Media Advisory November 15

WAIKATO SIGNS AGREEMENTS WITH TWO TOP CHINESE UNIVERSITIES

Students at the University of Waikato now have the opportunity to study at two of China's leading universities, thanks to new agreements signed during a recent visit to China by Waikato's Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford. Renmin University in Beijing is one of China's top 10 universities; Shanghai-based Tongji University regularly ranks within the top 25. Both are among the 39 leading Chinese universities officially designated as recipients of additional government funding aimed at creating world-class universities for research. Professor Crawford says the new partnership agreements are a clear indication of Waikato University's growing international profile. "We aim to forge partnerships with a small number of top international universities," he says. "Renmin and Tongji universities are both excellent international institutions that choose their partners carefully. These new links offer us exciting opportunities for collaborative research, and will give New Zealand students that come to Waikato direct opportunities to establish relationships with future leaders in China, and around the world."

LIFETIME OF PACIFIC STUDY EARNS ROYAL SOCIETY MEDAL

A Waikato University geographer who has spent most of his working life studying migration flows in the Pacific region has been awarded the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Dame Joan Metge medal. Professor Richard Bedford, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at Waikato and currently Professor of Population Studies at Waikato and Pro VC Research at AUT, was presented with the medal on November 10 for his long and valued contribution to social science. Professor Bedford is honoured to be receiving the medal, given every two years. It’s given for three things; contribution to building capability in research, mentoring early career researchers and for his own research contribution. Dame Joan Metge, anthropologist, author and social scientist, carried out extensive research into Māori urbanisation.

FORMER PM UNMASKED IN NEW BIOGRAPHY

A "warts and all" biography of the political career of former prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, is being launched this week at Parliament by Labour leader Phil Goff. Written by University of Waikato historian Dr Raymond Richards over a 12-year period, the book draws on more than 200 linear metres of archives as well as interviews with Sir Geoffrey, his family and associates - including Mr Goff. The book covers Sir Geoffrey's early years and his decision to follow his mother's advice and become a lawyer, his entry into parliament, his role as deputy prime minister in David Lange's reforming government, and his own 13-month tenure as prime minister. The book is already in its second printing after the first print run sold out prior to the launch, and it has also been nominated for a New Zealand Post Book Award. Palmer: The Parliamentary Years will be launched on November 17 at Parliament.

WAIKATO UNI TOPS CENSUS OF WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION RATES

Waikato University has the highest proportion of female professors and associate professors of all New Zealand universities. The latest report from the Human Rights Commission shows women make up one-quarter of Waikato's professors, and one-third of its associate professors. According to the commission's biennial Census of Women's Participation report, Waikato University has increased its total proportion of female professors and associate professors from 22.01% to 28.57% since 2007. Waikato jumped ahead of AUT and Victoria University to take the top spot, with five other universities also improving their proportion of women holding senior academic positions. Overall, New Zealand's eight universities increased their proportion from 19.19% to 22.45%. Waikato University currently has a total of 162 professors and associate professors, 48 are women.

WAIKATO UNIVERSITY RE-ELECTS FORMER PM AS CHANCELLOR

Waikato University has re-elected former Prime Minister Jim Bolger as Chancellor of the university, a position he has held for the last three years. In his role as Chancellor, Mr Bolger will chair the university council and also represent the university at a number of key stakeholder events. He will serve another one-year term.

WHY DO COWS PREFER TO GRAZE AT DUSK?

The eating behaviour of cows is the hot topic of November's Café Scientifique event. Pablo Gregorini from Dairy NZ will analyse the internal and external stimuli which affect the grazing habits of cows. The nutrient content of pasture changes throughout a day. For cows, grazing also follows a 24 hour pattern. The two major grazing events occur around sunrise and sunset, the latter being the longest and most intense. In this talk, the 2009 Kudos award-winning speaker, Gregorini will try to answer 'why' grazing ruminants (mammal group which includes cows) have this foraging pattern, and what this might mean for a farmer keen to optimise the nutrient input to his herd. This event takes place at 7.30pm on Tuesday November 23 and is held at The Bank, Victoria Street, Hamilton. Café Scientifique is an endeavour supported by the University of Waikato's Faculty of Science and Engineering, which encourages the general public to explore the latest ideas in science and technology, outside the traditional academic arena.

UNDER THE EYE OF THE LAW

A symposium investigating mobile peoples and populations in the Pacific takes place at the University of Waikato next month. Different areas of the Pacific experienced settler colonialism in different forms with different outcomes. Under the Eye of the Law: Mobile Peoples in the Pacific is a one-day symposium which will see leading researchers and academics come together to discuss these differences. Keynote speakers include Professor Sally Engle Merry from New York University, who's a leader in the field of law and society, and Professor John Taylor, Director for the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University. This free public symposium takes place on Friday December 3 and is held at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus, room S.1.04. For more information see http://www.waikato.ac.nz/law/

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