Category Archives: UC Strategic Vision

Student Success: PALS recap & new Kia Angitu webpage

Last week at Staff Forum Tumu Tuarua Akoranga | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Catherine Moran talked about UC’s Student Success programme, Kia Angitu – an ecosystem of interconnected initiatives designed to help all students transition into their first year of uni and make the most of their studies. She introduced PALS Coordinator, Katie Mills who told us all about PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Sessions), one of the Kia Angitu initiatives. In case you missed it – here’s a quick recap on PALS.  

Peer Assisted Learning Sessions 

PALS is a peer-to-peer programme that involves regular study sessions, aligned with a course. These study sessions are facilitated by leaders who are also students and have already successfully completed the course.  

Rather than a focus on “re-teaching” or “tutoring,” the sessions are centred around study skills and supporting students to revise and problem solve amongst themselves. The sessions offer an opportunity for students to: 

  • make connections with their classmates 
  • revise through group study 
  • learn study tips and tricks from students who have already aced the course 
  • learn how to navigate university life more generally in a safe, student-only environment.  

The peer-to-peer environment is the greatest strength of PALS. The leaders who facilitate the sessions attend classes with the new students and are seen to be “on the same level”. New students feel that PALS leaders truly understand the challenges of the course and feel comfortable asking them questions. 

You can watch the video below to see what students are saying about PALS and another Kia Angitu initiative – Analytics for Course Engagement (ACE).  

Want to know more about Kia Angitu? We’ve launched a new webpage 
Check out the new Kia Angitu webpage here to find out more about the programme and our vision. You can also learn more about each of the initiatives (like PALS and ACE) within the programme, and how these fit together to support students. The webpage is a work in progress, we’ll be adding more information as more initiatives are developed and implemented.  

Ngā mihi,
Kaylene Sampson
Kaihautū Angitu Ako | Programme Director – Learner Success


Te Ako Anamata | Future Learning and Development is excited to invite UC staff to the next instalment of our monthly Ako Anamata: EdTalks, which will be given by DLTP Scholar Dr Rosie Cameron from the College of Engineering.

Date: Tuesday 13 July
Venue: University of Canterbury Club (Ilam Homestead)
Time: 4pm – 6pm

The session includes:

  • 4.00pm: Welcome and introduction – Dr Brad Hurren, Kaiwhakawhanake Akoranga | Academic Developer
  • 4.05pm: An update from the Vice-Chancellor – Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Tumu Whakarae | Vice-Chancellor
  • 4.20pm: DLTP presentation – Adaptive Learning Technologies in MATH101 – Dr Rosie Cameron, Pūkenga | Lecturer
  • 4.55pm: Close, followed by networking with colleagues

DLTP Presentation – Adaptive Learning Technologies in MATH101

Over recent years, the cohort of students in MATH101 has included many students who lack the foundational mathematics skills that they need to succeed in the course. Many students also have low mathematics self-efficacy and are apprehensive about studying mathematics.

The initial stage of the project will be to explore different tools and teaching methods that have potential application to a redesigned MATH101. One such tool is adaptive learning which provides students with targeted remediation and automated support. This provides them with the opportunity to master initial, prerequisite content and then build on these acquired skills as they encounter content that is more complex. It also gives students experience of success in mathematics learning which will hopefully improve their self-efficacy and confidence.

DLTP monthly talks
Our DLTP (Distributed Leadership in Teaching Programme) Scholars have been successful in applying for the opportunity to secure both time and funding to explore their interests in teaching and learning. More information on the DLTP can be found here.

These monthly talks provide an exciting opportunity for DLTP scholars to showcase their work, as well as to give you a brief update on what’s happening in the wider teaching and learning areas at UC. The Ako Anamata: EdTalk is also time for colleagues and friends to get together and network in an informal setting. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information please contact Dr Brad Hurren.


How can we collaborate for systemic change, and together, develop clear pathways for urgent action?

Be a part of the next steps in the Aotearoa Sustainable Development Goals Summit Series journey, and discover some of the answers with us!

Online SDG Hui #3: Working Together for Change, Thursday 24 June


Online SDG Hui #3 is focused towards “working together for change” and by bringing together experts from academia, community organisations, business and government agencies, aims to investigate opportunities for action across different sectors.

Two incredible UC academics, Professor Steven Ratuva (Director, Director of the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies) and Professor Bronwyn Hayward, will be facilitating conversations on ‘Aotearoa, the Pacific and the SDGs’ and ‘Intergenerational Conversations’ respectively. Through these panel sessions, participants will have space to dive deeply into topics of justice, power, climate, communities and young people and will unpack the importance of participatory, inclusive decision making across all levels.


Join the kōrero on Thursday 24 June from 7pm – 9pm, online via Zoom. Tickets are just $5 for Youth and $10 for General. Ticketing and more details are available here.


Hui #3 also features a concurrent interactive workshop stream: ‘Future Fit Business: a tool for Organisations’, exploring how organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand can credibly measure their sustainability and contribution to the SDGs using the Future Fit Business Benchmark. This workshop is co-hosted by Sally Wilkins, a sustainability consultant at Proxima Consulting (an accredited Future Fit Partner since 2019) and Roger Robson-Williams, Chief Sustainability Officer at Plant and Food Research (an early adopter of the Benchmark in Aotearoa).

Book here for Online Hui 3#, Working Together for Change, on 24 June, 7pm – 9pm.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Sustainable Development Goals Summit, 2-3 September, University of Canterbury, Ōtautahi Christchurch


With workshops, world cafes, panel sessions, kōrerorero, creative stations, activations and small group discussions, plus field trips and a community-style feast, the 2021 Aotearoa SDG Summit ‘Collaboration for Systemic Change’ focuses on connecting, learning, collaborating, and taking real action on the 17 SDGs.

Held across two days and based from the University of Canterbury campus, this is a Summit event like no other!

 See here for ticketing and more details. Early Bird tickets are now available, and all tickets purchased before 24 June receive free access to Online Hui #3!

The 2020-2021 Aotearoa New Zealand Sustainable Development Goals Summit series is co-hosted by UC and Lincoln University, with mana whenua Ngāi Tuahuriri, in partnership with the Christchurch City Council and Ara Institute of Canterbury. The Series is supported by Tourism New Zealand, Te Pokai Tara – Universities New Zealand, ChristchurchNZ,  New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, Seeds Podcast and UC Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Stay connected with the Aotearoa SDG Summit Series via their website, FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and by signing up to the mailing list here.


Latest from the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

UC is a member of the ACU. Their latest news (summarised below) is available on their website.

Each month, an individual at a different ACU member institution is invited to write the introduction for this newsletter, providing an opportunity to highlight different perspectives. This month, Philip McGowan, from Newcastle University, UK and Pamela Dube from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, writes for us about higher education and the SDGs.

It’s been nearly six years since the world’s governments agreed the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, and these 17 goals increasingly feature in our universities, in businesses and in local government. This increasing familiarity with the SDGs is critical if we are to make good progress by the 2030 deadline for meeting these environmental, social and development goals…  (see the website for the rest of the article)

Opportunities for members:

  • Martha Farrell Memorial Fellowships – applications now open
  • Register for Going Global 2021
  • Request for proposals: Market analysis of the higher education sector in Bangladesh
  • Request for proposals: Supporting research study
  • ACU Fellowships – deadline extended
  • Speak at the NMIMS-ACU International Conference on STEM Education-2021
  • Attend the Digital University Africa webinar series
  • Research and innovation for climate action – academic and university events in support of COP26
  • Blue Charter Knowledge Exchange Training Programme
  • Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Studentships
  • Call for papers | Conversations about the journey of change: A ‘new normal’
  • Save the date: ‘Universities of the Future’ event


  • Taking international collaboration online: Virtual mobility projects
  • Climate Resilience Challenge Grants: advancing climate action in the Commonwealth
  • Tackling the taboo of sexual harassment

Noho ora mai

Karen Mather  (she/her)

Pūmanawa Tangata | People and Culture

“Dynamics 365: Building Better Relationships”

Kia Ora Katoa,

Last week, our esteemed DVCA announced the “Kia Angitu” (Student Success Programme), mandated to achieve the key strategic objective for UC which is “to develop and provide targeted interventions and a positive environment to support student success”.

Digital ITS is supporting some of the initiatives of Kia Angitu with the implementation of a new key technology platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365).

Why D365 for UC?

The University is on an exciting journey to deliver great digital experiences. A major part of this is establishing key platforms that will enable personalisation, self-service, and insight into how we manage our relationships with students and other stakeholders.

The implementation of D365 will help us to meet our commitment to modernise the IT infrastructure and offer some very straightforward advantages like –

  • Giving us the capability of consolidating multiple point solutions for managing student relationships into a single University-wide platform.
  • D365 platform can be progressively scaled to enhance both student learning outcomes as well as maturing our research business model.
  • The D365 platform intends to integrate & enhance the capability of the existing UC systems that work well, while also look at reducing some legacy systems no longer fit for purpose.
  • It will allow us to harness the synergy offered by other key products offered by Microsoft that UC is investing in, as part of its digital transformation.
  • Most importantly, provide an omni-channel capability to capture each interaction with the student in the future and transform every facet of how we engage with students from when they dream about coming to the university during school years, to being alumni and life-long learners with UC.

Why D365 for Kia Angitu?

In the absence of a single 360-degree view of information, students must ‘retell’ their issues at each support or advisory point and staff are unaware of previous advice given. Currently at UC, academic and pastoral support (and the associated information) is siloed across the organisation. Insufficient access to information or duplication of processes compromises the level of service staff can provide and hampers our ability to support students.

The priority of D365 team will be the delivery of a case management capability required by Kia Angitu, that will help build a 360-degree view of students.

A well-designed Student Success module will reduce the number of impacted students falling between the cracks of a disjointed service ecosystem, while also holistically promoting Students’ success by providing a positive and nurturing environment through targeted interventions. The student experience will further be enhanced by creating more seamless transitions and referrals with the system.

How are we doing this?

The D365 initiative is being led by Dana Burnett (Director, Digital Product & Delivery) and her team, who are working in close partnership with Kaylene Sampson and the Kia Angitu programme. Together they aim to deliver the Student Success module for Kia Angitu.

This Student Success module will enable a 360-degree view of student, accompanied by the case management capability for ACE, academic advising, and support services along with a ticket management capability for Contact Centre. This module will provide the ability to send referrals and tasks amongst the key stakeholders of this phase.

 What to expect next?

The high-level design of this module has been drawn with key stakeholder groups mentioned above along with our implementation partner Fusion5. The next step will be to build the Student Success module.

In preparation for this build, the project team is currently in the process of transitioning UC Live (CRM)- the Sales module of D365 used by Liaison, IRO & Communication Teams, to the new Dynamics tenancy. These teams have been successfully using D356 for a few years now and going forth will reside alongside the new proposed modules – hence fulfilling the objective of a single UC wide platform

There will be a detailed update from Dana and her team to bring you along on this journey of building a pan UC D365 platform, with a focus on their plan for implementation of the Student Success module.

In the meantime, for any queries, please feel free to reach out to the Digital Change Manager for Dynamics 365 –

Ngā Mihi,
Mike Oulsnam