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UCMe and Believe U Can campaigns launch next week

A new ‘Believe U Can’ brand campaign and a refreshed version of the popular UCMe marketing campaign will launch nationwide on Monday, promoting UC by celebrating some of our star students (and staff in the UCWe).  This is an extension of our awareness campaign launched in 2020, and this phase deepens the meaning of Believe U Can through emotional engagement with our student’s stories.

UC students are inspiring, enterprising and courageous and the campaign aims to showcase the many faces of our student community.

Believe U Can weaves the story of UC and what differentiates us through each student’s personal journey. The campaign draws inspiration from our students and brings to life the idea that belief in yourself and others can take you anywhere.

The narrator is Wairaamia Tikao Taratoa-Bannister (Ngāi Tahu, Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe, Ngāi Te Rangi and Ngāti Raukawa) and the others featured in the video are all UCMe students.

As in previous years, the nationwide UCMe billboard, poster, bus stops and online campaign tells the stories of students who have taken everything UC has to offer and transformed it into their own unique experience. This year we have the biggest ever cohort – 31 students – and for the first time some are accompanied by siblings, academics and support staff who have contributed to their UC experience.

Find the Believe U Can page here

Check out this year’s UCMe students

Charlie Ikosi, from Papua New Guinea, is one of the students featured in the Believe U Can and UCMe campaigns. He is the recipient of a New Zealand Manaaki Scholarship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and offered to take part to encourage other people to make a difference.

“I want to inspire people back home who have a dream of coming out into the world and getting a world-class education and taking it back home to help improve their communities.

“I feel very privileged to be here and I want to give back, by being an example. Reading about it and hearing about it is one thing but I wanted to put a face to it. When the campaign comes out I really want to share it with my friends so I can inspire them to be inquisitive about the environment and to think more widely than just what they see at home.”

Read Charlie’s story

Take part in Smart Seeds Christchurch 2021

UC, in partnership with GHD, will be hosting the 2021 Smart Seeds Christchurch Showcase in the Haere-Roa building.

The Smart Seeds initiative is a 10-week design-led innovation program, developed by GHD, that focuses on generating fresh ideas to tackle complex challenges, and to create lasting community benefit in today’s rapidly changing world.

The program starts on 27 January when GHD, UC and community partners will gather to determine what this year’s challenges will be. At this hui we will discuss what are the pressing issues that we want participants to engage in. We encourage all UC staff that have a passion for understanding and solving complex issues facing our community to participate and share their input at this hui.

Once challenges are decided teams of emerging leaders from around the region are assigned to tackle the problems and come up with solutions. These teams are supported by mentors with expertise and experience. Again, any UC staff who wish to act as a mentor are encouraged to get in touch with Grahame Burgess ( 

Smart Seeds seeks to empower emerging leaders to co-create integrated solutions to complex challenges. Smart Seeds is held in 12 cities across the globe with more than 1,500 industry leaders inspired to enable change in our communities. To achieve this requires collective insights, diversity, creativity, agility and leadership.

Read more about the Smart Seeds story

The Smart Seeds program is mentored by industry professionals, and provides a collaborative environment to make diverse connections and influence change across organisations and communities.

Find out more about the Smart Seeds program