"What I particularly love at this university, the research is so collaborative, and you can work across different disciplines and have access to people from other schools and faculties who are experts in their field, all with a wealth of experience to share."
"I’ve recommended Waikato to other international students; they were inspired by the work I was doing and the amazing experiences I had, and they wanted to follow suit."
"My master’s was the pinnacle of my educational journey. I had the opportunity to research a subject I felt deeply connected to, supported by responsive and encouraging lecturers, all while sharing the journey with others."
"My success story definitely started within the halls of the Tauranga campus. The lecturers front-loaded us with all the information we needed to be a teacher and standing in front of the classroom today, I know I’ve been set up for success."
"I believe we’re all life-long learners in our own ways. I’ve been fortunate enough to gain formal qualifications and am keen to continue learning and sharing my knowledge with others."
"I have learned so much, the social science and policy side to climate change had a big impact on how I think about climate change, especially when combined with the Indigenous Studies paper - it reinforces how climate justice is also a social justice issue."
"I chose the University of Waikato as they had the best teaching degree on offer [and] I have had a lot of opportunities while studying at Waikato. I went to Singapore in January and February 2023 on a five-week educational exchange."
"I like that the Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) degree gives me one day a week in school from week one in my first year. I have enjoyed spending time in school each week, it keeps me motivated and I can implement the things I am learning at university into the classroom."
"My course has really focused on the impacts of education on society as a whole, and this ability to see a ‘bigger picture’ is definitely an asset for the future."
Sophia Malu wanted a rewarding career - one that she could travel with and do further study in the future. She chose teaching and a year later her younger sister Gabi followed in her footsteps.
"The University of Waikato was able to provide a space for me to explore what culture is in terms of my own cultural identity and others. The coolest thing about Waikato Uni is the diversity of its students and that to me was enough to make me feel connected and welcomed."
"This degree adds weight to my personal and professional voice. It has been a space where I am surrounded by care, expertise, and passion for effective counselling practice and academic rigour."
"Enrolling in the teaching programme at the Tauranga campus meant I was able to study in my own backyard which meant I could stay close to my whānau and friends while getting my dream degree."
"The amazing thing about a teaching degree is, if you want it to, it’ll take you all over the world."
"You are the wildest dreams of your tīpuna, you are creating a legacy for your whanau, demonstrating to the generations to come that anything is obtainable with a lot of late nights, blood, sweat and tears."
"I really appreciated the way the University transitioned to online teaching. Our lecturers were nice, kind and helpful... they genuinely cared about how I was [coping] in a new country during a lockdown."
"I found that becoming a teacher has opened up possibilities and opportunities to build a new skill-set. I enjoy making a difference in young people's lives every day."
"“I was fascinated by the idea that children could go from seeing squiggles on the page to one day to letters and words! I wanted to understand this process and empower rangatahi through education.”"
"Have a passion for young people, and have a passion about your kaupapa (a subject) – if you can combine these two things, you can have an awesome teaching career."
It took hard work and perseverance, but it has all been worth it for Ohakune Primary School teacher, Miriama McLean-Bell.
Matamata Primary School teacher Carma Maisey credits the University of Waikato’s Poutama Pounamu Blended Learning for encouraging her into Masters level study.
"At the University of Waikato, I've found pathways to grow my love of teaching, developed a fascination with life transitions, and discovered a lot about myself along the way."
"I enjoyed seeing how the theory is used in real-world scenarios – I use methods I learned in my study in my work."
"Waikato University prepared me for the practical elements which allowed me to get a grasp on the real life situations in schools."
""Being in the classroom with students helps me to build a relationship and give them relevant and engaging examples of subject material. There is a sense of satisfaction when they learn something new or understand a new concept.""
It was while Phillipa Cosgriff was mentoring training teachers in the classroom that the experienced primary school teacher was inspired to do further study.
"I think I can make a difference by being a positive role model and being someone the children in my class can rely on."
"My degree provided me with understanding and insights into research and decision-making processes, which cross over into many areas of business."
For her thesis principal Melanie Taylor decided to research something she had first-hand experience of – starting up a new school from scratch.
University of Waikato alumnus Kris Metcalfe is part of a team of exceptional educators shaping a new primary school in the heart of Pāpāmoa.
"When deciding where to go to university, I had a few options in mind. I chose the University of Waikato Tauranga campus because at heart I am a community and family oriented person, so being close to family was important."
"I had developed a very particular interest and passion working with our Māori students, and I wanted to know how schools could provide the best opportunities for them and ensure those opportunities and successes reflected what their whānau and they valued, not what our system assumed they valued."
"I’d like to think my research has made a difference, as I use my findings to recommend to policymakers and practitioners that they be more critically engaged in the idea of professional development by means of teacher evaluation."
"I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to further my education at the new Tauranga campus. Doing my master’s has enabled me to access the most up to date and relevant education research from around the world and then apply the learnings right here at Fairhaven."
"The kids motivate me. I do what I do because I truly know that a kid will walk in my door and their life will not be the same again. For whatever reason, whatever background they come from I know that I have something to offer them."