Jingnan Ma

Jingnan Ma

A partnership programme with the Hebei University of Science and Technology in Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China opened the door for Chinese engineering student Jingnan Ma, to study at the University of Waikato.


University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship

Jingnan Ma

Jingnan completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering at Waikato and is now working towards her PhD in Engineering.  

“I loved my time at Waikato; I thoroughly enjoyed both the academic environment and the lifestyle, which led me to continue my studies here,” says Jingnan. 

Jingnan grew up in a small city in Hebei, a province with 75 million people, and although a contrast with her hometown, Jingnan found Hamilton to be a welcoming environment. 

“I experienced diversity, broadened my perspectives and developed friendships with people from all over the world. Living and studying at Waikato allowed me to understand the world without ever leaving the city.

I have lived here longer than any other place except for where I was born, it has truly become my second home. 

Jingnan authored and published her first journal paper, with the support of Associate Professor Fei Yang, and was a University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship recipient. 

Jingnan says her time in New Zealand has helped her hone her independence, as back in China, daily tasks such as cooking, and household management were not her responsibility.  

“Life in Hamilton required me to adopt a full suite of life skills, from cooking and cleaning to driving, requiring attention to both the minor and major aspects of living independently. At the same time, I had to undertake my studies in English, which added an extra layer of challenge to my adjustment.  

“For someone leaving home for the first time, facing these factors without the immediate support of family and friends was challenging. I had to forge new friendships and completely adapt my lifestyle to manage on my own. I am proud to have navigated through the toughest times, emerging braver and more confident in myself.” 

She encourages other international students to enjoy the natural surroundings, stay curious and work on time management. She also stresses the value of being open, and engaging in discussions and reading which can spark a generation of fresh ideas. 

Jingnan is currently working part-time as a Research Officer while she finishes her studies. 

“I’m excited about the prospect of working on diverse projects and expanding my knowledge and skills in different areas.” 


Jingnan Ma