Welcome from the Vice-Chancellor

Kia ora koutou katoa, welcome to the University of Waikato for B Semester 2016.Professor Neil Quigley

I extend a special welcome to all new students this semester and I hope you will take advantage of B Semester ‘O’ week, when we run orientation and entertainment activities.

There’s a lot happening on campus at the moment, some of it visible as we maintain and enhance campus facilities, but much of it behind the scenes as we continue to refine our strategic direction and implement plans to improve the quality of our teaching, the quality, volume and impact of our research, and build stronger regional partnerships throughout the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.

As we continually review, refresh and refine the qualifications we deliver at Waikato, we’re ever-conscious of the need to add value to our students’ learning and their overall university experience. As a result, you will find that increasingly, our degrees have compulsory work placement or volunteer components which mean our students get good work experience while they study and are better prepared for the workplace when they graduate.  

Data released this year by Universities New Zealand shows the value of investing in a degree; a typical graduate earns about $1.6 million more over their working life than a non-graduate. Those graduates with a PhD were earning 22% more than people with masters- or honours-level degrees. Those with a masters or honours degree were earning about 9% more than those with just a bachelor degree. And those with a bachelors degree were earning around 40% more than those with a school-level qualification only.

In line with employer demands, we have quickly responded to the government’s call for more engineers and this semester, for the first time, we are offering both Civil and Environmental Engineering to our suite of engineering disciplines.

We have also stepped up our offerings in Health, Sport and Human Performance, with the establishment of a new faculty specialising in this area and the appointment of a new Dean, Professor Alan St Clair Gibson, who joins us this semester from South Africa. The University is also the tertiary partner in a new high performance centre in Tauranga. The University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance is a joint venture with the University, Tauranga City Council and Bay Venues and is equipped with the very latest in sports science and research capability and boasts the only environmental chamber in New Zealand capable of controlling heat, humidity and altitude. Plans are also well underway for a new CBD campus in Tauranga, led by the University of Waikato.

University tends to be the place where you make friends for life and where so many new and different opportunities are available. It’s the ideal place to challenge yourself and take calculated risks. We encourage you to throw yourself into university life, to make the most of your tertiary years and get involved in on-campus sport, arts and recreation activities. 

Whatever your study journey, the University of Waikato provides an outstanding learning environment and I look forward to seeing you all on campus.

Professor Neil Quigley


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