Tag Archives: student experience

UC students win at Japanese language speech contest

UC students won the first and second place at the 2017 JSANZ Tertiary Japanese Language Speech Contest.

Congratulations to the winners:

1st Place:              Amanda Deacon (JAPA325): She has received a return ticket to Japan as a prize

2nd Place:      Jack Hayes (JAPA325)

This contest, organised by the Japanese Studies Aotearoa New Zealand, is a highly competitive national contest.

Each finalist was nominated as a representative of their institution through a rigorous selection process, and 12 finalists from eight tertiary institutions in New Zealand competed in the final round.

This is the first time ever for participants from one institution to win the first and second place.  In addition, this is the fourth speech contest and this is the second time a UC student has won first place. The previous UC winner was in 2015 by Brennan Galpin, who has received the 2017 Japanese Government Scholarship and is currently studying at Kyoto University.

Read about the prize-giving at UC here>

Watch Amanda delivering her winning speech.


Innovation and developments at UC Careers, Internship and Employment Centre

Chris Bridgman, Manager | Kaiwhakahaere of UC’s Careers, Internships and Employment Centre | Te Rōpū Rapuara, says students often come to the Centre unaware of the huge range of opportunities available to them.

“Many students think in terms of quite a prescribed pathway, but the world of work is changing rapidly, so we encourage students
to be alert to these changes and to seek opportunities to enhance their employability.”

Chris says the Careers Kit – a series of 74 brochures on all the major subjects taught at UC – helps illustrate some of the wide range of real-world career options.

“We are continuously working with employers, so we have current information about industry developments and what employers are looking for in well-rounded employees. Skills and qualities in high
demand include communication skills, analytical and critical thinking, interpersonal and team skills, and a work ethic.”

Chris says the Centre is also able to inform employers about how to attract young employees and what their expectations are.
“We offer an integrated model – our work with students is informed by our interaction with employers and vice versa.”

The Centre helps broker relationships with industry bodies and employer groups via numerous employer information sessions
and Careers Fairs throughout each year. The Careers team also manages UC’s Co-Curricular Record (CCR) system, which is
aligned to UC’s graduate attributes and formally recognises students’ extracurricular activities as evidence of their work readiness.

Although only in its second year, the CCR already features 40 different activities – ranging from Student Volunteer Army work to peer note-taking – and involves nearly 1,000 students.

Another relatively recent innovation is UC’s nationwide Parents as Career Educator (PACE) seminars. The PACE seminars are designed to help parents of students in Years 11 to 13 guide their teenagers to make informed decisions about their future. A UC Career
Consultant covers the world of work, how to make and support informed career decisions, and helpful career development resources.

“The seminars have proven to be very popular with parents, indicating how helpful they have been in assisting them to help
their school students,” says Chris.

The Centre works hard to listen to the student voice and adapt its services to be engaging and responsive. It advises those returning for postgraduate study and assists recent graduates with finding jobs through the UC CareerHub, which lists job vacancies.

“Increasingly we are seeing students right throughout their studies, which is the key to making the most of their time at university in terms of career planning and development.”

For further information, go to:

The 7-year degree: studying for a PhD in Life and Resilience

This week Tumama Tu’ulua  from the Pacific Development Team shares a student perspective on studying during the exam break on Insider’s  Guide- we’ve shared it here also for staff.

Seven years.

That’s how long it takes for chewing gum to digest after you’ve swallowed it. It’s also how long I’ve been studying my Bachelors degree – 25 years old and still studying.

Its been a cocktail of trials, a lot of errors, and a test of will. To be fair I haven’t studied that whole time, choosing to pursue sport in little chunks throughout and studying part-time, but when I look back at it and when other people look at it that’s how its going to look.

To say it was never hard to keep going when it didn’t seem worth it anymore, would be a lie. There are many times where I felt I was over study, felt like giving up, felt like leaving, and even felt like a bachelors degree was beneath me at one stage lol.

But I stuck in there (and am still sticking in there), not because I had to, or, because of the millions of resilience cliches, but because this degree isn’t just for me – its for everyone that has helped me have the opportunity to study and has kept me here. Now to me that is the definition of success, making my family proud, and providing for them.

For you it could be something completely different and that’s awesome, but my tips in staying resilient especially during the exam period but for uni in general is to:

  1. Know why you are here
  2. Know what your defintion of success is
  3. Know how success and happiness feels

These three things have helped me stay here.

When things get tough knowing my purpose for being here gives me something to hold on to, its my light at the end of the tunnel.

Knowing what success is to me, helps me recognise whether, or, not what I’m doing is adding value, it gives me direction.

Knowing how success feels helps me differentiate between when I’m under pressure and when I’m getting stressed.

You can’t operate under stress, so truly knowing how I feel when succeeding and happy gives me a measuring stick to when I’m getting stressed and I know I need to have a break.

A degree is the one tangible thing that validates to the world what I did here at UC. The relationships that I made here are so much more important to me, but, the things I’ve learnt mean a lot less to the world without that piece of paper. Studies were always my back-up plan, but when plan B becomes A its initially a hard switch to make. But put in the work, access the help available, stay focused and get the treats! Good luck with exams, hang in there, it will get easier, it will get better. UC for Life! (Literally lol).

Tumama Tu’ulua  – Pacific Engagement Coordinator
Pacific Development Team

Successful release of myUC: Easy Enrolment and update on Academic Regulations

Tēnā koutou

Following the early release in August of the new online enrolment application (myUC: Easy Enrolment) for teacher education programme applicants, I’m pleased to announce that the Student First Programme team have completed a further release on Wednesday 25 October.

This release extends myUC: Easy Enrolment to all new student applicants across all Colleges and any returning students without an active UC IT account.

The remaining release for 2017 is scheduled for Tuesday 5 December. The December release will let all remaining students use myUC: Easy Enrolment.

Further information and supporting documentation relating to this release is available in the Current Projects section of the Student First Programme intranet site including training documents and feedback we’ve received.

We greatly appreciate all the suggestions and feedback – these continue to be hugely valuable as the Student First project team seek to make a positive impact on the enrolment experience we provide for students and staff.

On another note, I wanted to touch on the other major project delivered by the Student First Programme team in 2017 in the partnership with the Academic Administration Committee and particularly the work of the Academic Deans. This project, which represents the first holistic review in nearly 25 years of our Academic Regulations, is now nearing completion. Following the recent release of the electronic version of the Academic Calendar on 27  September, we’ll be following this up with the distribution of the printed calendar on 15  November.

Introducing simplicity and consistency into our Academic Regulations contributes strongly to shifting the enrolment experience for students to one that is simple, fast and certain. It also provides the foundation for a robust Academic Model that will support UC’s future academic strategies.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who’ve contributed to the Student First Programme and to acknowledge the level of dedication required to get us to this point.

Ngā mihi

Professor Ian Wright
Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua

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: http://akina.org.nz/