Pathways to Tertiary

The Pathways to Tertiary project aims to widen participation in tertiary education by increasing aspiration for and awareness of tertiary education for students at deciles 1-5 secondary schools and Kura in Ōtautahi Christchurch. The project is made up of two initiatives, one that connects high school learners with UC student mentors, and another that offers place-based learning at Tūhaitara Coastal Park.


Hōpara connects UC Transition Mentors to Year 11, 12 and 13 students around Christchurch. The aim is to develop the confidence and ability to enable students from low decile schools to make a successful transition in-to tertiary education. UC Transition Mentors, a careful selection of current UC students, provide regular peer-to-peer mentoring and support to these high school students.

Mentors share their own journeys and stories as they encourage and support students, and they help students to develop the confidence, knowledge and tools to succeed as they transition in-to University, or other tertiary education environments:

"Looking through the UC resources with my mentors helped me understand more about UC and what to expect. This helped me decide on what path I want to take." - Year 13 Student

Staff at Linwood College value the positive and encouraging environment that Hōpara has helped foster from the first session onwards:

"What a wonderful start to the programme this morning! It was a lot of fun and really helped to break the ice for many of our learners who feel challenged when trying something new! Love how present and positive the mentors were; we are so grateful that they are willing to share their busy lives with us. Looking forward to the next session already!" - Senior Leadership Team, Linwood College

Hōpara is currently being developed at Linwood College before expanding to other schools and is a collaboration between UC, Ara and Christchurch NZ.

Tūhaitara Coastal Park


TCP Kia Angitu

The Tūhaitara Coastal Park initiative engages rangatahi in place-based learning to raise awareness and aspirations about tertiary education and careers within the greater Christchurch region. With the support of Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust for this collaborative project, the focus of place-based learning will be the Tūhaitara Coastal Park. This includes a Ki uta ki tai - mountains to the sea programme incorporating UC’s Cass Research Station and Tūhaitara Coastal Park.

The key focus is to co-design teaching resources for the Park to utilise.  The resources will focus on science and STEM learning opportunities linked to the curriculum and year levels for secondary schools to use when engaging with the Park. It is intended that this mahi will expose rangatahi to the expanding opportunities for study and careers available to them in science and STEM within Ōtautahi. And to encourage and support those interested to pursue these pathways.