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Children’s University

Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi

04 December 2023

Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University (TMMCU) supports and encourages tamariki aged 7 to 14 to participate in exciting, engaging learning experiences outside the classroom. This programme aims to create a community of lifelong learners and help tamariki achieve their full potential. Learn more about our Children’s University. 


This programme aims to support aspirations to higher and further education, create a community of lifelong learners and help tamariki to achieve their full potential.

Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury and Te Whare Wānaka O Aoraki Lincoln University are working in partnership to deliver the programme in the Waitaha | Canterbury region.

How it Works

Tamariki joins the programme through their participating school or rūnanga and are issued a Passport to Learning.

Tamariki fills their passports with hours through a range of learning experiences outside of the classroom including:

  • Visiting any of our 120 Learning Destinations, such as Museums, Art Galleries, Wildlife Parks, Libraries and Local Parks.
  • Exploring the online portal which contains a huge variety of online learning activities.
  • Participating in after-school clubs and other activities such as sports, music, Girl Guides and Scouts.
  • Some schools are invited to a Campus Experience Day where tamariki get to experience a range of exciting activities at either Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury or Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki Lincoln University.

Once tamariki receive 30 hours or more of learning in their passports, they attend a graduation ceremony at the Christchurch Town Hall where they get to wear a graduation cap and gown and receive a certificate on stage to celebrate their achievements with whānau.

Learning Destinations

Learning destinations are organisations or locations that offer educational opportunities and activities for tamariki. The Learning Destinations can be visited by tamariki outside of school hours either at the weekends or over the school holidays.

Tamariki can choose from any of our 120 Learning Destinations they want to visit. After tamariki complete an activity, they received a stamp or stick in the passport.

Learning destinations can include:

  • Wildlife Parks
  • Museums
  • Art Galleries
  • Libraries
  • Local Parks

How to become a registered Learning Destination?

  • If you are interested in becoming a Learning Destination, get in contact with our Learning Coordinator Toby Johnson (
Schools and Rūnanga

Schools and rūnanga who join the programme can offer the opportunity for their tamariki to participate in Children’s University. Many schools report improved attendance and engagement with classroom learning as a result of participation with Children’s University. Tamariki is able to broaden their interests and see learning in a different light while participating in the programme.

For more information about evaluation reports, please click here.

Please contact Georgia, our Puni Coordinator, at if you are interested in hearing more about the programme. Our ability to bring on a new school is subject to available space, additional funding, and funding criteria.


We thank our sponsors for their ongoing support in delivering TMMCU in the Waitaha | Canterbury region.

  • Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki | Lincoln University
  • Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | Canterbury University
  • Rātā Foundation
  • Riccarton Rotary Youth Trust
  • Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society NZ
  • Christchurch Adelaide Sister City
  • UC Alumni donors
  • Lincoln University Centennial Trust

If you would like to discuss how you can support TMMCU, please contact the Programme Manager at

Our Team
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