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UC Rā Tōmene | Open Day hosts thousands

08 September 2023

Thousands of future students explored the University of Canterbury today at Rā Tōmene | Open Day 2023, many travelling from all over Aotearoa to Ōtautahi.


Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | The University of Canterbury’s Rā Tōmene | Open Day was filled with prospective students excited to join the UC community and take part in student life. UC increased capacity to meet increasing demand this year, running extra sessions and simulcasting into adjacent lecture theatres for those interested in studying at Canterbury in 2024.

From 8.30am, aspiring students, their whānau and friends walked the pathways of Ilam campus. Collecting their red UC tote bags, donuts and hash browns for a pick-me-up before attending a packed day of information sessions.

Attendees were able to design a bespoke schedule of information sessions based on the subjects they’re interested in studying, just as they might when they enrol at UC.

With high interest, more sessions were added for popular subjects, such as Civil and Natural Resources Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and extra simulcasting rooms were required.

The UC Business School session was also fully subscribed, requiring another casting lecture theatre with a further 200 seats. A Law session was shifted into a larger space, ‘selling out’ 406 seats, while the six UCSA ‘Uni 101’ presentations hit capacity, with 2000 prospective students registered to attend across the day.

2023 was the first year ChristchurchNZ ran a session about Ōtautahi, and what it’s like to live here as a UC student. For attendees from outside of the region, they heard about how “studying in Ōtautahi means you can find your perfect balance; excellence and innovation, harmony and wellbeing.”

Multiple support sessions were held, aimed at helping students begin their journey at UC. These sessions were across a range of needs, offering support to new Māori and Pacific students, students’ parents and whānau, Year 12 students, international students, and new students aged over 25.

Between sessions, kai was available at the numerous cafes and eateries across campus and local food trucks, breaking up the busy day. Students enjoyed discussing their favourite sessions and taking in their new university environment. 

The central library tower, Puaka-James Hight, acted as a hub for course planning help. Attendees who had already decided on their degree, were able to sit down one-on-one with an advisor and choose their UC subjects for next year.

Attendees were able to compare UC’s first-year Halls of Residence options and figure out which of these suited them the best. The Accommodation Hub in Matariki showcased UC accommodation options, and was the departure point for tours of seven halls of residence.  

UC’s Rā Tōmene | Open Day 2023 welcomed thousands of future students (and whānau) to the campus they’ll call home next year. Students can now enrol for 2024 courses  and return to campus as new UC students for 2024 Orientation Day on Friday 16 February, ahead of Semester 1 lectures starting on Monday 19 February.

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