Media Advisory March 9

World issues addressed at free public lecture

Hot topics such as ISIS and countering the threat of terrorism, the Ukraine crisis, and the economic and energy situation in Europe will be addressed at a public lecture at the University of Waikato on Wednesday given by Michalis Rokas, Charge d'Affaires, European Union Delegation to New Zealand. The EU, through a research funding programme, funds the EU Centres Network and the University of Waikato has staff and students involved on a Network project worth nearly 1 million euros that looks at different issues facing regional security.  University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says Mr Rokas' visit is a good opportunity for the university to further strengthen EU ties and a chance for students, staff and the general public to hear an informed and wide-ranging perspective on international issues we are hearing about in the media. Mr Rokas' lecture will take place on the Hamilton campus, in LG03, 1-2pm, Wednesday, March 11.

University of Waikato Education Excellence Awards judges named

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones has been selected for the panel of judges and education experts who will decide the winners of the 2015 Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards. The judges were announced on March 3 by Education Minister Hekia Parata. The winning entry from each category will receive $20,000, as well as a professional development opportunity. The winners of the Supreme Award will receive an additional $30,000. Finalists will also receive a financial award to acknowledge their contribution to education. The Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in early childhood education, primary and secondary schooling. The Awards focus on the work of groups, teams and partnerships in English, Māori or Pasifika medium. Entries close 5pm, March 20.

Emeritus Professor Richard Bedford next Royal Society of NZ President

The Royal Society of New Zealand Council has confirmed its election of Emeritus Professor Richard Bedford FRSNZ as the next President of the Society. He will take office on July 1, when Professor Sir David Skegg completes his three-year term. Professor Bedford is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Waikato and a Professor of Migration Studies at AUT University. He will be the first social scientist to lead the Society for at least 75 years.

Applications open for Fieldays scholarship

Applications are now open for the 2015 New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays Sir Don Llewellyn Scholarship. Established in 2012, the scholarship is funded by the National Agricultural Fieldays Society and is worth up to $22,000 for one year of graduate study at the University of Waikato. It's aimed at graduate students undertaking research in the agricultural sector. Previous winners' projects have focused on addressing issues currently facing the agricultural industry, such as cost of environmental compliance in the dairy industry and the properties of flipped soil in drought-prone areas. The scholarship is open to domestic students enrolling at the University of Waikato to undertake research at a master's or doctoral level. Applications close on March 20. For more information, visit

Campus to light up for Zuru Nightglow

The University of Waikato is soon to host thousands of people on campus as part of the Zuru Nightglow, Saturday March 28. The event is part of the annual Balloons over Waikato festival. Last year the spectacle saw thousands of spectators flock to the university's sports fields to watch hot air balloons inflate and light up in bursts of flames to a musical playlist. A fun-filled family night is expected, with live music, food stalls, carnival rides and a massive fireworks display on the cards. The event will kick-off at 4pm and finish at 9pm. The University of Waikato is a strategic partner of the annual Balloons over Waikato event.

Kiwi global entrepreneur to speak at University of Waikato

Members of the public have an opportunity to hear from global Kiwi technology entrepreneur Claudia Batten at a free public talk being held at the University of Waikato on Friday, March 13. Ms Batten, who has lived in the United States for the past 13 years, will be the guest speaker at an event organised by Waikato Management School's Alumni Board. A regular speaker on digital innovations and building businesses for the future, she will discuss emerging trends in robotics, e-commerce, gamification, crowdsourcing and data. Ms Batten was recently appointed New Zealand Trade and Enterprise's regional director for North America, tasked with helping Kiwi businesses to break into the highly competitive markets of the US, Canada and Mexico. She has more than 15 years' experience working with start-up businesses, including being a co-founder of Massive, which was sold to Microsoft for an estimated $400 million in 2006. The free talk will be held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts from 6-9pm. RSVP to Natalie, or 07 838 4477 by Tuesday, March 10. For more details about the event, see

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