Studying Off-campus

The University of Waikato values its associations with industry, commerce and Crown Research Institutes, Centres of Research Excellence, and other universities, both in New Zealand and overseas. Such associations provide stimulating and intellectually challenging opportunities and experiences for its research staff and students.
The University seeks to manage its relationships with external organisations, in such a way to maintain the high quality and autonomy of its programmes of teaching and research.

Guidelines for higher degree candidates working in collaborating institutions

The University is responsible for the academic programme and supervision of enrolled higher research degree candidates, and for the examination of their work. The University must be closely involved with collaborating institutions to ensure that candidates are making appropriate progress. Accordingly, candidates may be permitted to undertake research with and/or based in collaborating institutions, only when the project is specifically approved and the following criteria are satisfied:

Resources (a) the resources of a collaborating institution are appropriate for the needs of the candidate
(b) the collaborating institution will agree to the candidate having access to all necessary resources
Support the staff from the collaborating institution who will provide day-to-day support for the candidate, are willing, able and qualified to assist the candidate
Stimulation the collaborating institution is able to provide a stimulating research environment
Access the collaborating institution will provide University supervisors with ready access to the candidate and to the research facilities used by the candidate

Candidates are encouraged to present seminars both in the collaborating institution and in the University.
The University expects its supervisory staff to work actively in the field of the candidate's research and, where co-supervision is being provided by the staff of a collaborating institution, to share in joint publications with the candidate and other co-supervisors.

Contractual arrangements

Formal contractual terms and conditions for a candidate to work within an external organisation and to receive support by way of scholarship, study award, access to facilities and other benefits must be carried out through the Research & Enterprise Office.

These terms and conditions will also include agreements on publication rights and ownership of intellectual property (IP), progress reports, and submission and examination of theses.
The candidate will normally be required to sign an agreement with the University which sets out the rights and obligations of the candidate, for the contract with the external organisation and for the candidate's supervision arrangements while in the contract.

Guidelines for unsupervised study or field work

There are situations when candidates who are based in the University may be absent from the campus for extended periods of time, for example, when involved in field work or study in libraries or museums. This does not cover the situation when the candidate is formally attached to another organisation and is being supervised by a member of that organisation (as detailed above).
Candidates working at a distance suffer many disadvantages not common to candidates working on campus or within a large institution. The Chief Supervisor of candidates wishing to work at a distance from the University campus should therefore:

  • carefully assess the candidate's capability to plan and organise work independently
  • maintain regular (at least monthly) contact preferably by email/Skype
  • keep a record of important matters and decisions covered during email or Skype exchanges
  • be satisfied that the candidate has access to all the resources required
  • set and expect frequent and regular tangible goals e.g., thesis chapters, conferences, to be achieved over the course of study
  • make regular checks to ensure the candidate is following the agreed research plan

The candidate should plan to spend some significant periods on campus, as agreed with the supervisor and Chair of Department/Head of School, or have other contact with people working in his/her field so that progress can be discussed in detail.
It is expected that the following matters would be discussed with the candidate as appropriate and agreed actions documented:

  • method and frequency for maintaining contact between candidate and supervisor/s
  • objectives to be achieved in the exercise and reporting on those objectives
  • resources required
  • people who could provide informal assistance to candidate
  • contacts, authorisation or letters of introduction that may be required
  • whether the candidate has had adequate training in the methodology and/or equipment to be used
  • potential health and safety hazards and whether the candidate has been adequately briefed/trained where necessary, and has adequate equipment to minimise the identified risks.