national earnings data


The Ministry of Education has released data showing the employment outcomes and earnings of graduates in each of the nine years following graduation by institution, however caution is urged about potential for misuse of the data.

UC’s view is:

Universities welcome any information that allows students to make informed decisions on their course of study and choice of University. This data offers little to students making those decisions, and Universities have made those concerns known.

To take some examples: the data does not account for the costs of being a student in a particular area, or a range of issues that could create the impression some degrees from some Universities are better paid. Graduates finding employment in metropolitan areas are likely to be better paid than those working in the provinces – yet the data does not take into account living costs of particular regions, demand for particular skills in some regions (such as lawyers in the Wellington public service) or the fact that some graduates may start a business and earn lower incomes for some time afterwards. Some graduates may be attracted to particular sectors for reasons other than remuneration. Graduates who head overseas are not captured at all.

These are factors that very much influence the statistical validity and usefulness of this dataset. We therefore have the view that any league tables generated from this data are not only meaningless, but misleading and potentially harmful.

The weaknesses of this data are:

  • The cohorts are based on NZSCED classifications, which may or may not map to a specific qualification.
  • The results are not provided where small cohorts may breach the privacy of an individual.
  • The analysis of being employed, further study, benefit, overseas or other are very high level criteria.
  • National average remuneration makes no allowance for local variations in employment rates.

Universities New Zealand has released a statement about the data (Note: the $1.5 near the end of  the statement should read $1.5 million) – read it here>

You can see the employment outcome and earnings data here>