Annual Report for The University of Waikato

The Annual Report provides detailed information on the University's financial status and summarises the activities and achievements of the University.

2022 Annual Report

From the Chancellor

E tēnā koutou katoa, ngā mihi nui

It is my pleasure to provide an update on behalf of the University Council, covering the progress of the University of Waikato in another year where there has been a strong focus on pandemic response and student welfare.

While the year has been bookended with the introduction of a vaccine mandate, and adapting to a world where the virus is present in the community, there have been many positive initiatives to advance the University.

Over the year, the University has placed student interests at the heart of decision-making, continuing to deliver classes flexibly and respond to student needs with illness and assessments, as well as support for other reasons relating to the pandemic. The Council was actively engaged in reviewing reports and observing these developments.

Border restrictions and the visa process for international students made it challenging for the University to increase to our international student cohort in time for the second trimester and, therefore, our overall financial position for the third year in a row. The University has taken significant steps to constrain expenditure and ensure long-term financial sustainability by maintaining key investments in future revenue sources and infrastructure.

The Hamilton campus began to transform with The Pā taking shape. Following delays in the build programme relating to supply chain and wider construction sector challenges, this new multipurpose facility opens in 2023 and is a symbol of the University’s commitment to its students, staff and the wider community, and will strengthen the already unique student experience on offer.

The University Council welcomed Mary-Anne Macleod, a well-known alumna of the University and senior executive from the Bay of Plenty. Her wealth of experience and advice on risk and strategic issues has been immediately helpful, and her appointment fills the vacancy that was left by the death of valued Council member Scott Bartlett.

The year included a focus on former students of the University who have made an outstanding contribution to their community and professions, with four of Distinguished Alumni Awards presented. This year’s awardees included Chair of WorkSafe New Zealand, Jennifer Kerr, Māori business leader, Hinerangi Raumati, Supreme Court Judge in Samoa, Justice Leilani Tuala-Warren and Māori business leader and director, Jamie Tuuta.

In last year’s report, I mentioned the work of the Taskforce, ensuring that systemic and casual racism have no place in the University. This important mahi continued with the launch of the programme under the name Te Aurei, guided by senior leaders within the University, Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai and Professor Alister Jones. The work and its focus on investment in people, infrastructure and systems, is reported on regularly to Council.

One particular initiative that was supported by the Council was the development of a University of Waikato statement and framework for interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi, which was commissioned by the Vice-Chancellor. This document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi me te Whare Wānanga o University of Waikato/The Treaty of Waitangi and the University of Waikato, ensures the University has a statement of its interpretation of the Treaty at executive management and governance levels, and gives greater coherence to our efforts as an institution to give effect to the Treaty.

I acknowledge the work of a number of scholars in the development of this document, including Professor Tom Roa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato), a Tainui leader and manukura/professor in Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao - the University’s Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies.

Although this has been a difficult year, there is much to look forward to in the year ahead, including a renewed campus centre in Hamilton with the opening of The Pā, welcoming more international students to Aotearoa, and greater opportunities with the future delivery of teaching and learning, and our contribution to important research regionally, nationally and internationally. Kia kaha!

Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM QSO

Vice-Chancellor's Overview

E ngā mātāwaka o te motu, e rau rangatira mā, tēnā koutou katoa.

Rarau mai ki Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato, ki te ahurewa o tūmanako, o wawata, o moemoeā.

Pike mai, kake mai, whakatau mai ā te ngākau ki a koutou katoa.

The constraints and financial headwinds resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact the University’s performance in 2022. While it remained a challenging environment, the focus has been on minimising the impact on University operations and positioning the University for recovery in 2023.

The University started the year utilising vaccination mandates and mask-wearing provisions in line with Government guidance and, in consultation with students and staff, migrated to more liberal settings over the course of the year. The impact of border closures, subsequent conservative immigration and student visa settings, and wider impacts on the national and international economy also continue to be felt. Collectively these matters had a substantial impact on several objectives set out in the University Strategy 2022-2024 as well as the University’s 2022 operating position.

The University has responded to these challenges by maintaining tight control over all of our costs, implementing a series of organisation-wide system improvements, and developing new academic offerings for students. These actions provide a sound platform for recovery as we shift our focus in 2023 to rebuilding our international student pipeline across a diverse range of markets while also growing our domestic market share.

When borders reopened in March 2022, we were able to renew engagement with partner institutions and agents in key markets including China and India. We have also continued to build on our international partnerships and collaborations in 2022, cementing our position as a global organisation, including expanding on our China Learning Centre, launching new partnerships in India and Vietnam, continuing to build our strategic partnership with Cardiff University and embarking on a new strategic partnership with Newcastle University in Australia.

We hosted a high level delegation from Vietnam in December, including the chair of Vietnam’s National Assembly, deputy ministers, presidents, and vice presidents from some of Vietnam’s top universities and other senior diplomats.

Nationally, we built on our Bachelor of Nursing degree with the launch of a Master of Nursing Practice programme that saw EFTS increase to 100 across both qualifications, with 30 percent of the first cohort in the Bachelor of Nursing programme identifying as Māori or Pacific. The strong demand experienced reflects industry need for more skilled nursing graduates, and the market acceptance of this high quality programme, which was developed jointly with Te Whatu Ora Waikato. We also accepted our first cohort for our Bachelor of Climate Change degree, the first academic qualification of its kind in the world.

While the University experienced a surge in domestic enrolments in 2021, particularly into one-year graduate qualifications, this growth in enrolments did not continue into 2022, and most enrolment patterns have returned to previous trends. International enrolments also continued to decline for most of the year with the ongoing closure of New Zealand to international students until too late in the year to allow many students to travel to New Zealand. Some international students continued to study with us online pending a realistic opportunity to complete their degree in New Zealand.

To support a positive pipeline of domestic enrolments we have shifted to a more bespoke and targeted approach to recruitment with the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM software. This allows us to nurture prospective students through the recruitment and enrolment process and identify priority feeder schools for more targeted recruitment activities.

This year also saw us continue to grow our international reputation for research, teaching and learning with significant successes across the annual international rankings. In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings we are the top New Zealand university in Business and Economics and 126-150 globally. We also achieved five other ranked subjects in the top 300 globally.

In the QS World University Rankings, we are the top New Zealand university for research (measured by citations per faculty member) with 15 subjects and subject areas ranked by QS, nine of them in the top 300 globally.

Our work to embed the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the University continues to grow. We launched our first Sustainability Report, Whaioranga Taiao, Whaioranga Tangata, in 2022. We are now ranked 83 in the world and rated sixth in the world for SDG #15 Life on Land and 23rd for SDG #14 Life Below Water.

We also continue to attract high levels of research funding from external organisations, a strong measure of the high regard our researchers are held in, both nationally and internationally.

Moving forward on the cultural and structural change set out by our Taskforce, we launched Te Aurei, our programme of work to transform the University into an anti-racist and inclusive institution. Through this, we are investing in our people, our infrastructure and our systems to create sustained practice across the University.

Significant staff appointments were made during 2022, creating a strong academic leadership base across the University. We have also invested heavily in staff professional development and increased our support for Māori and Pacific learners. Our first cohort of staff scholarships to undertake Te Tohu Paetahi, our full immersion Māori language programme, were awarded this year for enrolment in 2023. We also launched Te Aurei professional development pilot programmes in Hamilton and Tauranga to help staff gain a deeper understanding of the history, heritage and cultural landscape in the Waikato and Tauranga Moana. The inaugural blended e-learning Poutama Pounamu programme for staff was also launched in 2022.

While 2022 has again presented many challenges, the hard work and commitment of our staff to supporting student learning has ensured we are well-positioned heading into 2023.

My thanks to my colleagues on the University Council, to the University leadership team, and to all staff members across our organisation for supporting the success of the University and our students.

Professor Neil Quigley