Media Advisory June 29

Global leadership role for top academic

Associate Professor Sandy Morrison has been elected president of the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE). She is the former President of the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education and was elected to the global role at the ICAE World Assembly in Montreal recently. The ICAE was created in 1973 and is a global network of civil society organisations - including universities - which advocates for youth and adult education as a universal human right and as a path to secure healthy, sustainable communities. Associate Professor Morrison is the Associate Dean in the School of Māori and Pacific Development at the University of Waikato and has been working in adult education for many years.

Science and Engineering post-graduate scholarships launched

The University of Waikato's Faculty of Science and Engineering is offering 50 post-graduate scholarships for B Semester 2015 that provide the opportunity to work on specific projects with world-leading experts. The scholarships - valued at more than $250,000 in total - are for two or three years and include research support. They are available in a wide range of subjects and are open to all New Zealand students studying at masters or PhD level in the science or engineering fields. Successful recipients could be modelling nutrient and sediment inputs in Lake Waikare, researching the microbial diversity of geothermal mud pools, measuring the electrical conductivity of brain tissue or exploring the feasibility for automatic barnacle removal from greenshell mussels. The scholarships have been designed by the university's top science and engineering researchers to focus on specific projects. A list of research topics, supervisors and a comprehensive description of each project is available at for science and for engineering.

Chinese dragon enters a new era

One of the world's leading authorities on Chinese elite politics, Professor Bo Zhiyue from Victoria University, will give a free public seminar at the University of Waikato's Management School (MSB1.01) this Friday, July 3, from 1pm-2pm. The seminar, 'New Look of China: Economic Transition and Political Dynamics', is part of Corporate & Executive Education's Excellence in Practice Series. Professor Zhiyue will discuss China's most recent economic and political development under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, as the country faces the challenges of economic slowdown; structural readjustment; and discovering new engines of growth. Professor Zhiyue is director of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre. RSVP to or phone 0800 800 891. Free parking available via Gate 10, Silverdale Road, Hamilton. For more details see

Two free public lectures on light

As part of the New Zealand Institute of Physics conference being held at the University of Waikato next week, there are two free lectures aimed at the general public, teachers, parents and high school students. The first lecture, by Professor Richard Easther from the University of Auckland - The Dawn's Early Light - is on July 5 at PWC lecture theatre on campus from 7.30pm-9pm. This lecture provides a window into the universe just moments after the Big Bang, telling the story of the microwave background from its discovery through to the present day. The second lecture, by Professor Hans Bachor from Australian National University - Lasers are part of your life - is on July 6 at the Gallagher Academy for Performing Arts Concert Chamber from 7.30pm-9pm. This talk traces the history of the laser and some of the scientists and engineers who made it possible. It shows some of the obvious and hidden uses of lasers and gives a hint how lasers are shaping the modern world.

Indigenous research highlighted at conference

He Manawa Whenua Indigenous Research Conference, run by the University of Waikato's Te Kotahi Research Institute, runs from today, Monday, until July 1 at Claudelands Event Centre. The conference aims to highlight an international pool of indigenous knowledge and research. The keynote speakers are Professor Pou Temara, Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Professor Karina Walters, Moe Milne, Dr Jamee Māhealani Miller, Dr Ruakere Hond, Dr Bonnie Duran, Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith, Professor Bob Morgan, Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai, Mereana Pitman and Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith. For more information, visit

Become a young entrepreneur for a day

Secondary school students in years 11-13 are invited to step into the shoes of a young entrepreneur for a day, at an inspiring event hosted by the University of Waikato's Management School on Friday, July 10. 'Entrepreneur for a day' will give school students a taste of what it feels like to study for a management degree at university. Guided by the advice of Waikato lecturers and mentors every step of the way, students will work in small groups to design a new product/service for target customers that has the potential to be successful in the marketplace, and then develop a basic business plan. Prizes will be awarded to the group that comes up with the best idea. The event runs from 8.45am to 4.30pm. Places are limited to the first 25 who register their details online at

Website digs deeper

A new website celebrating the International Year of Soils has been launched with the help of University of Waikato researchers. The site is now online. It was developed for the New Zealand Society of Soil Science by graphic design student Marianne Colman. The site content was developed by Angela Schipper – with input from Professor Louis Schipper and Dr Megan Balks. Dr Balks says the website is to raise awareness and understanding of the importance, variety, and intrinsic worth of soils. It has a New Zealand focus and contains a range of activities as well as links to other detailed sources of soil-related information.

The way New Zealand is going

New Zealand's changing population will be in the spotlight in Hamilton today and tomorrow, June 29 and 30. The University of Waikato's National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis is hosting New Zealand's Population Conference 2015. Topics on the programme include diversity, social policy, depopulation, ageing, urban development and the wellbeing of Māori. There'll be a Festschrift for Waikato University's Emeritus Professor Richard Bedford QSO, FRSNZ to acknowledge his long and distinguished career in social sciences and Dame Tariana Turia will be the after-dinner speaker tonight, Monday. To see the programme go to

University of Waikato to host government hackathon

Small teams of Waikato's brightest minds and eager "hackers" will visit the region's first ever GovHack "hackathon" hosted at the University of Waikato. On July 3-5, GovHack participants taking part in the Trans-Tasman event will have 46 hours using government data to produce any kind of "hack" including web applications, mobile applications, and visualisations. The event has six centres positioned nationwide, running simultaneously over the weekend. GovHack celebrates technical and creative ability, and adds to the social and economic value of open government data. Open to all ages and abilities, attendees will have the chance to meet mentors, industry experts, and showcase their skills to a group of likeminded peers. For more information visit

Science and Engineering Open Days to offer insights into tertiary study

More than 200 secondary school students from throughout the North Island will have the opportunity next week to experience a day in the life of a science or engineering student at the University of Waikato. The University's Faculty of Science & Engineering is geared up to host the annual Science Open Day (Wednesday, July 8) and Engineering Open Day (Thursday, July 9). Both events offer Year 11-13 students and adult learners the chance to spend the day on campus, attending hands-on workshops. Science Open Day will cover the subjects of physics, chemistry, computer sciences, Earth sciences and biological sciences. Engineering Open Day will cover the programmes of chemical and biological, mechanical, software, materials and process and electronic engineering. A full programme for each event is available on request.

Does political and economic freedom matter?

A free public lecture being held at the University of Waikato's Management School on Monday, July 6 will look at the impact of political and economic freedoms on inbound tourism in more than 100 countries, over a 17-year period between 1995 and 2012. The guest speaker is Dr Shrabani Saha, a senior lecturer in economics at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom. Her research focuses on the causes and effects of corruption across nations, and its relationship to democracy and economic freedom. The lecture will be held in room MSB1.03, starting at 2pm.

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