UC’s Bicultural Competence and Confidence Framework

The Bicultural Competence and Confidence Framework supports the University of Canterbury (UC) to develop curricula, activities and experiences that relate to the UC Graduate Profile attribute of Bicultural Competence and Confidence. The UC Graduate Profile aims to produce graduates who are distinctive in the knowledge, skills and attributes which position them to respond in the one nation, two peoples and multicultural society of Aotearoa New Zealand, and also to provide distinctiveness in an international context. This is clearly linked to Te Rautaki Whakawhanake Kaupapa Māori (UC Strategy for Māori Development 2012) Vision, Mission and Areas of Development, in particular Hōtaka Kōunga (Quality Programmes).

The Bicultural Competence and Confidence Framework (hereafter Framework) outlines approaches to implementing the Bicultural Competence and Confidence attribute in undergraduate programmes of study. It explains cultural competence and presents a set of themes which detail what bicultural competence and confidence might entail in the Aotearoa New Zealand context.

The Framework outlines processes to facilitate the development of content, pedagogy, activities and experiences which will be integrated into curricula in programmes of study. It further presents UC’s collaborative and collective approach to the bicultural competence and confidence element of the UC undergraduate curriculum, with the understanding that the Framework itself will develop further as UC becomes more competent in this domain.

1.0 Background

UC is committed to responding to its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its role in contemporary Aotearoa. In this context, the academic framing of bicultural competence and confidence has been discussed for some time at UC. Earlier discussion was summarised in the draft document Proposal: A Framework for Ensuring Bicultural Competence and Confidence in UC Curricula. This draft document was considered at Senior Management Team, sent to the Learning and Teaching Committee, and then sent on to faculties for discussion and feedback. The current revised Framework document takes into consideration feedback from faculties.

It is noted that the Bicultural Competence and Confidence attribute is one of four in the UC Graduate Profile endorsed by the UC Council on 29 October 2014. This attribute is led and facilitated by the Office of the AVC Māori. The overarching learning outcome reads:

"Students will be aware of and understand the relevance of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand to their area of study and/or their degree."

It is recognised that this development requires UC itself to become more biculturally competent as an institution. Ownership will be achieved through an organic approach in and across colleges, partnered with strategic support and guidance.

The overall aim is that the UC community is confident that our graduates cross the stage having fulfilled the aspirations outlined in our UC Graduate Profile, and with particular reference to this attribute, having had ample opportunity to develop bicultural competence and confidence as it relates to their chosen discipline and recognise how this will contribute to their future careers, whether in the setting of a bicultural Aotearoa New Zealand or an international context. This is tied to inclusiveness, to enabling multiple perspectives of society and to acknowledging the role of graduates amongst these communities. The knowledge and skills instilled through this attribute will ensure that UC graduates are able to engage effectively in our multicultural society and have a distinctive and unique perspective for employment locally, nationally and internationally.

The Framework recognises there are curricula in place and courses being taught across the University which could be capitalised on, or in some cases adapted, to ensure capture of all aspects of this attribute across the degree programme. It is the intention that courses which contribute to bicultural competence and confidence will be identified for the wider UC community. There is also a need to look forward and create new offerings in terms of content, pedagogical approaches, activities and experiences to strengthen what is currently available.

2.0 Definition of cultural competence and confidence

Cultural competence and confidence is the ability to interact confidently and appropriately with persons from a background that is different from one’s own. It goes beyond an awareness of, or sensitivity to, another culture to include the ability to use that knowledge in cross-cultural situations. At an institutional level, it includes the development and implementation of processes, procedures and practices that support culturally competent and appropriate services.

The aim of bicultural competence at UC is not simply about ‘Māori’ or ‘culture’, or tied to ethnicity or current awareness of cultural safety. It includes the ability to understand oneself within the context of applying the chosen discipline in a bicultural Aotearoa and multicultural society, both for New Zealand and for international graduate destinations. It aims to develop UC graduates as people who make a difference, tangata tū, tangata ora.

Bicultural competence is a starting point to being multicultural. This is what makes UC graduates distinctive, makes them stand out amongst their peers. Coming to a deeper understanding of self and one’s own cultural framework and how that impacts on engagement with one other group, is fundamental to understanding multiculturalism and being effective in engaging with many different groups. The UC community, through its initiatives on bicultural competence and confidence, is taking steps on the route towards multicultural understanding, on how to work with others on their terms. Given UC’s Te Rautaki Whakawhanake Kaupapa Māori and its commitment to mana whenua, it is right that we frame bicultural competence and confidence through knowledge of, and engagement with Māori, locally and nationally.

We can think of this in terms of increasing circles of knowledge and influence, starting with self, expanding to local place-based contexts, then national ones. These are viewed in the context of the foundational documents of New Zealand and especially Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Knowing about and behaving appropriately in the local and national context from a bicultural perspective provides UC graduates with the transferable skills to successfully engage with those from other cultural contexts in New Zealand and internationally. Really understanding biculturalism is a route to understanding how to work with others. It is the lens to successful multicultural practice at a personal, local and international level. It goes beyond the iconic level of “haka, hongi and hāngī”. These increasing circles of knowledge and influence are reflected in the kaupapa or themes of the bicultural competence and confidence attribute, detailed in section 3 below.

3.0 The UC Graduate Profile interface with Learning Objectives and Learning Outcomes

In terms of the academic process, the UC Learning and Teaching Committee has established an approach to the UC Graduate Profile which has been endorsed at Academic Board. The attributes of the Graduate Profile, or what we want our students to be, and the Learning Objectives, what students can achieve, are universal for all undergraduate degrees at UC. The various learning outcomes and rubrics for assessing these are to be determined at degree or major level.

UC graduate profile attributes, learning outcomes and rubric

The Office of the AVC Māori has been working on developing a series of kaupapa or themes which provide criteria for developing this attribute of the UC Graduate Profile (see Section 4). These are the elements that provide the range of learning, knowledge, experience and engagement to develop bicultural competence and confidence. The kaupapa have been discussed and supported by the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre Advisory Board, the UC Senior Managers Māori and the Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori. The kaupapa have also been consulted on across faculties, and have principally been supported.

The UC Graduate Profile is overarching and aims to provide an umbrella that encompasses bicultural competence and confidence (and the other attributes) through content, pedagogical approaches, activities and experiences. It is has never been intended that we fully describe what this looks like and how it will be achieved for individual programmes of study; that is the role of individual colleges and faculties. The point is that throughout a full programme of study each student must be given adequate opportunity to engage with such content, activities and experiences, to the extent that they develop bicultural competence and confidence and understand how it is relevant to their chosen discipline and proposed career by the time they graduate.

4.0 Kaupapa – the themes contributing to bicultural competence and confidence

The proposed kaupapa identified as relating to bicultural competence and confidence are listed below. These kaupapa are overarching ideas on which to base more specific content, pedagogy, activities and experiences. Learning outcomes will tie back to these themes and will be linked to assessment. The themes define what UC desires in developing bicultural competence and confidence. They provide a macro view that curricula can refer to, however they do not define how they are interpreted in programmes of study, or in individual courses, their learning outcomes and how they are delivered or assessed.

The kaupapa

A process of self-reflection on the nature of ‘knowledge’ and ‘norms’. Self
The nature of contemporary Māori organisational structures e.g. rūnanga, hapū, iwi, iwi corporations. Local, place-based
Traditional and contemporary realities of Māori society e.g. tikanga and kawa, te reo Māori. National
The Treaty of Waitangi and Aotearoa New Zealand’s bicultural history. National
The processes of colonisation and globalisation. National and international
Other indigenous models of development, knowledge and behaviours. International
Application of bicultural competence and confidence in a chosen discipline and career. Self, local, national and international


Graphic of the bicultural themes (kaupapa)

We recognise that other areas of content may be considered as part of, or recommended additions to these kaupapa. For example, deeper bicultural understanding will emanate from the consideration of and familiarity with cultural practice and cultural paradigm through the study of te reo Māori, tikanga and kawa – Māori language, customary practices and protocols.

5.0 Supporting the development of kaupapa: the role of the Kaiārahi

The Kaiārahi from the Office of the AVC Māori have an important role in supporting colleges. Colleges are currently mapping what they are already doing in content, activities and experiences. The Kaiārahi are available to assist with this process at college level, at the level of programmes of study, and at major subject level. The Kaiārahi will lead collaborative work with their colleges to help and advise on what the colleges are planning to do to strengthen their offerings once these have been identified through the mapping process. The Kaiārahi have an additional role in facilitating links to the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, Aotahi, and other potential contributors, internal and external, to the aspirations that UC has for bicultural competence and confidence.

The Kaiārahi will also assist colleges to consider their bicultural input with reference to major subject requirements so they can be confident that all students have adequate opportunities to develop bicultural competence and confidence during their chosen undergraduate programme of study. Existing courses with strong bicultural content, activities and experiences will be identified. Some courses may be supported to strengthen existing material. Additional content, activities and experiences may be embedded across a range of courses. Some new courses may even be developed. Different pedagogical approaches may be taken, and richer engagement fostered. What is important is that the kaupapa are covered across the three or four years of an individual student’s programme of study in a way that is relevant to the chosen discipline.

This does not mean that every kaupapa will be delivered in every course, nor even that every course will deliver on this attribute of the UC Graduate Profile. Colleges, schools and departments will make these decisions, and interpret the kaupapa to suit their discipline and in some cases professional requirements for accreditation.

This Framework aims to achieve transparency and confidence at UC level that individual graduates emerge biculturally competent and confident and able to apply that knowledge and skill to their chosen careers.

6.0 Curriculum Planning and Process

Work on curriculum planning initiatives has commenced at college level, and at the level of individual programmes of study. UC colleges are preparing curriculum maps, and outlining a range of opportunities to develop bicultural competence and confidence. Many are doing this in consultation with the Kaiārahi Māori for their college. Within the College of Education, Health and Human Development, the Māori and Bicultural Committee supports this function. The opportunities might take the form of new courses or be achieved through redefining existing offerings in terms of their content, pedagogical approaches and models of interaction, across a range of the courses that contribute to the programme of study. A key aim is to normalise the bicultural content and activities within programmes of study at undergraduate level. This may or may not be expressed using the same words as in the key kaupapa or themes outlined above, but it is proposed that the content be aligned with these kaupapa.

It is also proposed that each programme of study will identify where the content and opportunities sit, how these relate to the key themes identified, and how the themes will be delivered, experienced and interacted with within each academic unit such as college, faculty, school or department. The accumulation of these ‘maps’ of content, experience and engagement will give UC the confidence that graduates crossing the stage in 2020 are biculturally competent and confident.

Through the UC co-curricular record, students may add to the development of bicultural competence and confidence gained through their programmes of study with events and activities in the broader university and community context. It is important to note that the co-curricular record is an additional option that students can choose to participate in and have validated to enhance and strengthen the competence and confidence they are developing through their core programmes of study. It is not the key delivery mechanism for bicultural competence and confidence.

The Director Māori Teaching and Learning, the Kaiārahi Māori, the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies , and other staff of the Office of the AVC Māori are a resource available to staff and leadership within colleges and faculties to support the process of mapping and development.

7.0 Transparency and Coordination

There has been an ongoing discussion and agreement in principle that collective responsibility for this attribute is important, together with a clear understanding of its elements across the UC community. It is important too that we have confidence in our approach and can apply our resources most effectively as we move into delivering bicultural competence and confidence to our graduates. Thus we propose to establish a working group, internal to the Office of the AVC Māori, to consider initiatives and curriculum content, and provide suggestions for additional development when necessary; this is the critical friend approach. This committee will also be in a good position to identify any duplication of effort across the university.

A summary of the process

The process begins in colleges, with major subject requirements and at the level of programmes of study. Kaiārahi work collaboratively with colleges, schools, departments, committees and individual teachers to identify current material, undertake new developments, and assist where necessary with forming learning outcomes and linked assessments.

Once crafted, these are sent to the Office of the AVC Māori, which, as a ‘critical friend’, will assist across colleges to minimise duplication of effort and to provide advice on consistency of approach at UC level. There may be a loop of feedback and advice to assist in the strengthening of offerings. This will be done in consultation with the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, Aotahi and external partners as appropriate, recognising these stakeholders supported the UC Graduate Profile within the context of UC Futures.

All initiatives will be submitted to the Academic Administration Committee (AAC) for endorsement via the UC Graduate Profile Project Control Board (The conversation regarding implementing the UC Graduate Profile from faculties to the AAC and vice versa is ongoing.)

UC delivers on BiCC and reports to UC Futures
The PCB for the UC Graduate Profile reports to UC Futures 
Graphic of the bicultural competency process
BiCC Initiatives endorsed by AAC reports to the PCB for BiCC
AAC assures quality across all Graduate Attributes, across UC, and reports to the UC Graduate Profile PCB. OAVCM provides cross-UC overview of developments and works to minimise replication and duplication of effort. 
Graphic of the bicultural competency process
College development plans reviewed and enhanced regularly
OAVCM receives college maps and development plans. OAVCM as 'critical friend' provides a loop of advice and support as existing and new initiatives are developed and refined. 
Graphic of the bicultural competency process
Colleges review existing offerings and develop new initiatives; these are added to the college map 
College mapping exercise at programme level Kaiārahi work with colleges and departments to plan and develop new initiatives. 
Graphic of the bicultural competency process
Department mapping at major subject level
Kaiārahi work with colleges, schools and departments to review existing offerings. Kaiārahi work with colleges, schools, departments and individuals.

We recognise that bicultural competence and confidence is a new area for many UC staff, and anecdotally some feel inadequately prepared at this point in time to carry this out independently.

Therefore timely and effective implementation in this area can be facilitated through consultation with the Office of the AVC Māori and linking to other resources which may include the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre, Aotahi, and internal and external stakeholders. This is firstly about providing direction, advice, and quality bicultural input to individual courses and programmes. Secondly, it is about understanding and using our limited resources and capacity effectively and meaningfully as we become more biculturally competent and confident as an institution. A process for managing information on collaboration and initiatives across UC will facilitate a ‘big picture’ overview of the range of offerings at UC that meet this graduate attribute, and over time will provide a clear view of how it is being implemented UC-wide. This in turn will provide clarity and transparency to Ngāi Tahu, the University Council, and TEC as is required for this attribute of the Graduate Profile.

It is envisaged that before submission to AAC, initiatives will have initially undergone the ‘critical friend’ development process with the Kaiārahi Māori for the various colleges. As previously noted, the Director Māori Teaching and Learning and the Kaiārahi Māori will assist colleges and faculties to identify where existing material lies and how additional initiatives might be developed and implemented. These efforts will be focused on assisting programme and course coordinators to identify any gaps and to review new developments, for eventual endorsement by the committee of the quality of content, experience and engagement initiatives once these have been carefully developed.

Content development will be the role of course and programme coordinators in discussion with the appropriate head of department, school, faculty or college, and with the advice of their college Kaiārahi as requested. It will involve both an overview across a programme of study, and the mapping of individual parts of the programme where content, experience and engagement are provided.

With the above discussion in mind, we attach a draft terms of reference for a Bicultural Development Working Group (Appendix 1). This group will act in an advisory and support capacity.