Media Advisory March 10

Focus on finance

The University of Waikato's first inaugural professorial lecture for the year will focus on finance. Professor Stuart Locke wants New Zealanders to become more financially savvy. It concerns him that students leave school with little knowledge of how to handle money, and later there is little opportunity to get to grips with the likes of mortgages, floating and fixed interest rates, KiwiSaver, and the share market. Much of Professor Locke's research has focussed on aspects of governance and its impact on business. He says small businesses often fail because owners do not fully understand financial management, and in big business if you lack financial knowledge then you can’t participate in high-level decision-making. Professor Locke’s lecture is tomorrow, Tuesday, March 11 at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at 6pm.The Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series at the University of Waikato introduces the newest professors to the community. The lectures are free and open to the public.

University cyclists on the track this week

Cyclist and Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar Pip Sutton is one of five University of Waikato students taking to the track for the first event being held at the new Cycling Centre of Excellence Avantidrome near Cambridge. Fellow Hillary Scholars Madison Farrant and Callum Saunders, along with Ruby Perry and Tess Young, will join Pip on the track for the Elite and U19 Track National Championships from 13-16 March. Pip, who was the coach of the Waikato Diocesan School for Girls’ senior A team involved in a collision with a car last September, has bounced back after the crash which left her with a broken wrist. She will be taking part in five events: the 500m time trial, individual and team pursuits, and the scratch and points races. The University of Waikato is the tertiary partner at the Avantidrome.

Hunger stats hard to pin down

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation currently lists the world’s hungry at about 840 million, but that count is doubtful according to economics professor John Gibson from Waikato University’s Management School. Professor Gibson is part of World Bank-funded study looking at many aspects of living standards around the world. He says there is a problem with using surveys to measure hunger because designs vary from country to country. He and his colleagues from the World Bank and Tanzania randomly assigned seven different survey designs to more than 3,500 households. Results were extreme, with estimates ranging from 19% to 68% of the population being counted as hungry, depending on the survey method used. That’s a difference of more than 23 million people in Tanzania, and across all Sub-Saharan Africa these differences would amount to hundreds of millions of people potentially being misclassified as either hungry or not hungry. Professor Gibson is urging standardisation of survey methods for household survey design around the world. Until then, he says comparisons of hunger across countries and over time should be considered as fraught with measurement error. For more details see: http://www.voxeu.org/article/more-do-measuring-hunger

It's in the book

In the middle of Hamilton book month, creative writing students at the University of Waikato have published an online book of their work. The first issue of Mayhem is being launched on campus on Thursday, March 13. It’s the brainchild of author and lecturer Dr Tracey Slaughter who would like Mayhem to become a biannual publication. The Mayhem launch is in the university library, and on the same night there will be a 'good reads' panel featuring various authors at 6.30pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. On March 27 at 6.30pm in the Student Centre a panel of book collectors will talk about their book finds in a 'Collectors’ Road Show'. For a full programme of events go to http://hamiltonbookmonth.wix.com/2014#. For a link to Mayhem go to http://www.waikato.ac.nz/fass/mayhem/

MOD scholarships to study international security law

Waikato University law and science graduate Joshua Pietras has won a Ministry of Defence Freyberg Scholarship to go to Australia to study international security law. Joshua will be going to Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra to study for a masters degree on ANU’s specialised international security law programme. Freyberg Scholarships are awarded to encourage graduate study into areas relevant to national security. Joshua’s scholarship is worth $30,000 and will cover his tuition fees and some of his accommodation. Joshua, who is from Lower Hutt, attended Wellington College and has a conjoint LLB/BSc degree from Waikato, says once he’s completed his ANU degree he plans to do some practical military training before becoming a legal officer in the New Zealand Defence Force, but he hasn’t ruled out doing a PhD either.

Good conflict

Using conflict to good effect will be the focus of a lecture by American psychologist and educator Dr John E Hoover. He is coming to the University of Waikato on March 19 to present an overview of how people with differing viewpoints can avoid the usual pitfalls of conflict and engage in constructive dialogue. Dr Hoover has written a book, The Uniting Power of Conflict, which offers direction on conflict resolution and gives processes that can create understanding and a stronger bond between former adversaries without either party abdicating power.

Careers expo on in Gisborne

Student Recruitment Advisers from the University of Waikato will be at the Gisborne Careers Expo at the Showgrounds Park Event Centre on Sunday 16 March from 10am-5pm and Monday 17 March from 8.30am-3pm.

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