Welcome from the Vice-Chancellor
Kia ora koutou katoa, welcome to the University of Waikato for A Semester 2016.
I extend a special welcome to all new students this semester and I hope you will take advantage of the University's new approach to Orientation ("O") Week. This year O Week has been brought forward to help new students transition into university and to provide a full orientation to academic life and resources, to the individual courses that you will be taking, and to the social life of students at the University of Waikato.
This University holds a special place in the New Zealand university system in that it was created by the demands of the local community in 1964. Since its inception it has shown a commitment to innovation and to serving the needs of the community. A strong sense of community is something you will find distinctive to the University of Waikato, and we work hard to make sure the needs of our students are met and exceeded. Students and staff alike are involved in several clubs, groups and community activities on campus and I urge you to explore the variety of activities available to you to make the most of your Waikato experience.
This is my second year as Vice-Chancellor at the University and I am looking forward to another fast-paced and exciting year at the University of Waikato. Our state-of-the-art Law and Management Building officially opens and will house both Te Piringa – Faculty of Law, and Waikato Management School's Corporate and Executive Education activities. We have many projects underway that will benefit students, including a review that will look at adding value to student sport and recreation activities and a refresh of our curriculum to make sure it is future-focussed and meeting the needs of students. Our plans also include encouraging our students to place a greater emphasis on work placements and community engagement.
Since I started as Vice-Chancellor in February 2015 I have been focused on working alongside the University community to further refine our strategic direction and continue discussions on how we can best improve the quality of our teaching so as to maximise the learning experience of our students, improve the quality, volume and impact of our research, and build stronger regional partnerships throughout the the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.
Last year we announced our plans to increase our Engineering offerings. We now offer Civil and Environmental Engineering, and we will be appointing a Dean of Engineering and a Chair in Engineering who will deliver outcome-focused programmes of study in the School. We also moved forward in our plans to invest in a Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Performance with a Dean of this faculty beginning in A Semester.
Data released in early 2016 by Universities New Zealand show the value of investing in a degree; a typical graduate earns about $1.6 million more over their working life than a non-graduate and this is much higher ($3 million) for professional engineers. The data show that those with a PhD were earning 22% more than people with a masters or honours level degree. Those with a masters or honours degree were earning about 9% more than those with just a bachelor degree. And those with a bachelor degree were earning around 40% more than those with just a school level qualification.
Whatever your journey, the University of Waikato provides an outstanding learning environment and I look forward to seeing you all on campus.
Professor Neil Quigley