Dr Molapo Qhobela (Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa National Science Foundation) visited UC this week to discuss possible research collaborations between South African universities and New Zealand. Dr Qhobela has vast experience in the South African university sector and the national research sector, including being Vice-Principal at the University of South Africa, Deputy Director-General at the Department of Science and Technology, and Acting Director-General at the Department of Higher Education and Training.
Dr Molapo Qhobela presented a lecture on Monday this week, hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de La Rey, entitled “The Role of Science for the Sustainable Development Goals, and Opportunity for Africa – NZ Collaboration”, which was followed by a group discussion on potential synergies between Aotearoa New Zealand and South Africa.
Dr Molapo Qhobela (Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa National Science Foundation) with UC Deputy Vice-Chancellor Ian Wright.
Discussion points for follow-up included the collaborative use of research infrastructure, exchange programmes for research fellows, greater awareness of researchers and research funders around the impact of research (and how impact is assessed), and potential for both countries to work together to promote internationally a process of indigenous knowledge systems being weaved and connected with Western society science understanding.
Dr Qhobela has regular contact with the Royal Society Te Apārangi and MBIE as part of the Global Research Alliance to undertake international research to better support policy and societal choices around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
UC’s partnership with the BNZ Crusaders supports the development of the next generation of rugby players, by funding the UC Championship and UC Cup secondary schools rugby competitions for young Cantabrians.
UC has been a community partner of the BNZ Crusaders since 2015 and over the years has supported over 3,000 young players.
As with our other sponsorships, we will continue to review this partnership on an annual basis to ensure it aligns with UC’s values and long term strategy.
Lynn McClelland Executive Director Student Services and Communications | Kaihautū Matua Te Ratonga Ākonga me te Whakapā
We are five months into the Children’s University Canterbury Partnership (CUCP) pilot programme and have made excellent progress. CUCP is at capacity with schools and the cohort of 192 participating children have their Passports to Learning.
The following schools are involved:
• Ladbrooks School
• Te Pā o Rākaihautū
• Prebbleton School
• Bromley School
• Te Waka Unua School
• Mairehau Parimay School
• Amuri Area School
We are also trialing the programme with Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki ki Taumutu. This is the first time in Australasia that the programme has been run with a specific cultural group and we are excited to see how it progresses and what the outcomes are for those children.
To date we have signed up 59 Public Learning Destinations and more are added every week. Selwyn District Council has recently signed up to the programme and we are meeting with staff at Hurunui District Council in the coming weeks.
Planning has commenced for Campus Experiences at the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University in the July school holidays. Planning is also underway for the graduation ceremony which will be held on Wednesday 20 November.
Now that the pilot is operational, we are now turning our focus on exploring potential income streams for the programme, including opportunities for longer term strategic partnerships.
The team is exploring options for research and evaluation of the programme, and we are interested in speaking to anyone who has an interest in assisting with this. We are looking into options for funding research and would love to involve a PhD student.
Asia’s largest airline has joined the University of Canterbury (UC) in a new partnership which will benefit Tekapo and the Mackenzie District.
Christchurch Airport today hosted a delegation from China Southern Airlines, representatives of the University of Canterbury, Mackenzie District Mayor Graham Smith, and local Tekapo residents on the summit of Mt John.
The event centred on the signing of an agreement announcing China Southern Airlines as an official partner of the iconic University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory. The University Observatory is New Zealand’s pre-eminent optical research observatory and sits at the heart of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve.
This partnership also supports tourism in Tekapo, with ten per cent of the agreement’s funding provided to the Mackenzie District Council for tourism infrastructure in Tekapo.
Mackenzie District Council Mayor Graham Smith welcomed the partnership.
“China Southern Airlines is showing a real commitment in this partnership to enhance the visitor experience at Tekapo.”
UC Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr says he hopes the partnership with China Southern Airlines is a sign of strong ties between the two countries.
“China is the largest and fastest growing international market for student recruitment at UC, so strengthening relationships with key organisations there will support that growth and provide students with employment opportunities.”
Christchurch Airport Chief Executive Malcolm Johns says the sponsorship demonstrates the warm relationship between Asia’s largest airline and the South Island.
“China Southern Airlines showed confidence in starting its direct services to Christchurch. It saw such great uptake in the first year, the airline increased the number of flights and has quickly shown its willingness to be right alongside the South Island. This sponsorship is a direct show of support for an area Chinese visitors love to visit.”
China Southern Airlines Australasian Managing Director Louis Lu says the airline is delighted to sponsor the Mt John Observatory.
“This is a great opportunity to support the University of Canterbury and Mt John Observatory. We all share an interest in discovering more about the amazing space that is the sky. China Southern explores it from an aviation perspective, the team at UC and the observatory research its secrets and showcase the amazing stargazing opportunities it offers. This is a meaningful partnership which benefits both the tourism and the scientific worlds.”
The University’s observatory has world-class facilities which enable UC staff and students to carry out cutting-edge astronomical research in a number of different areas, including the search for extra-solar planets, the tracking of near-earth objects and the study of pulsating, variable and exploding stars.
Public access to the observatory is through its partnership with local astro-tourism operator Earth & Sky Ltd, which manages the private road to the facilities and the café, and runs night-time viewing of the stars through the high-powered telescopes at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory.