Category Archives: International students

Come to the UC Night Food Market, 19 August

PrintInternational Student Clubs (with support from the UC Foundation) present UC Night Food Market.

  • Friday 19 August
  • C Block lawn
  • 4.30pm – 7.00pm

Tickets are available at Dash Tickets ($12.50 earlybird)

A ticket will get you three tokens to use at a variety of food stalls. Coupons will be available at the event to buy more food.

The purpose of this event is to promote a vibrant, dynamic relationship between the cultural clubs and students and staff on campus through the inclusion of different foods, cultural aspects and live performances, including TAKUMI- JAPANESE DRUMMERS.

Join the event on Facebook to keep up-to-date.

What’s happening this month?

Check out the 2016 Diversity Calendar to see what our diverse communities are celebrating, and let us know of any significant dates you’d like included.

Do you have a Diversity issue and not sure who to talk to? Get in touch with one of our Diversity Champions.

UC Sport – mascot design competition

Who doesn’t love a good mascot? They can unite a community, bring luck, and represent the common goals of the team or organisation it represents.

Do you want to be part of history? Then get designing.

UC Sport is running a design competition for a new mascot, which is open to all UC students, staff, alumni and the wider community. The design for the mascot should unite all sport clubs, teams and the wider UC sporting community under one banner.  This will include all teams that will represent UC at the University and Tertiary Sport NZ events from 2017 onwards.

It should define the UC brand and be identifiable by internal and external communities as representing UC. The mascot will be displayed in UC Sport publications, advertisements, the website, clothing, future facilities and more. It will be actively involved in the promotion of UC Sport events, as well as UC events on campus.

The mascot will need to be positively perceived by children and adults, and embody the values and reflect the culture of UC and its students. The mascot should reflect who we are as a university and the design will need to incorporate UC’s colours of red, grey and black.

UC Sport clubs and their teams will continue to be known by their own nicknames.

The competition entry period will open on 1 August and run through to 4 September.

Entries and information can be found here.

Staff forum follow-up

Thanks to all who participated in the online staff forum on Thursday 24 January.

You can view the forum here, which includes the chat transcript.  It was great to see a number of staff networking and providing links and suggestions to one another.

Thank you for the thought provoking questions. These have been sent on to appropriate contacts for answers.  We will continue follow up in Intercom.

The first of these is below:

International students and Fluent IQ

Q: You mention you have discussed Fluent IQ with the Deans of Science, Engineering and Commerce. Have experts in the Colleges of Arts (e.g. Linguistics, and NZILBB), and Education, Health and Human Development been involved?

A: (Tony Mortensen – Director, International Growth Strategies) The involvement of the Deans of Science, Engineering and Commerce relates to the timing of the trial, starting in Semester 2.  These areas of study are a strong choice for International students in the mid-year intake. By focusing on these areas we have ended up with a good sample size for the pilot.

Expertise in the College of Arts and the College of Education, Health and Human Development will be utilised as we move forward with the project.

Read more about Fluent IQ in Tony’s blog.

International students – FluentIQ pilot programme

FluentIQ – online technology developed by UC and commercialised by Powerhouse and Callaghan Innovation – is just one tool being explored to help international students feel like they belong and to set them up to succeed at UC and beyond.

Director, International Growth Strategies Tony Mortensen provides an update about the Fluent IQ pilot programme at UC this winter. He also shares how you can help students feel welcome on a daily basis.


It won’t be a surprise to any of our staff at UC that proficiency in the English language is critical in helping international students succeed in the classroom and feel like they belong. It gives them the ability to communicate with Kiwis and to more richly engage in different aspects of our culture. As part of the graduate profile it makes them more employable. For those who have been to China, you may have noted that English is very rarely spoken – their economy has become successful without having English as the primary language.

FluentIQ, which had its beginnings here at UC, improves English speaking and comprehension for the real world – that is, to be understood and understand in English.  UC is running a pilot programme starting in Semester 2 aimed at helping UC International Students feel more ‘Kiwi’ and absorb knowledge in the classroom.  The trial programme will include 50 students, with the aim to roll this out further.  It will be managed by Student Success and monitored by the Deans.  The pilot programme will give us the opportunity to query whether there are other tools that we need to attach to FluentIQ so that a holistic approach is taken, but this is a vital start.  Not only will it help our international students with cultural transition at UC, it will also help them academically and ultimately with employability – a key attribute in our graduate profile.

Understanding each other and how you can help

At UC we can all develop new understanding, for example some of these students are not used to group work, they may not be used to being expected to ask questions, let alone challenging authority, and in some cultures what we at UC might consider to be plagiarism is considered a compliment. Understanding will come from getting to know one another, so get the conversations going.  Every staff member can help; make students feel welcome – talk to them – they are often too scared to talk to a stranger. Have a chat while you’re in a queue at the café, comment on their English and give them words of encouragement. These little actions can go a long way to creating a warmer, more-inclusive learning environment.

This is also about the benefits for our domestic students and teachers in embracing difference and diversity. The presence of International students at UC, along with programmes like Study Abroad and Exchange empower domestic students in developing global perspectives.  Workshops for students and staff will be important for developing greater understanding and enhanced teaching.