All posts by cid15

International postgrad students returning to UC

Earlier this month, the New Zealand government announced the introduction of a border exemption category that would allow 250 eligible PhD and masters students to return to Aotearoa New Zealand in order to continue studies disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approximately 20 of UC’s international postgraduate students have been identified as meeting criteria to be considered for entry into New Zealand, as set by the Ministry of Education.

In order to be considered, students must have been enrolled prior to the border closures and have [or have had] a visa to study in 2020.

Students interested in returning to New Zealand have been asked to complete a form that will be put forward to Immigration New Zealand – INZ will be in touch with successful applicants directly so they can apply for their exemption visa.

We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to welcome a small contingent of postgraduate students back to campus, and we look forward to sharing more as information becomes available.

For more on the border exemption process, including FAQs, visit our Exemption webpage here>

Rutherford Documentary Hits The Big Screen

From Thursday 15 October, the documentary ‘Rutherford: the life and work of Ernest Rutherford‘ will be shown, for a limited time, on the big screen at the Hollywood Cinema in Sumner.

The film features several members of the UC Science faculty in various roles, including Clifford Franklin as Rutherford and Rob McGregor as the skilled Manchester glass-blower who built the apparatus that proved that alpha particles were just helium nuclei.

Directed and co-produced by Gillian Ashurst (Snakeskin, Rocketman). the documentary is based on John Campbell’s book “Rutherford Scientist Supreme”. 

 Book tickets via
The film has a 180 minute run time, including a 10 minute intermission.

Emeritus Professor Jane Soons 1931 – 2020

Emeritus Professor Jane Soons shortly after receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Glasgow.

Described as “[achieving] in a male dominated world, without modelling herself on men,” UC’s first female Professor, Emeritus Professor Jane Soons was a trailblazer, and role model, for female academics and students.

One of the first PhD graduates in geography at the University of Glasgow, British universities overlooked her skills and expertise in preference of her male colleagues so in 1960, she immigrated to Aotearoa New Zealand to lecture at UC’s Department of Geography.

At UC, Jane found she had a more equal footing, and the opportunity to do everything her male peers could and would be expected to do.

A 2001 editorial from New Zealand Geographer highlighted Jane’s ability to bring people together.

“Jane’s students and colleagues readily recall her encouragement, support, kindness, hospitality and genuine interest in their work. In 1987, when the Department of Geography at the University of Canterbury celebrated its 50th Jubilee, she compiled a booklet of recipes contributed by visitors to the Department over the years… In its own particular way it encapsulates what colleagues, research associates and students feel about Jane: admiration for the breadth of her interests and the quality of all she does, recognition of the respect and affection in which she is held by geographers and earth scientists across the world, and appreciation of the humanity that underpins her life and work.”

Head of UC’s School of Earth and Environment, Professor Jamie Shulmeister was a close friend. He shared the following shortly after her passing.

“Emeritus Professor Jane Soons was the University of Canterbury’s first female Professor, appointed in 1971, and for a very long time was the only female professor at UC.

Jane taught and researched in geomorphology, and became known internationally for her study of the glacier-sculpted landscapes of the Rakaia Valley. She also made major contributions to our understanding of the glacial landforms of the West Coast and the movement of the Franz Josef Glacier.  She was a past President of the International Quaternary Association (INQUA) and convened the National Committee for Quaternary Research for the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Jane was a foundational figure in modern geomorphology in New Zealand, a mentor for many young geomorphologists, an enthusiastic lecturer and an amazing role model for generations of female scientists. She will be hugely missed by colleagues and ex-students.”

Over her career Jane received the David Livingstone Centenary Medal for Southern Hemisphere research in 1988, a Royal Society Silver Medal in 1994, a Distinguished New Zealand Geographer Medal in 2001 and more. UC appointed her an Emeritus Professor in 1992.

For more on the exceptional career of Emeritus Professor Jane Soons, follow the links below.

September Graduation Ceremony Postponed

Due to the continuation of COVID-19 Alert level 2 in the South Island, the UC Graduation Celebration ceremony, and all associated events scheduled to take place in Ōtautahi Christchurch on Tuesday 1 September, have been postponed until Monday 14 December 2020.

We are aware this is the second time the graduation ceremony has been affected by COVID-19 and our thoughts are with our graduates, their friends and whānau.

The University and the UC Graduation Office are committed to recognising our graduates’ achievements and we look forward to sharing further details about the new Graduation Celebrations at a later date. In the interim, please keep an eye on the Graduation website.

If you have any enquiries about academic regalia, please contact Graduate Women Canterbury.

We look forward to celebrating our graduates’ success at a time when it is safe for us all to be together again.

COVID-19: face coverings on campus

In situations where physical distancing is not possible, it is advisable to wear a face covering or mask. The preference is that people obtain and use their own reusable face covering, however UC has a small number of disposable options for use, where close contact is unavoidable e.g. frontline staff, close teaching situations in labs etc.

Once used, a disposable face covering represents a biohazard. We recommend you wear the covering home and dispose of it there. If this is not possible there are disposable bins on campus:

If you require a face covering, please email the Health and Safety office by email and include the following information:

  • What situation you want the face covering for
  • How many you need