All posts by adb108

Using social enterprise to benefit community wellbeing

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week Brittany Stewart, Logan Williams and Timothy Mills debunk some of the myths about social enterprises they learnt while taking part in the Kathmandu New Zealand Student Social Enterprise Challenge. The theme of the challenge was wellbeing and as the team discovered, generating social benefit can be quite challenging.

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Recently, I had the opportunity to compete in the Kathmandu New Zealand Student Social Enterprise Challenge at UC. We had just 48 hours to create and develop a social enterprise with the goal to provide improved mental health and wellbeing to our communities.

Our team developed Shirt off my back, a social enterprise which aimed to improve the wellbeing of kiwi kids in low decile schools by providing them with essential clothing they may not have with the aim of improving the quality of their day-to-day-life and their engagement at school.

Going into the challenge I thought I understood what it meant to create a viable social enterprise, but I was wrong. There are many misconceptions to social enterprises which often prevent people from undertaking the challenge of starting one up. I plan to set these misconceptions straight to prove why social enterprises are becoming more important than ever to help our communities.

  1. “Social enterprises are just about being environmentally friendly”

Social enterprises are well-known for their environmentally friendly products. However, there are many social enterprises which aim to have a social impact, where they want to create businesses which give back to communities, like Shirt off my back.

  1. “Social enterprises do not make any money”

During the challenge, the most difficult part of creating our social enterprise was figuring out how to make money! However, many social enterprises are very profitable. Shirt off my back uses a one-for-one model. For every item of clothing a consumer buys at one of our retail partners, the retailer will give an item of clothing to Shirt off my back to distribute to kids that need them most.  The aim of a social enterprise is to deliver benefits by using their revenues to finance activities that generate social benefit.

Social enterprises have the potential to address issues in our communities in a self-sustaining way. Social enterprises provide the opportunity for people to improve their communities in a way that neither capitalism nor charity has yet been able to match.

If you want to find out more about social enterprise in New Zealand check out:

Enrol now for the new Master in Writing degree


In 2018 UC is introducing an exciting new postgraduate degree – the Master of Writing (MWRIT). This qualification can be completed in a single calendar year, over 18 months, or as a flexible part-time study option, over a few years.

The best thing about the MWRIT is that it teaches the skills common to all good writing, in an in-depth and advanced way, while at the same time allowing students to specialise in the particular kinds of writing they’re most passionate about. The core paper concentrates on the fundamental skills of good writing and explores how these operate differently in different genres. Students can then choose to specialise in creative, professional, or scholarly writing, or a combination of all three. An extended writing project, supervised by an expert member of staff, allows each student to round off their degree by completing a long piece of writing in a style, and on a topic of their choice.

In this way, the degree caters for those who want to develop their creative writing skills, while at the same time qualifying them for employment as writers – what better way to pay the bills while still pursuing their creative aspirations? It also caters for those whose main aim is to follow a career in the growing field of professional and technical writing – whether in the commercial, community, government or digital sectors – while also enhancing their appreciation and mastery of the creative dimensions of all writing.

To find out more about this new course please contact Philip Armstrong:

Invitation to special presentation on NZQA Code of Practice for International Students

Have you heard about the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students? The Code of Practice is part of the Education Act and requires education providers to ensure that international students are well informed, safe, and properly cared for. UC is currently completing its annual self-review reflecting on its support for international students. If you want to participate in the self-review, contact your College Dean or Unit Manager/Director for details.

General and academic staff are encouraged to attend a special one-off presentation by NZQA on Wednesday 25 October from 12pm-2pm in Undercroft 101, followed by afternoon tea. This is an opportunity for staff to learn about what requirements UC must meet in order to comply with the Code and how to support international students during their time at UC.

Watch the video invitation prepared by members of the International Student Experience & Retention Group (iSERG) and please encourage your colleagues to attend by sharing this invitation. For more information and to register your attendance, please email


Early and Emerging Career Researcher Award 2017

It is with genuine delight that I announce that the University Research Committee has resolved to award the 2017 University of Canterbury Early and Emerging Career Researcher Award to Dr Laurie McLay from the School of Health Sciences for her outstanding research contribution.

The award recognises emerging UC researchers for the development of their research careers and the contribution they are making in raising the international research reputation of the University of Canterbury.

The award will be presented to Laurie at a function in early 2018, where she will present the highlights of her research to her university peers.

Please join me in congratulating Laurie on her very worthy success.

Professor Ian Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua

Navitas agree to acquire Christchurch College of English Limited

Global education services provider Navitas Limited (ASX: NVT) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Christchurch College of English Limited (CCEL).

Established in 1991 as a private provider in Christchurch, New Zealand, CCEL is the University of Canterbury’s official on-campus English language provider with colleges in Christchurch and Auckland.

CCEL offers a range of English courses including General English, Business English, IELTS and Cambridge Exam Preparation and English for Academic Purposes and currently has approximately 350 students across its various programs.

CCEL has been the sole English language provider for Navitas’ pathway college, UC International College, since it opened in 2013. Since then CCEL, the University and the college have worked under a single institutional approach to grow student numbers and deliver high quality student outcomes.

“This acquisition allows Navitas to increase the depth of our offering to our partner university while also expanding our footprint in the key international education destination of New Zealand,” said Rod Jones, Group CEO of Navitas.

He continued, “CCEL is a well-regarded New Zealand brand and has a very strong reputation as a high quality education provider with the highest possible quality rating from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.”

John Wood said the acquisition will strengthen Navitas’ offering to international students looking to study in New Zealand.

“Today’s announcement will help create a seamless pathway for international students looking to transition from English language training to foundation studies and ultimately into a pathway program at one of the country’s premier universities,” he said.

“The integration of CCEL operations also creates the opportunity for us to develop new education services outside Christchurch, leveraging the tremendous reputation that CCEL has built in the New Zealand market.”

The acquisition is subject to obtaining customary regulatory approvals, and a satisfactory outcome of a periodic audit by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, which are expected by December 2017.

About Navitas
Navitas is a leading global education provider that offers an extensive range of educational services through three major Divisions to students and professionals including university programs, creative media education, professional education, English language training and settlement services. Navitas is an S&P/ASX200 company.