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Teaching Award


15 February 2024

Through student engagement and mentoring the ENG ME! team have improved the lives of thousands of Engineering students at UC. Learn more.

Outstanding Teaching and Learning Transformation Award


ENG ME!, the Faculty of Engineering’s programme for student engagement and mentoring, has made a positive impact in the lives of over 6000 students in the 6 years since its inception.

ENG ME! is a programme led by students and supported by the faculty of engineering.  It was developed to improve engineering students’ sense of belonging and inclusion at UC, putting a particular emphasis on transforming the culture of the Faculty and improving outcomes for a range of students who have historically been under-served or discouraged from entering the engineering profession, such as women, Māori, Pasifika, international, and older students.  As such, the program was developed and works in close collaboration with support teams from across campus including Māori development team, Pasifika development team, Student Care, UC mentoring, Rainbow support and Uni life.  In particular, Engineering Faculty members that support the ENG ME! program are Dr Daniel van der Walt (Academic-Lead), Dr Rachael Wood (Deputy-Lead) Prof. Philippa Martin (Creator of the program), Dr Christopher McGann (ENG ME! Tutor), Dr Bahareh Shahri (Product Design) and Vicki O'Sullivan (ENG ME! Admin-support).

While it is easy to feel alone and unseen in a programme such as Engineering due to its large first-year courses of between 400-900 students, there is evidence that the programme has brought real change: since programme’s implementation first year engineering students have scored higher on social connection metrics than first-year students in other faculties – even through the years of pandemic lockdowns.  “The EngMe session brought us all together,” wrote one student, while a recent graduate calls ENG ME! “the highlight of my university experience.”

The programme’s design is simple but effective: through participation in mentoring groups, engineering students receive both social and academic support from trained mentors and tutors.  These mentors are chosen through a competitive process, with the opportunity for their mahi to be recognised on their co-curricular records.  Student agency is at the core of the programme, which was co-created with a range of student communities and societies, and the programme is led by a small team of student Mentor Leaders, who are given the authority and agency to change the programme as needed for one year to another.  Furthermore, the Faculty has found that students feel more empowered to speak up and seek help in a welcoming environment that is led by student mentors.  This provides a student voice in the Faculty, channelling real-time feedback to teaching staff to help them improve education outcomes promptly.

The success of this model is down to the Student-led, Faculty-enabled principle that underpins the decisions in the program.  The effectiveness of ENG ME! has been recognised at the national level, receiving Engineering New Zealand’s ENVI Engineering Education Award, and has begun to transform other faculties and schools at UC as well, for example, through the creation of LawME!

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