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Takere scholarship empowers ākonga Māori and Pacific students

13 February 2024

Building on our legacy of academic excellence and cultural inclusivity, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC) is proud to empower another cohort of ākonga Māori and Pacific students as they embark on their university journey. 


Photo caption: Takere scholarship recipients Alix Livesley (left) and July Evagelia

The Takere scholarship, part of our Kia Angitu Student Success Programme, has been instrumental in supporting the academic and cultural success of first-year Māori and Pacific students. For five weeks over January and February, the academic and cultural live-in experience has provided 36 students with tailored support and resources designed to equip them with the skills and confidence needed to thrive at UC. The scholarship has also helped the students build relationships with Kaitaki (mentors) and Kaiāwhina (tutors) who will check in with them throughout the academic year, as well as offer ongoing leadership development opportunities.

Takere scholarship recipients Alix Livesley and July Evagelia are the first in their whānau to attend university and are excited to be given a headstart when it comes to transitioning to student life.

“I’m the youngest in the family, my older sisters went different ways. This is a big deal to Mum and Dad, but they’re careful not to put pressure on me,” says Livesley. “I was so set on getting this scholarship to make friends. I think if I hadn’t got it the first couple of weeks would have terrified me, that probably would have stopped me from going to uni.”

Evagelia, who will continue his stay in the halls of residence for his first year, is grateful for the opportunity to have a ‘practice run’ before lectures begin, and life gets hectic.

“I’m going to be staying in this hall in the exact same room. It’s been pretty good for me, it’s given me a head start knowing where everything is on campus, where to find support. Honestly, it’s a real gamechanger, now I’m confident going into uni.”

As part of the summer programme, students are also enrolled in a first-year course, which can contribute to their chosen degree. This not only accelerates their academic progress but also ensures that they are well prepared for university-level study.

“I’ve been able to make mistakes and learn from them now – which is much better than making mistakes later,” jokes Evagelia. “Even just basics like time management and knowing how important that is.”

“It’s really different time management compared to high school. It’s quite hard,” Livesley says.

Students engage in a diverse range of activities aimed at enhancing their pastoral, cultural, and academic success. From intensive academic workshops to traditional cultural ceremonies, the Takere programme provides a holistic approach to student development, fostering a sense of belonging and community.

“Each week we’ve done a workshop on a different culture. Those are my favourite, it’s nice to get to know everyone else’s culture because there are actually so many here,” says Livesley.

The ongoing support of donors enables us to continue providing opportunities for students like July and Alix, ensuring they have the resources and support needed to achieve their academic and personal goals.

Thanks to a generous donation from Graduate Women Canterbury (GWC), 35 students in the Takere programme who did not have a suitable laptop for university studies received new devices that they can use throughout their UC journey.

For more information about Kia Angitu and our Takere programme, visit Student Support Programme | University of Canterbury.

Will you donate and create more opportunities for students like Alix and July? Your support matters. By donating towards Kia Angitu, UC’s student success programme, you’re providing peer assisted learning, student advisors, and other support services that empower students to develop self-efficacy, academic perseverance, and mastery of learning.

Join us in making a difference and donate today.  

Quality Education

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