World's first Bachelor of Climate Change degree attracts new scholarships

1 December 2021

Tower has joined forces with the University of Waikato, offering scholarships to nurture future climate change experts.

Tower is pledging $45,000 over three years to support students in a world-first Bachelor of Climate Change degree at the University of Waikato.

The three-year degree offers a unique combination of scientific knowledge, socio-economic understanding, and cultural diversity of climate change issues. Students will not only learn from expert researchers at the University, but also get the chance to see real-world cases where climate change is impacting groups and individuals.

Tower’s contribution will help the University nurture a workforce with a comprehensive understanding of climate change to lead New Zealand’s transformation towards a zero-emissions society.

“Our research and data tell us the frequency and severity of floods and storms has increased, and the cost of insurance over the past 10 years has reached $1.4 billion – the equivalent to the previous 45 years, even after adjusting for inflation,” says Tower’s Chief Executive Officer Blair Turnbull.

“As part of our focus on a sustainable future, we are looking to partner with like-minded businesses and universities to better understand climate change, and to help support plans and actions for our customers, communities and councils to mitigate the impact.

“We are delighted to be the first corporate supporter for the University of Waikato’s Bachelor of Climate Change, and to support the next generation of climate change thought-leaders. It is through research, innovation and education that we will move towards the solutions needed.”

Tower’s partnership with the University of Waikato involves three scholarships for first-year students worth $5,000 each year for three years. The three-year agreement means a total of nine first-year Bachelor of Climate Change degree students will receive a helping hand. Scholarship winners could also get the chance to see first-hand the work the Kiwi insurer is undertaking on key initiatives around coastal flooding and erosion, and potentially gain an internship with Tower.

Professor Bryony James, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at the University of Waikato, says “Concerns over climate change are growing around the world, across all industries and new graduates that join the workforce will soon discover that every aspect of work life will involve climate change.

“Tower is the first company to pledge a dedicated scholarship for the Bachelor of Climate Change degree. This will help students gain a valuable entry into this comprehensive, interdisciplinary degree.”

University of Waikato’s Bachelor of Climate Change is currently open to application for its first semester scheduled to begin in March 2022.

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