Tag Archives: student experience

Closing the Loop – Feedback from the 2020 Student Experience Survey

The Ako Marake | Evaluation and Student Insights team has created a one-page infographic of high level results of 2020’s UCount and UCPEQ surveys to close the feedback loop with students. The infographic, shown below, will be distributed via the UC screens, on Tūpono, and will be posted on selected notice boards across campus.

In August 2020 17,372 enrolled students received an invitation to participate in the annual Student Experience survey. The survey asked a number of questions about the student experience focusing on both the in-classroom and wider university environment. In total, 6,053 students returned valid/completed surveys, equating to a response rate of 35% (margin of error of 1% at the 99% confidence interval).

This data is available across a variety of ESI’s dashboards – you can check them out here.

The 2021 round of the UCount survey runs between 23rd April – 16th May, with data expected to be available around the end of May. The ESI team will be promoting this new round of data collection over the coming weeks, highlighting some of the great prizes available for students to win. Staff can help promote the survey by encouraging students to participate, ensuring that they know that their opinions are valued and acted upon.

Keep your eye out on Tū Ki Te Tahi for 2021 data dashboard updates.

For any questions, or if you would like ESI to come speak to your team about student survey data, please email Ellie Kay and Elyse Thompson at surveys@canterbury.ac.nz.

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

Akiaki Ākonga | Student Experience Team

Kia ora koutou, we are Akiaki Ākonga | Student Experience Team.

Student experience is a generic term many of you will be familiar with, so what does it mean to be the team with that term in our name?

To us, it means we live and breathe student experience! Everything we do is designed to engage and develop our students to thrive at UC and beyond, so they are people ‘prepared to make a difference’.

About Us

We are a team of four; our strength being the diverse backgrounds and experience we bring together at UC.

Jeni Moir leads the team. Jeni relocated from South Africa in 2001 from a successful career in tertiary teaching and academic development. Jeni’s psych and social work training, together with her film and television production experience, surfaces our best ideas to keep pace with the ever-changing student and tertiary environment.

Rose Reynolds joined the team in 2017. Originally from the USA, Rose is mother of two and now calls Ōtautahi home. Rose is a UC graduate in Sociology and Media & Communication, with a background in project coordination and brings to the team optimism, enthusiasm and ideas galore.

Janina Good has been part of the team since 2018. Janina moved to NZ from her native Germany to join her kiwi wine-maker husband, and now has a gorgeous bilingual kiwi daughter in-tow. Janina’s background includes language and secondary teaching and she contributes amazing attention to detail and an uncanny ability to get things done with incredible efficiency.

Jarred Skelton is our newest team member. Jarred joined the team in 2020 after seven years in primary teaching. Jarred completed CUP and a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary) at UC. Jarred moonlights as an improv-comedy expert, teller of dad-jokes, and brings joy to all. He is also an excellent meme-generator.

Our Mahi

Akiaki Ākonga | Student Experience Team are involved in university-led initiatives to support student engagement, retention and success. Our key initiatives are:

UC Mentoring

We recruit, train and support over 50 student mentors annually whom are matched with new students at all levels of study, to support successful transition into UC.

UniLife

A peer-to-peer group mentoring programme specifically for first-year students not living in the halls of residence. The programme is designed to optimise student success by facing challenges together and sharing strategies to combat common pitfalls.

Emerging Leaders Development Programme (ELDP)

A UC-sponsored leadership programme for recipients of the Horomata, Kaitoko Māori and Kaitoko Pasifika scholarships. Programme alumni support the team to provide participants with many experiences including service, workshops, social events and more.

Check out the video our ELDP students made about the programme

Go Waitaha Canterbury (GWC)

Scholarship recipients from Auckland and Wellington receive a full-year programme of personal development opportunities and adventures exploring their new home Waitaha | Canterbury. They are mentored in small groups by GWC alumni and all live together in Tupuānuku hall in 2021.

Ākonga Leadership Incubator (ĀLI)

A professional development programme for student leaders who work as group mentors in ELDP, UniLife, and GWC. They develop their leadership profile and learn how to support their students in their transition from high school to university.

Pathways to Tertiary

The primary aim of this outreach programme into low socio-economic schools is to develop the confidence and ability of academically able students to enter and succeed in tertiary education. The main means of achieving this goal is regular peer mentoring and support engagements between UC Transition Mentors and selected senior students. The Team delivered a pilot into Linwood College during 2020 and plan to engage with two this year.

Our Vision

Akiaki Ākonga | Student Experience Team holds strongly to the UC vision of Tangata Tū, Tangata Ora | People Prepared to Make a Difference. Our particular contribution is advocating for a supportive campus environment that emphasises diversity, inclusion, wellbeing and belonging. We provide leadership and equity pathways: students in our programmes become student leaders, mentors, club leaders and UCSA exec members. Our team supports students’ personal and professional growth through our training workshops, so they can contribute to growing a nurturing and inspiring culture at UC.

We love working collaboratively across UC to create the best student experience in New Zealand; so if you are keen to work with us, please get in touch!

In celebration of excellence – United Nations 75th anniversary – Climate Change Symposium 2020

Postgrad student Julie Meates organised a Climate Change Symposium from 9 – 11 March 2020, gathering students, academics, national and international experts together to discuss the challenges and potential solutions to the climate crisis. Read Julie’s summary of the Symposium below: 

2020 was a year with many challenges – let us acknowledge those who constantly seek to make the world and university a better place.

Marc Dalder, a Senior Political Reporter, states that NZ may be excluded from climate leaders’ summit, over concerns about the country’s inaction on climate change. New Zealand has seen the second-greatest increase in emissions (in percentage terms) among Annex I countries, he reports (Newsroom, November 2020). Will the government’s climate emergency declaration change that?

Before COVID-19 changed the landscape of the world, a group of enlightened and inspiring university academics, as well as post-graduate students, and international and national speakers tried to pre-empt this narrative and work on climate change and balance with a three day event in March 2020. A two-pronged approach was chosen to both honour and thank those lecturers and students who bring a climate change of kindness and manaakitanga to the university culture and environment. We also addressed the alarming statistics and looked at working collaboratively to find global solutions as requested by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to mark the United Nations 75th Anniversary to the climate crisis.

Day 1

With a heartening beginning and mihi whakatau and waiata, the Climate Change Symposium was opened with the goal and dream in mind to create a well world through global conversation. Esteemed kaumatua and Te Akatoki laid the kaupapa.

Above: Sir Mark Solomon with Te Akatoki in background

Sir Mark Solomon reminded us of the effect of climate change and Aotearoa. Post-graduate students from the environmental health post-graduate programme highlighted the effect of temperature rise. We noted that while we couldn’t change the culture of cars and flights we could raise awareness of the inextricable link between our gadget culture and the amount of fossil fuels it takes – 240 kgs to produce one computer monitor, according to Kumar, 2017. Little did we know of the pandemic to come. 

Above: Fr Arsène Kapya and Lema Shamamba

Two amazing speakers from the DRC Congo – Fr Arsene Kapya and Lema Shamamba, a climate change refugee, recounted the Congo Crisis and exploitation of the Congolese minerals. These are used for our cell phones and other digital devices, and deforestation of the second-largest rainforest in the world contribute significantly to  global warming. Lema Shamamba features in the book ‘Women Kind- New Zealand Women Making a Difference’, along with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. A segment of the 2018 Nobel Peace laureate, Dr. Denis Mukwege, was read out to the audience addressing the human cost, urging us to put an end to the suffering for the conflict minerals for our cell phones and electric cars.

Above: Panel Chair Dr Jeremy Moses and panel speakers Professor Neil Boister, Professor Karen Scott and Professor Bronwyn Hayward

An expert panel, chaired by Dr. Jeremy Moses concluded Day 1 with brief solutions to huge problems.  The panel was led by Professor Neil Boister, Head of Law School, who addressed climate change and Congo Crisis and International law. He was acknowledged, in absentia at the climate change awards the following evening. He was followed by Professor Karen Scott who gave us a professional perspective on Paris Agreement and Climate Change. Professor Bronwyn Hayward, served as the coordinating lead author for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in 2019 was acknowledged by Kiwi Bank New Zealander of the Year – Local Hero for research on climate change and work with the IPCC, concluded the panel.

Day 2

Above: MC Glen Osborne, Dr Jarrod Gilbert, Professor Sonia Mazey, Professor Ekant Veer,  Professor Angus Macfarlane, and MC Te Hurinui Clarke with guitar

Day 2 addressed health and wellbeing in the modern world and the impact of digital technology. This evening’s MC was Glen Osbourne, New Zealand television presenter, a former New Zealand All Black and presently representing New Zealand as a police constable. Dr. Jarrod Gilbert, who has extensive research in the areas of crime and justice, addressed the issue of gangs and cyberbullying. Professor Ekant Veer, Associate Dean of Postgraduate Research, and a multi-award-winning teacher and researcher, addressed ‘Staying Healthy in a Digitally Connected World’. There is an ongoing tension between being digitally connected to the world and the stresses that being ‘always on’ has on our physical and mental wellbeing. In this talk, Professor Veer presented research that shows some of the consequences for people immersed in digital worlds and constantly connected. He concluded by providing some solutions that enable people to be both digitally connected and ‘well’. Professor Ekant Veer was further acknowledged by PVC – College of Business and Law Professor Sonia Mazey for his approach to education and learning.

Above: Dr. Ben Wamamil, Dr Suvojit Bandopadhyaya, Dr. Olatz.Lopez-Fernandez, Dr Daria Kuss, Dr Nicholas Kadaras and Dr Mary Redmayne 

Dr. Ben Wamamil, a Ph.D. student from Kenya addressed Climate change: Impact of social media and increase in vaping. Dr Suvojit Bandopadhyaya, a Ph.D. student from India, spoke of Climate change and the Impact of social media and terrorism. Dr. Olatz.Lopez-Fernandez presented on Addiction, Dr. Daria Kuss from Nottingham Trent University addressed Gaming Addictions while Dr. Nicholas Kardaras from Harvard University talked of Glow Kids and mental health.The keynote speaker was Dr Mary Redmayne from Victoria University and Monash University, who presented on:  Screen use affecting health. What can we do about it? Raising healthy children in the screen age.

Jason Gunn has taken aim at “cruel” comments from online “bullies” in an emotionally charged video on his Facebook page with commentary from Professor Ursula Cheer, Dean of the UC Law School.

Below: Professor Ursula Cheer and Dr Chris North 

Dr. Chris North, Associate Deputy Head of School gave a heartening solution to an epidemic problem. Balance in education and society in the digital age. Wellness in the Modern World: How to get Life Balance and Disconnect to reconnect. The intersection between humans and the environment, in terms of learning and quality experiences, but also in promoting environmental sustainability: Outdoors and Environmental education. UC Outdoor Education Informed by experiential education approaches. Let’s Get Physical.

The evening was interwoven with manaakitanga and kindness awards. Associate Professor Beverley Lord was presented an award for contribution to post graduate women by her Head of Department on behalf of Post graduate women. The Student Volunteer Army was acknowledged for volunteerism and received a donation presented by Vanessa Cole from Dancing with the Stars. Danielle Robb was acknowledged in absentia for volunteerism for UC netball.  The grand finale was Manaakitanga Award to Professor Angus Macfarlane by Professor Letitia Fickel Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor Education, Health & Human Development. With special thanks to Te Hurinui Clark for his contribution.

Day 3

Day 3 concluded with inspiring presentations from the school of Physical and Chemical Sciences. Professor Brent Robinson addressed electronic waste-highlighting the environmental contaminants and the effect of our food and water. Electronic waste increased from an estimated 20-25 million tonnes per year to 50 million tonnes from 2009 to 2018. Professor Ian Shaw addressed residues in our food and human health effects, and Maria Jesus Gutirrez-Gines from ESR looked at the water, bio-waste and the circular economy, and climate change. Helena Ruffle, a Ph.D. student gave an interesting presentation on the effect of microplastics, plastics, and waste. The evening concluded with Yulinda, a Ph.D. student and sociologist who addressed indigenous knowledge and values, and food security in rural development.

A closing address from Dr. Kate Dewes and Commander Robert Green from the Disarmament and Security Centre concluded the Well World Climate change symposium.

Thanks also to all the volunteer post graduate students and UCSA caterers who helped make a successful event.

A follow up event took place on 31 September 2020 at Isaac Theatre Royal.