The heart of Tauranga’s Central Business District was buzzing last Friday, as hundreds of high school students attended Open Day at the University of Waikato’s Tauranga campus.
The whirl of erg bikes filled the central atrium, as students raced against each other in the health, sport and wellbeing zone, monitored by sports researchers from the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance.
Over in the culture and society zone, lecturers and students talked about study options and career pathways and, nearby, a giant Jenga game was in full swing.
Upstairs, on the second and third floors, a number of mini lectures were being held on a range of topics in accounting and finance, psychology, marketing and strategic management, philosophy, engineering, education, social work and Māori and Indigenous studies.
In Te Manawaroa, the University’s on-campus noho marae and meeting space, aquaculture and coastal marine science researchers spoke about sustainable fisheries and community partnerships, and the science behind tsunami waves.
The science-curious were well catered for at Open Day, with tours of the new, cutting-edge science laboratories, set up with chemistry and aquaculture microalgae experiments for students to try.
Around 700 high school students visited the modern Tauranga campus on Durham Street, taking the opportunity to learn more about study and life at the University of Waikato.
Open Day is an annual event, designed to give high school students an insight into what life is like while studying at the University of Waikato, and is a chance to discover potential study options while engaging with lecturers and other students.
An event at the Hamilton campus was held on May 21, and the Tauranga event was a week later, on May 28.
Information sessions covered important topics including the transition from high school to university, the application process, key dates and student support options.
The state-of-the-art Tauranga campus offers the best of city and sea, just 10 minutes from the surf beaches of Mount Maunganui.
The award winning four-storey building includes customisable teaching spaces, a 200-seat lecture theatre, a variety of multi-function spaces, a 24-hour computer labs, an Ātea (open courtyard), cafe and common areas for studying and socialising.
Nikki Whyte and Jemma Turnwald, both 16 year old Year 12 students from Mount Maunganui College, were enjoying the health, sport and wellbeing zone. Nikki had just been racing classmate Cora Amerson on the Erg bikes and was exploring her future study options.
“I’m just looking around, and it’s helping with my decision. There are lots of good options at Waikato, and the people seem really nice,” said Nikki.
Jemma was particularly interested in science and chemistry, and was looking forward to doing a laboratory tour.
Shantae Lafaele, 17, younger sister Maia Lafaele, 15, and their friend Alaina Ferreira, 16, had travelled over from Reporoa College for Tauranga Open Day.
Shantae was eager to continue into tertiary study after leaving high school, and was impressed with the diversity of subjects and the student support available at the University of Waikato in Tauranga.
“It’s cool to see all the options available to us,” added Alaina, as she surveyed the marine science offerings.
Joseph Macfarlane, Director of Tauranga Campus Operation, thanked everyone who helped make Open Day so successful.
“The schools and communities who made the effort to get along to the Open Day are the inspiration for the Tauranga campus and indeed the wider University,” said Joseph. “People came from near and far today to visit the campus and to assess our offerings, and it was our privilege to host them and to hopefully set the foundation for their future studies with the University of Waikato.”
To experience a taste of Open Day at our Tauranga campus, check out our video here.