All posts by cid15

An outstanding 2019 graduation at the Town Hall

UC returned to the newly reopened Christchurch Town Hall this week for the first time since the 2010/11 earthquakes, to celebrate the graduation of 1109 graduands over three ceremonies.

UC’s new Vice Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae Professor Cheryl de la Rey and Chancellor | Tumu Kaunihera Sue McCormack presided over their first graduation in their new roles, assisted by Senior Management Team | Te Ohu Whakahaere, the Records, Examinations and Graduation team and academic staff.

Our many nationalities
UC values the diversity on our campus and has over 100 nationalities represented amongst our students. Students from 46 different countries graduated during this week’s ceremonies with the highest number of students coming from China, followed by India and Malaysia. 

Honorary Doctorate
The gifted editor and publisher Elisabeth Calder was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) at the University’s Arts and Science graduation ceremony on 18 March. Read more here >

Livestream and photos
The ceremonies were livestreamed on Facebook to enable families outside of Ōtautahi Christchurch to be part of the events and we later published an album of photos celebrating our graduands and their whanau. See the photo album here >

Graduands – making a difference
On Tuesday 16 April, the College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha, College of Business and Law | Te Rāngai Umanga me te Ture, and College of Education, Health, and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora celebrated 813 qualifications, awarded to 768 graduands.

Almost 30 graduands received Doctoral Degrees, 139 received Masters Degrees and 92 graduands were international students.

On Thursday 18 April the College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata and College of Science | Te Rāngai Pūtaiao celebrated 341 graduands receiving 353 qualifications, including 21 Doctoral Degrees and 92 Masters Degrees. Of these, 35 graduands were international students and 11 graduands were Māori. 

Ongoing relationships
Graduates become part of the UC Alumni community and the University continues to celebrate their success throughout their careers. Read more here >

A long history of celebrating success
The first Canterbury College degrees were conferred in 1878 in the Canterbury Provincial Chambers with the ceremonies moving to the College Hall, now the Great Hall of the Arts Centre, after its completion in 1882. Read more here>

Looking ahead

There are seven Graduation Ceremonies held in Ōtautahi Christchurch each year, as well as one ceremony held in Rotorua for College of Education students based in the Te Ika a Maui North Island centres. End of year graduations will be held on 18 and 20 December 2019.


Join us in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academia made by Professor Annie Potts and Professor Michael Plank in the next presentation of our Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

  • Date: Thursday 2 May, from 4.30 – 6.00 p.m.
  • Location: E14 – Engineering Core

All staff and postgraduate students are encouraged to attend the lecture series to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the University you may be less familiar with.

You’ll find further information on each presentation, below.

Ngā mihi

Professor Ian Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua


Presentation details:

Kapa Kaiota: The Intersectional Politics of Veganism
Presented by Professor Annie Potts 
Director of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies

For students and researchers of human-animal relationships, the words ‘vegan’ and ‘veganism’ have begun to function not only as the descriptors of a practice – a way of living and being in the world – but also as critical terms.

In this regard we can say that ‘vegan’ and ‘veganism’ refer to a particular kind of conceptual approach, one characterised by an ethical and political commitment to the identification, analysis and rejection – as far as possible – of the ideologies that justify and enable the exploitation of nonhuman animals.

In addition veganism, both as a practice and a critical method, increasingly tends to combine with ‘intersectional’ forms of thinking, which aim to recognize the ways in which human-animal relations are intricately linked with the politics of race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class, and physical ability and disability. 

This presentation will introduce key theories of veganism, placing particular emphasis on new critical thinking emerging from Intersectional Vegan Studies.

Special attention will also be paid to representations of meat and its consumption (as well as meat and dairy refusal and veganism) – phenomena that should be central to any thoroughgoing understanding of food futures, both in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world.


Size-based models of marine ecosystems and the effects of fishing
Presented by Professor Michael Plank
School of Mathematics & Statistics

Many species of fish begin life as tiny larvae and grow to be several million times larger as adults. Over the course of its lifetime, a fish’s predators and prey change drastically as it grows bigger. This means that body size is a crucial variable in any population.

Size-spectrum models are a type of mathematical model that calculate changes in body size as a results of biomass being transferred from prey to predator, and from parent to offspring. This is a different paradigm from a classical species-based predator-prey model.

In this talk, I will give an overview of how size-spectrum models work and the insights they have given into marine ecosystem dynamics. I will show how these models can be used to investigate the ecosystem-level effects of different approaches of fishing, such as different size-based fishing regulations. This includes short-term considerations such as sustainable yield and effects on ecosystem structure, as well as longer-term change such as fisheries-induced evolution.

Find out the latest about E tū, kia ora

The launch of our E tū, kia ora survey at the end of last month marks an exciting new chapter for the University, as we head towards our milestone 150 year anniversary in 2023.

Feedback from the survey and subsequent workshops will be used to set the direction of UC over the coming five years, and help shape the academic strategy that will run alongside.

We are thrilled with the level of responses received so far. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to complete the survey, for those who have not yet had an opportunity to do so, it will be available until Tuesday 30 April click here to have your say>

As part of the process, we have also scheduled workshops to further discuss ideas. Workshops will take place on 10 May, 29 May and 7 June. Numbers will be capped, so if you would like to attend please register your interest as soon as possible here> 

You will need to set up a free Eventbrite account to complete your registration. The process is quick and easy, simply select your desired session and enter your details.

If you are unable to attend a workshop, we hope you will follow the process on Intercom | Pā mai tō reo and engage with the online debate.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Are you up for the challenge with a top ranking UC team?

UC staff biked their way to win 1st place in the 500 -1999 staff category in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge held this year.

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is a free, fun competition to see which organisation can get the most people to ride a bike. Teams earn points for riding and for recruiting new members. The competition is based primarily on numbers of staff taking part, but points are also awarded for the number of trips taken and distance ridden.

Our cycling success in the Challenge was demonstrated in many ways:

  • 262 out of 1918 staff are cycling , that’s 14% participation
  • 13,566 trips were cycled during the Challenge which is equivalent to 179,472 kilometres cycled
  • 55,515 commute kilometres/5619 commute trips
  • 15,746 kg co2 was saved by cycling

Imagine if more people rode bikes in Aotearoa New Zealand – our air would be cleaner, our cities would be more peaceful and our streets would be safer. We’d be fitter too. Studies have shown that places with higher numbers of riders have fewer accidents per rider. Increased participation leads to greater visibility and awareness and makes bicycling safer for everyone.

Let’s get out there cycling more often, whether it’s for fun, exercise or transport to work. Check out how the challenge operates and be ready for the next one.

Photo: Diana Hinterleitner is presented with the winning certificate during the Christchurch City Council’s Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee on 10 April.

Another successful Rā Tūhura | Discovery Day 2019

On Tuesday 9 April, a beautiful crisp Autumn morning, 1,465 Year 12 students from 30 schools across Waitaha Canterbury descended onto the UC campus for 2019’s Rā Tūhura | Discovery Day.

Our guests explored university for the day, attending some of the 46 lectures on offer across our Engineering, Arts and Central Lecture theatres and discovering the differences between school and university life while connecting with current students and staff.

The best part of the day was knowing our guests and their careers advisors enjoyed the experience, with fantastic feedback already flooding in.

An added bonus for our Events team was the feedback received from a local ‘Go Bus’ driver, who was so impressed by how the team effortlessly managed the arrival and departure of the 24 bus loads of students, he made sure to let everyone know!

A big thank you to all staff who volunteered their time yesterday, your input and participation is hugely appreciated by both our organisers and our guests.

To share your thoughts on this year’s event, please complete the staff survey here>

Here’s just a glimpse of Rā Tūhura | Discovery Day 2019:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.