Te Raupapa Waikato Management School

For two years the Waikato Management School has successfully run the WMS Leadership Academy, with the purpose of supercharging impact and careers through leadership.

The Academy achieves this by offering learning opportunities designed for ambitious and self-motivated year 13 students to grow their capability, confidence and character.

Students benefit from world-class leadership concepts and training, pitched at a first-year university level, and learn as part of a cohort of talented peers from different schools and backgrounds. Throughout the programme there are opportunities for leadership development, networking, self-reflection, exposure to influential leaders and guest speakers.

Feedback from the schools and their students who have participated in the programme has been resoundingly positive. So for 2024 we are expanding the Academy to provide this great opportunity to more young leaders in the North Island.

Contact us:

For more information, please email leadership_academy@waikato.ac.nz

The 2024 WMS Leadership Academy

This is the ideal programme for year 13 students who are head students, sporting leaders, arts leaders, or who otherwise demonstrate leadership potential.

There is an emphasis on being ready to succeed at university, so we recommend this as an opportunity for students who plan to go on to university study.

To register for the 2024 Leadership Academy please email leadership_academy@waikato.ac.nz

The 2024 Programme

View an outline for the programme (PDF).

March 2024: The Academy will kick-off with an in-person launch event.

Term 2: Cohorts will join together through a mix of online, and face-to-face sessions either at our Hamilton campus, or in your local region.

During these sessions students will take part in leadership coaching which includes listening, inquiry (asking powerful questions), and feedback. Students will be able to take these skills to use in their schools and communities and to develop others as leaders.

Term 3: All cohorts will gather for a final Summit Day in Hamilton.

Leadership Academy Video

Watch the video to hear from some of the students and teachers who have taken part.

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What does the programme involve?

Gain university credits in Leadership Communication

Students will also complete one of Waikato Management School’s flagship first-year papers – 'Introduction to Leadership Communication'.

Completing the paper means students will already have one paper (15 points credit) if they go on to university. The paper will be delivered as a UniStart paper and will include:

  • A lesson based (rather than lecture-based) format with readings available every fortnight.
  • A personal-best leadership project. Students select a project that involves starting something new or making changes in how something is being done, or both.
  • Students explore leadership theory and their own definitions of leadership, as well as their own insights on themselves as leaders.

Student benefits

Throughout the programme there will be opportunities for leadership development, networking, self-reflection, exposure to influential

By the end of the programme students will:

  • Be stronger leaders who are better equipped to make a positive difference in their schools, in their future careers, and for their communities
  • Have completed a first-year university paper
  • Have connected with other rising leaders from different schools and backgrounds.


For eligible domestic students, fees would be covered by the Unistart scholarship so there are no costs for students or your school.

A fee is required for international students, and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

There will be some travel involved, so there might be the need for car-pooling and travel to the locations where the cohorts meet locally, or to our Hamilton campus twice in the year.

The total time commitment for students will be approximately 150 hours. This is made up of the readings, assessments, on campus events, online tutorials and leadership activities that the students will already be involved in through school.

Our team

WMS Leadership Academy team

Andrea Perry – Paper Convenor (MMS, University of Waikato; BCom, Victoria University of Wellington)

Andrea teaches courses in leadership and intercultural communication, and has a particular interest in how intercultural humility and competence is developed. She is passionate about supporting people of all ages and cultures to develop their unique, authentic leadership selves, making a vital contribution in all walks of life. Originally from Wellington, Andrea worked in advertising and communications and then moved to Amman, Jordan to work in the not-for-profit sector. She has also worked in international education, specifically the pastoral care of Middle Eastern students.

Jamie Fitzgerald – Leadership Academy Facilitator (BCS, University of Waikato)

Jamie is passionate about helping people realise their potential by co-creating an inspiring purpose, effective goal-setting and communication. Jamie is the CEO of his consultancy business, Inspiring Performance. and a Distinguished Alumnus of Waikato Management School. An avid adventurer, he has walked unaided to the South Pole and holds the world record for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. In 2011, Jamie managed the design and delivery of training to 7000+ Rugby World Cup 2011 volunteers.

Hannah Hall - Divisional Manager Students, Waikato Management School

Hannah leads the charge in ensuring students have access to the resources and support they need to succeed. With 13 years of experience in the education industry and a passion for student success, Hannah is committed to making Waikato Management School the place to be for students who want to excel and reach their goals. Hannah is the key contact for staff from high schools participating in the WMS Leadership Academy. She can provide information, guidance and support to help ensure the students' success in the programme.

In the media