Successful release of myUC: Easy Enrolment and update on Academic Regulations

Tēnā koutou

Following the early release in August of the new online enrolment application (myUC: Easy Enrolment) for teacher education programme applicants, I’m pleased to announce that the Student First Programme team have completed a further release on Wednesday 25 October.

This release extends myUC: Easy Enrolment to all new student applicants across all Colleges and any returning students without an active UC IT account.

The remaining release for 2017 is scheduled for Tuesday 5 December. The December release will let all remaining students use myUC: Easy Enrolment.

Further information and supporting documentation relating to this release is available in the Current Projects section of the Student First Programme intranet site including training documents and feedback we’ve received.

We greatly appreciate all the suggestions and feedback – these continue to be hugely valuable as the Student First project team seek to make a positive impact on the enrolment experience we provide for students and staff.

On another note, I wanted to touch on the other major project delivered by the Student First Programme team in 2017 in the partnership with the Academic Administration Committee and particularly the work of the Academic Deans. This project, which represents the first holistic review in nearly 25 years of our Academic Regulations, is now nearing completion. Following the recent release of the electronic version of the Academic Calendar on 27  September, we’ll be following this up with the distribution of the printed calendar on 15  November.

Introducing simplicity and consistency into our Academic Regulations contributes strongly to shifting the enrolment experience for students to one that is simple, fast and certain. It also provides the foundation for a robust Academic Model that will support UC’s future academic strategies.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who’ve contributed to the Student First Programme and to acknowledge the level of dedication required to get us to this point.

Ngā mihi

Professor Ian Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua

Universities NZ welcomes Ministerial appointments

University Vice-Chancellors today congratulated Chris Hipkins on his appointment as Minister of Education as well as Associate Ministers of Education Kelvin Davis, Jenny Salesa, and Tracey Martin, and Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, Dr Megan Woods.

Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Chair of Universities New Zealand, says, “We look forward to working with Ministers and the coalition government to progress key priorities to benefit New Zealand and New Zealanders.

“Universities are key drivers of New Zealand’s economic growth and social well-being. All eight universities are well placed to be part of the solution to help resolve key challenges facing the country including sustainable economic development, increased exports, a healthy environment, and a fair and equitable society, to improve the well-being of all New Zealanders.”

“We know that a university degree is a good investment for graduates and their families and whānau.  Graduates earn more, 98% are employed, and they are happier and healthier than school leavers.  They also provide New Zealand’s future thinkers, leaders, citizens, parents, employers and employees that underpin a well-functioning society.

“University researchers and experts are already addressing the pressing issues New Zealand faces and can inform policy setting and decision-making to progress government and coalition priorities including education, social development, health, economy, and the environment.”

In addition, New Zealand’s universities can support the priorities of the coalition Government by

  • Working in schools to improve social mobility – particularly improving access for those who are first in family to attend university and increasing the number of young Māori and Pasifika students achieving university entrance and starting university.  Universities therefore welcome the appointment of an Associate Minister of Māori Education to focus on these issues.
  • Growing the regions by lifting educational attainment of groups traditionally under-represented at university and by generating and transferring knowledge that benefits regional communities and their economies. Universities are among the largest employers and creators of jobs in the regions where they are located.
  • Advising on migration changes to ensure New Zealand attracts genuine, high-quality international students.
  • Advising on student study and accommodation support so it is set at an appropriate level and reaches those most in need.

New Zealand has a world-class university system delivering high-quality teaching, learning and research. But Professor McCutcheon warns that it faces challenges after years of being underfunded – sitting below the OECD average.

“Instead our universities are funded amongst a range of countries we do not traditionally compare ourselves against, including Indonesia, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Turkey.”

This funding drop has seen a sustained drop in international rankings which affect universities’ ability to attract and retain world-class academics, carry out leading research, and attract international students which universities are overly reliant on financially.

Universities have come under further financial pressure over the past decade through a proliferation of relatively costly initiatives and unfunded mandates, while still being required to deliver a 3% surplus annually.

Professor McCutcheon says, “We look forward to working with government to discuss and resolve these issues and enable universities to contribute to New Zealand and New Zealand’s success.”

Rutherford DVD inflight hit

DVDCovermlrFor anyone travelling internationally on Air New Zealand in the next six months, the Rutherford Documentary is included as in-flight entertainment.

It has three one-hour episodes (1-The Apprentice, 2-The Alchemist, 3-The Statesman.)

Rutherford is a great example for children at small village schools that such children can become world famous.

The DVD was awarded the 2012 Education and Communication Award from the Canadian Nuclear Society.

A copy of the DVD was given to every secondary school library in New Zealand.

If you wish to have your own copy see www.rutherford.org.nz under DVD/Books.

This site also includes a seven minute trailer.

Dr John Campbell
Physics Dept, (Rtd)

Ilam Fields cycleway works

Starting next week, 24 October, contractors will be conducting works on a section of the cycleway that goes through Ilam Field. This will necessitate closing off that section while they dig under the pathway.

Only minor disruption is expected over a two week period, and signage will be in place to detour cycles and pedestrians. As always please take care of your self and others around any construction works.

‘All Blacks of engineering’ – UC students win Australasian mechanical engineering contest

A team of three University of Canterbury mechanical engineering students has won the prestigious international Warman Design & Build Competition held in Sydney last week, competing against thousands of students.

The 30-year-old contest involves a challenging project to design and make a machine to perform a difficult task, with the hardworking UC students using mechanical gear, 3D printing, robotics and autonomous vehicles to achieve their win.

In the New Zealand leg of the competition, the UC Engineering team of Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) students – captain Arianna Ryan, David Cleary and Jamie Sommer – beat 32 local teams to go to the finals in Sydney last week where they triumphed against 17 teams from around Australasia.

Their supervising academic Dr Don Clucas says he was proud of how well the dedicated UC students did, beating 2000 other students from the Asia-Pacific region’s top universities.

“The UC team put in a massive amount of work to achieve this and were excellent ambassadors for our Department, College and University,” Dr Clucas says.

“These guys are our elite sportsperson equivalents – the All Blacks of engineering! It reinforces the fact that that the University of Canterbury is a world-class leader in engineering.”

UC Engineering students have competed in the Warman competition 26 times and are ranked #2 for prizes won over past three decades.

This year it was estimated more than 2000 first professional mechanical engineering students from Australia, New Zealand, China and Malaysia competed.

The competition is open to mechanical engineering students in their first design analysis course from across the Asia-Pacific region, with the majority from Australia and New Zealand. Heats are held at each participating university as part of design engineering courses, typically in the second year of study. The winning team from the heats at each university then converge on the final in Sydney to determine exactly who the region’s best budding engineering designers are.

The UC students won a fully paid trip to Sydney and a $3000 prize sponsored by Weir Warman and Engineers Australia.