151 of New Zealand’s youngest university students graduate

21 November 2019

151 young scholars walked across the stage of the Christchurch Town Hall in the first ever Children’s University Canterbury Partnership graduation ceremony on Wednesday evening.

  • ChildrensUni

    Children wait to cross the stage to receive their Children’s University certificates. The Children’s University Canterbury Partnership programme is the first of its kind in New Zealand and is delivered by the University of Canterbury and Lincoln University.

151 young scholars walked across the stage of the Christchurch Town Hall in the first ever Children’s University Canterbury Partnership graduation ceremony on Wednesday evening.

It was a full-house at the Town Hall as teachers, parents and friends of the Children’s University celebrated with the young graduates.

The Children’s University Canterbury Partnership programme is the first of its kind in New Zealand and is delivered by the University of Canterbury (UC) and Lincoln University.

Children’s University Canterbury Partnership Chancellor Professor James McWha presented certificates to the graduates and welcomed distinguished guests including Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be presenting certificates to the first New Zealand group to graduate as part of this partnership. The interest in the programme has been overwhelming and we look forward to expanding the programme so more children across Canterbury can take part,” he said.

UC Vice-Chancellor Professor Cheryl de la Rey encouraged the young graduates to discover their potential, dream big and become excited about learning as a lifelong journey.

“The Children’s University encourages young people to take ownership of their learning journey, develop a positive attitude towards exploring different subjects and consider what tertiary options are available to them. Learning is a lifelong journey and this programme focuses young minds on a positive path to learning something from every activity they do and experience they have.”

The programme has learning locations across Christchurch that include the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery, libraries and UC and Lincoln’s campuses to name a few.

Lincoln Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bruce McKenzie says “the Canterbury Partnership allows for so much learning variety. A student could visit the Art Gallery one day and explore crop science on one of Lincoln University’s farms the next day. For some students this programme is the only way they will get to experience this type of learning”.

Modelled on the Children’s University initiative launched in Adelaide, Australia, in 2006, the programme aims to inspire young minds to try a variety of different activities, develop a positive attitude towards lifelong learning and start to think about their future pathway into tertiary education.

In 2019, the programme’s first year, 192 Canterbury students from seven schools and one rūnanga enrolled in the Children’s University. The Children’s University plans to expand in 2020 to enrol 1000 students from 20-30 schools and rūnanga.

Community groups and businesses who would be interested in providing locations for activities or funding to expand the programme are encouraged to contact Amy Underdown on amy.underdown@canterbury.ac.nz to find out more.

  • CUCP

For further information please contact:

UC Communications team, media@canterbury.ac.nz, Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168

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