Category Archives: Announcements

Toolkit for new students

A seven-week toolkit has been developed to ensure new students get the information they need to successfully complete their first term at UC. 

Starting on Monday all new students will receive a weekly email which will include information, advice and tips to help them settle into life at UC. 

Information in the seven week toolkit includes:

  • advice on lectures, labs and tutorials as well as study tips
  • information about library services and the Academic Skills Centre
  • asking for help and the student support services available at UC
  • health and safety on campus
  • getting involved at UC – UC Clubs day, UC Rec & Sport, UniLife, mentoring programmes
  • expectations around student behaviour and conduct
  • advice around the fear of failure.

The messaging has been structured to provide information to students when they need it, and is based on findings from previous UCount surveys and student feedback. 

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is back for February 2019

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is a fun, free competition that’s all about seeing which workplaces can get the most people to ride a bike during the month of February (for just 10minutes or more!).

Regular commuter cyclists rejoice: this is a great opportunity to encourage your colleagues to give cycling a shot during February. There is plenty of awesome prizes to tempt your team along the way (like cycle trips, bike accessories, chocolate, more chocolate, morning tea shouts and even a new bike!). Plus, there’s some great inter-department competition opportunities (bragging rights are totally up for grabs).

How does it work?
You and your workplace team earn points for every km you ride, every day that you ride, and for every person you encourage to sign up across UC during the month. The competition is organised so we only compete against other workplaces of comparable size – UC falls into the 500-1999 staff category. By participating in the challenge you’ll earn individual points for days ridden, kms travelled and people encouraged, plus your points contribute to your department and organisation’s total tally.

The best part is, it’s not just about cycling to work. All rides during the month count, so while cycling to work is a great option for some, we know it doesn’t work for everyone. You can log all rides: your commute, your weekend mountain bike, your family day out, or your trip to the shops!  

UC’s track record 
We’ve got a pretty good track record in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge, with UC coming third in our category for Christchurch last year! During Feb 2018, UC staff cycled a total of 115,467kms, with 9.5% of our staff registering a ride during the month.

Our own Diana Hinterleitner from the UC Enrolments Team is the “Challenge Champion” here on campus, for the work she did in 2017 setting up UC as an organisation to participate in the challenge. She also is our Top Encourager, encouraging 11 people to sign up and log a ride during the challenge last year. Since 2017, a number of departments have joined the fun and taken on the challenge – from Product Design to Financial Services. We reckon there’s a pretty good chance your department is already registered, but if not, it’s easy to sign up. You can see all the UC team members and departments that participated in the challenge last year here (there’s some pretty impressive numbers of kms there, College of Engineering we’re looking at you!)

I’m interested, how do I take part?
Follow these easy steps:

  1. Register yourself and/or your department on the Aotearoa Bike Challenge website.
  2. Ride a bike anywhere, any time for at least 10minutes during the challenge (1-28 Feb)
  3. Record your ride on the Bike Challenge website, and tell your friends and coworkers about the challenge
  4. Reward yourself and your team by winning prizes!

Is your team already participating in the 2019 Bike Challenge, or planning to now? Let the Sustainability Office know! We would love to hear about it, so we can support you all the way.

We’d love to see as many of you on your bikes as possible to kick of the New Year, and what better way to get some motivation than a fun challenge! Remember, UC offers heaps of great services for cyclists, including the popular Dr Bike weekly fix-it clinic, our annual Bike Breakfast, new covered bike stands, repair stations and more. For all the cycle services, events and facilities on campus, see UC Sustainability’s webpage.

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected, and be in touch with us! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, sign up to our Sustainability Newsletter or check out our website for more information about what we do, and upcoming events.

A big thanks to Diana Hinterleitner for providing the photographs for this blog.

Got a question or want to know more? Email us at

UC welcomes new Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae

Professor Cheryl de la Rey will begin her term as the new UC Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae on Monday, 4 February.

Professor de la Rey said she is delighted and honoured to begin her term, and she looks forward to furthering the progress made by her predecessor.

“I’m honoured to be selected for this position and thank the University of Canterbury Council for its vote of confidence. I look forward to using my skills and experience and to build on the good work of my predecessor,” Professor de la Rey said following her appointment in June of 2018.

Staff members will be introduced to the new Vice-Chancellor at the upcoming Staff Forum on Wednesday, 13 February at 11am. The Staff Forum will be immediately followed by a BBQ lunch, at which time all staff members will have the opportunity to talk to both Professor de la Rey and new Chancellor, Sue McCormack.

In addition to hearing from our new Vice-Chancellor, Chancellor and UCSA President, the first staff forum for 2019 will discuss enrolment numbers, start-of-year activities, updates on recent campus improvements, an upcoming cyber security campaign and more.

Professor de la Rey visited UC in early July 2018 for the UC Open Day | Rā Tōmene, when she took the opportunity to familiarise herself with the city of Christchurch and the campus. She also had the opportunity to meet with the UC Council, SMT and Academic Board during her visit.

About Vice-Chancellor designate Cheryl de la Rey 
Professor de la Rey has served as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, South Africa’s largest university, since November 2009. After working her way up the academic ranks within South Africa’s university sector, she took up her first executive position at a relatively young age when she became Executive Director at the National Research Foundation. Thereafter she was appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town. She also served as the CEO of the Council on Higher Education. In total she has eighteen years’ experience as an executive in higher education in South Africa. She has a reputation for visionary, strategic thinking accompanied by strong management ability.

Manawa, innovative and collaborative health science facility, officially opened

UC is a partner in the Manawa health research and education facility located in Te Papa Hauora | The Christchurch Health Precinct, with Ara Institute of Canterbury and Canterbury CDHB.

Manawa was officially opened this week (31 January) by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Health Minister Dr David Clark.

Professor Gail Gillon, Director of the Child Well-being Research Institute at UC spoke at the event, with former Chancellor  Dr John Wood, Professor Lianne Woodward, Professor Angus Macfarlane, Professor Letitia Fickel and Professor Ian Wright in attendance.

UC Health Science postgraduate research students have been based at Manawa since August 2018, where they have access to health sector professionals and state-of-the-art simulation training facilities.

Manawa is an innovative and collaborative model that brings together the education and health sectors. Sharing resources and knowledge that will contribute to building the capacity of Canterbury’s future health workforce.

Learn more about current health research at UC, Ara and CDHB at the We’re Talking Health event here at UC on 6 March.

Professor Lianne Woodward will discuss the developmental challenges associated with premature birth, and Professor Simon Kingham will explain GeoHealth – a project that explores how the physical environment, such as proximity to water or ‘blue space’, affects mental health.

Children’s University has come to Canterbury

The University of Canterbury and Lincoln University are working in partnership to bring Children’s University to young people across the Canterbury region.

The aim of Children’s University is to bring high quality educational experiences to children in partnership with their schools, communities, and local Universities. All activities are experiential, and take place outside of school time. Uniquely, activities are linked to a University degree.

While not a ‘recruitment’ tool, one of the principles underlying Children’s University is that children need to know what exists to know what they can aspire to achieve.

Children’s University works with local learning destinations such as libraries, museums, and even sports groups so children can achieve agreed learning outcomes. An important part of the program is to bring the children onto campus to participate in learning activities.

For further information, including how you can get involved please email Amy Underdown or Jen Nicholson.