At UC, we use the rich narratives around traditional Māori waka to represent the journey that our students undertake during their time here. Every student arrives in their own waka, carved out throughout the course of their life with the support of their whānau, friends and previous education. During their undergraduate studies, they enhance and embellish their waka in preparation for the next stage of their journey: accumulating resources and knowledge and decorating its hull to reflect their unique identity and aspirations.
Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School builds upon this metaphor, and our design and narrative have been developed around the concept of rauawa. On traditional waka, these carefully crafted topboards are lashed to the hull to raise its height and keep water out on longer journeys. Their function represents the role of Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School in several ways.
Firstly, rauawa provide structural integrity to the waka and security to its occupants, representing the wraparound support that Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School offers to its students. We know that graduate research study can be a difficult and isolated journey for our PhD students, and we are here to make sure that they have access to the support and services they need to thrive and feel celebrated. We also know that many of our graduate research students are new to UC – and often to Aotearoa – and Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School provides a safe landing place for them to forge new connections and navigate a new environment.
Rauawa are often decorated with ornate and intricately detailed carvings, reflecting UC’s commitment to creative and innovative research and enhancing our reputation for excellence. Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School supports the realisation of aspirations around research for impact in a changing world by working to ensure that every graduate research student has the support needed to complete their studies and share their discoveries with the world.
Finally, although rauawa are carved separately, they are lashed tightly to the hull and become a seamless and integral part of its function – just as Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School maintains a close and collaborative relationship with all of the schools and faculties across UC. Our services seek to complement the support available within individual faculties, and to provide a consistent experience for all postgraduate students. Everyone is welcome at Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School, and encouraged to share their experiences, celebrate milestones and build connections with their fellow students.
As the first school to be established since UC affirmed its commitment as a Treaty university in 2021, Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School is dedicated to upholding a meaningful and authentic Treaty partnership. We are proud of the co-design and co-governance processes that have informed the development and oversight of Te Kura Tāura | UC Graduate School and commited to exemplifying the UC values of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and tiakitanga.