IT policy changes in response to cyber security environment

The IT Policy Framework has been reviewed and amended in response to an increasingly complex cyber security environment. Here, Alex Hanlon, Executive Director | Kaihautū Matua, Learning Resources | Te Ratonga Rauemi Ako  highlights  some of the important changes.

UC wishes to increase our monitoring of computer use – this will affect you and any device, UC or otherwise, that you might use to work on.

• The IT Policy Framework (“the Policy”) is the overarching document that describes the relationship between the IT services provided by the University.

• The Internet Usage Policy defines what the University considers appropriate usage of the internet and how access to the internet will be managed and monitored.

These Policies are reviewed annually in response to changing demands.

As you will be aware, the cyber-security landscape is constantly evolving. As a result of this increasing threat, it has become necessary to increase our defences with regards to the threats posed by those who misuse technology against individuals and organisations.

With this in mind, the Policy has been updated to encompass further measures around enforcement and monitoring to ensure that the UC IT environment is more safe and secure. The updated policy has been approved by the University Senior Management Team.

The Policy has always permitted IT Services to undertake monitoring, but the scope and circumstances of that monitoring have been less than what is now proposed. IT Services will now be continually and increasingly monitoring all aspects of the University’s IT systems and devices that are connected to these systems. This means that IT Services will use a range of monitoring tools to constantly scan for, and check characteristics of all files and devices that use the UC network, and our IT systems.

There are two main areas of the policy that have changed;

1. The first is in the case of non-University owned devices. You are no longer encouraged to connect your own devices to University network and IT systems (although there is no prohibition on you doing so), however if you do connect your own devices to the University IT systems, you must accept that non-UC devices are subject to monitoring, and if necessary, investigation. All investigations will continue to be carried out in accordance with UC procedures which take account of UC’s privacy obligations.

2. The Policy makes clear that University IT resources are not provided for personal use purposes; anything that you have on any University-provided system that you might consider “personal” (including files, photos, music and video) is subject to monitoring and investigation. For the avoidance of doubt, the scope includes the University email systems.

UC appreciates that these changes will have far-reaching consequences, and therefore system-wide monitoring under the IT Policy Framework and Internet Usage Policy will not take immediate effect, but will come into force on 1 January 2019.

We encourage you to take the opportunity to remove any personal files/emails that you do not want to be the subject of the University monitoring activities before the summer holidays.

As part of our increasingly aggressive cyber-defence approach, the University is also trying to make everyone aware of cyber-risks that we are all subject to; you will begin to see posters, Intercom and Insider’s Guide posts, information on digital usage, all providing tips on how to help you identify threats and to reduce your own cyber risk profile and flow on effects to UC network and IT systems.

Keep an eye out for future updates.

For further information please contact Andy Keiller, Chief Information Officer:



Rare genetic condition inspires fundraising effort by UC student

UC Doctoral student George Stilwell is running the 2018 Queenstown Half Marathon to raise awareness and funds for the NZ Williams Syndrome Association (NZWSA).

George’s connection to the rare genetic condition stems from his younger brother Henry, who has Williams syndrome. Henry was diagnosed with the condition when he was 18 months old in 2004. George and his family have been active members of the NZWSA since becoming members of the association 13 years ago in 2005.

The marathon in Queenstown will take place on 17 November. George has been training hard over the last two two months and has spent over 15 hours training  and run over 200km in preparation for the race. George aims to complete his first half marathon in under one hour and 35 minutes.

Williams syndrome is a rare genetic condition that is present at birth and affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide. An estimated 200 people have the condition in New Zealand. The condition is caused by the deletion of genetic material from a specific region of chromosome 7. Williams syndrome is characterised by mild to moderate intellectual disability or learning problems, unique personality characteristics, distinctive facial features, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) problems. People with Williams syndrome are extremely social, friendly and endearing, they also often have a strong affinity to music.

George’s mother Christina is the National Co-ordinator for the association. To raise awareness about the condition, George has taken on a social media role for the NZWSA.

“Williams syndrome will always be close to my heart. As a sibling of someone with Williams syndrome camp is a great opportunity to give and receive advice, support and stories about our siblings,” he says

George believes it is important to raise awareness about the condition to help people in New Zealand embrace diversity. A lot can be learned from people with disabilities and the unique challenges they face. A greater awareness of the condition will also help people who have not been diagnosed a chance to be diagnosed and meet the rest of the Williams family. Early diagnosis is very helpful for parents when raising a child with Williams syndrome. Overall, a better awareness about Williams syndrome will help people to be more open and accepting of people with disabilities.

To raise awareness George has started posting weekly “Williams Syndrome Wednesday” posts. These posts give people with Williams syndrome to share a story about what it is like to have the condition. For parents of younger children with Williams syndrome, these posts show them that like anyone, people with the condition can live meaningful and successful lives. If you would like to check out these posts have a look at the NZ Williams Syndrome Instagram or Facebook page.

Every two years the NZWSA holds a national family camp. This is the primary ‘gathering’ for the group and is eagerly anticipated by the members of the association. The camps are greatly beneficial for people with Williams Syndrome, parents and siblings. Attendees of the camps get together with others who face the same challenges in life and to renew genuine friendships. Parents get the opportunity to learn more about Williams syndrome. International and domestic speakers discuss a variety of topics including health, education, relationships, genetics and available services. Siblings also gain from the camps. Being able to interact with their peers, they informally support each and share experiences of living with a disabled brother/sister. For some this may also be their main opportunity to socialise without being embarrassed of, or having to support, their sibling. As Henry put it, “Williams Syndrome Camp is awesome because I get to catch up with my friends, do fun activities and dance at the disco”.

The next camp is being held in January 2019 at the Living Springs Camp in Christchurch. The money raised through fundraising will go towards the costs associated with running the camp.

So far George has raised a total of $1630 for the NZWSA. If you would like to support George or learn more about what he is raising money for, please check out his give a little page.

Follow George’s progress:

To see how the race goes feel free follow George’s Instagram or running page on Facebook

To check out the Williams Syndrome Wednesday post, see the links below

Contact details for George

Email: | Insta @george.stilwell

11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – aftermath and legacies to be discussed

An Evening With Kate Hunter (VUW) and David Monger: The eleventh hour of the eleventh day – Tuesday, 6 November 2018

In October 1918 New Zealander Robert Gilkison was sitting beside his ‘dangerously wounded’ son’s hospital bed in France. He wrote to his daughter Norah ‘Poor old Robbie still has his ups and downs, and I was warned at the first it would take a long time to effect a cure’. Robert’s letter, written within a few weeks of the signing of the November Armistice, was prescient in warning that it would ‘take a long time to effect a cure’. It is a useful way to think about the end of the war, and not just for the wounded and the family members who had to care for them.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is so etched in our minds as the moment that the guns supposedly fell silent, we risk forgetting or ignoring what that actually meant. The Armistice declared on 11 November 1918 signalled the end of what H.G. Wells called ‘the war to end war’. Yet we know that conflict and strife continued. What the Armistice signalled in some places was the beginning of the really difficult work of reconstruction – rebuilding towns and cities, people and their relationships, bodies and minds. In others it signalled nations’ abandonment or disavowal of wartime activities, concerns or promises.

In this conversation, Victoria University of Wellington’s Kate Hunter and the UC’s David Monger discuss the aftermath and legacies of a global conflict.

David Monger has lectured at the UC History Department since 2010 and is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History. An expert on British First World War propaganda, he is the author of Patriotism and Propaganda in First World War Britain: the National War Aims Committee and Civilian Morale (2012), co-editor of Endurance and the First World War: Experiences and Legacies in New Zealand and Australia (2014) and has published several articles on First World War topics.

Associate Professor Kate Hunter (VUW) has been researching and teaching the cultural history of WWI for more than 15 years. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, many of which use the letters and diaries of those separated from kin and friends to explore family and romantic relationships. Her most recent book on WWI was a collaboration with Te Papa curator Kirstie Ross, Holding on to Home: New Zealand Stories and Objects of the First World War, which used the material culture of war to focus on the enduring relationships between those serving overseas and their loved ones in New Zealand.

  • Date: Tuesday, 6 November 2018
  •  Time: 06:00pm to 07:30pm
  •  Location: Recital Room, UC Arts, Arts Centre of Christchurch, 3 Hereford St, Christchurch City
  •  Ticket: Free but REGISTER NOW>

Not sure? AskUC

Have you noticed the new AskUC widget on the UC home page?

Appearing in the bottom right hand corner of your browser window, AskUC runs on the same platform as the library’s AskLive service and is being piloted until the end of December to test the effectiveness of live chat for the University.

An initiative spearheaded by Student Services Manager Trish Laurenson AskUC provides existing and prospective students with an alternative means of contact, outside of email and telephone.

Queries received so far have focused on enrolment and course selection, with the questions originating from across Aotearoa New Zealand as well as the United States, Canada, Singapore, India and Portugal.

In addition to the UC home page, AskUC will be available from:

Available from 8.30am – 5.15pm Monday to Friday, AskUC is currently staffed by the Contact Centre and Enrolment teams, with more teams coming on board soon.

To check it out for yourself, follow the button below.

UC Ranked first for Business & Economics

In the recently released results for 2019, Times Higher Education has ranked UC’s Business school first place in Aotearoa New Zealand for Business and Economics.

The ranking, which ties UC with the University for Auckland, also places the school in the top 10 for Australasia and the best across Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia for research citations, showing the work coming from our Business School is making an impact.

Please join us in congratulating our colleagues in the Business School on their recent success.

For more on the 2019 rankings, follow this link>