Matamata all-rounder awarded top scholarship

20 February 2017

Daniel Lansdaal

Daniel Lansdaal

Computer whiz, hockey player and music enthusiast Daniel Lansdaal (18) has received a University of Waikato Te Paewai o te Rangi scholarship worth up to $25,000.

The former Matamata College student was at a hockey gathering when he got the good news.

“I couldn’t take the smile off my face,” says Daniel. “It was so good to find out the hard work had paid off.”

The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic excellence, leadership potential, and community citizenship. Daniel’s one of 20 students to receive the scholarship this year.

Daniel’s starting a Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences this week and is part of the University’s Te Ara ki Angitū: Pathways to Excellence programme. Established in 2015, this initiative gives regional students better access to tertiary study through subsidised daily bus services, access to fees scholarships, mentoring and learning support.

While he’ll be living in College Hall, one of the Halls of Residence on the Hamilton campus, Daniel says the subsidised bus service is a great option for students wanting to continue living at home while they study.

“It’s going to be an eye-opening experience moving from the country to Hamilton city,” says Daniel. “I’m looking forward to the social aspect of it and it’s handy to know home is just a $1 bus ride away.”

Five University buses will run from select towns across the Waikato, and will travel Monday to Friday to and from the University during the semester. The buses will bring students from as far as Te Kauwhata, Thames, Waihi, Matamata, Tokoroa and Te Kuiti, with pick-up points along the way.

Once on campus, students will have access to a dedicated pastoral care programme and to a whānau/common room.

“It’ll be cool to meet other students on the programme who are also from small towns and know what it’s like,” Daniel says.

An avid computer gamer, Daniel’s always pictured himself working in the tech industry.

“I’m keen to get into software programming or app development,” he says. “The industry is growing so there are lots of opportunities out there.”

Launched last year in partnership with Tokoroa and Putaruru High Schools in South Waikato, Te Ara ki Angitū: Pathways to Excellence has expanded to include 25 schools across Hauraki, Thames-Coromandel, Matamata-Piako, Waikato, South Waikato and Waitomo-Otorohonga districts. More than 25 students from the Matamata-Piako district are joining the programme this year.

The programme is a key part of the University of Waikato’s regional engagement strategy and regional and district communities are expressing strong support for the initiative.