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UC Vice-Chancellor speaks at Cambridge University

22 September 2023

Invited to speak at Cambridge University, UC’s Tumu Whakarae | Vice-Chancellor highlighted the historic ties between the universities in front of an audience that included Ernest Rutherford’s great-granddaughter.


University of Canterbury Chancellor Hon Amy Adams and Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey at the Scott Polar Research Institute, London.


In Cambridge’s Newton Room, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC) Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey, spoke about the need, in a world of increasing complexity, for multiple knowledge perspectives, including Māori and Pacific knowledge and partnership. 

Her speech also touched on UC’s 150 years as an educational institute that admitted women as students from the start, and the University’s ongoing commitment to accessibility and equity.  

“The tertiary sector worldwide is facing many challenges, ranging from AI-learning to climate change, but I believe our future is bright. Universities are powerhouses of the knowledge, ideas, and solutions that our world needs right now to achieve greater equity and sustainability,” she said. 

In attendance with Cambridge’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Prentice, senior academics and dignitaries, was Cambridge geophysicist Professor Mary Fowler, great-granddaughter of illustrious UC alumnus, Ernest, Lord Rutherford.  

Alongside Vice-Chancellor Professor De la Rey, the University of Canterbury was also represented by Tumu Kaunihera | Chancellor Hon Amy Adams, and Amokapua | Assistant Vice-Chancellor Engagement Brett Berquist. 

The Cambridge visit followed a special event for UC alumni living in London in celebration of UC’s 150th anniversary, with guest speakers including New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Phil Goff. Vice-Chancellor Professor De la Rey also gave a speech with Chancellor Adams and Po Whakarae Professor Te Maire Tau also meeting with the UC graduates in the UK. 

While in London, the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor also visited the Scott Polar Research Institute, connecting with UC research collaborations.

  • The University of Canterbury is the second oldest university in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was established on the Oxford and Cambridge models in 1873. The whakatauki, or saying, adopted for UC’s 150th year is Ka titiro whakamuri, ki te anga whakamua, which means Guided by the Past, Shaping the Future.   

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