Massey under spotlight of award-winning US TV show 

(left) Mr Steve Goodman, Mr Graeme Ninness and Mr David Wiltshire.

Massey University has been the subject of an award-winning American television show featuring four segments on unique and interesting aspects of New Zealand’s university education and research.

Higher Education Today, broadcast on the America’s East Coast, is a television talk show that connects viewers to contemporary issues, people, and institutions involved in the world of higher education, with 123 episodes to date.

Host, educational consultant and author Steven Roy Goodman has visited South Africa, Greece, the United Kingdom, Romania and other places in the world, in his quest to portray aspects of the world’s university sector.

His visit to Massey began with a chance meeting between Mr Goodman and Massey international development manager Bruce Graham at a recent conference in Ohio.

“I was at a conference event with Bruce who was trying to explain to me the differences between rugby and American football, when we started talking about Massey. He asked if I been to New Zealand and did I know what Massey had to offer. I admitted I had never visited New Zealand but as we got talking, the more we got into topics that I felt would be really great for our viewership.

Each distinct half-hour episode covers a new subject or research area, including veterinary medicine, food safety, New Zealand society, and aviation careers.

“It’s an educational show where I aim to bring the ideas and news of universities around the world to the general public in the best way I can. The segments on Massey will now be part of the public record and broaden people’s educational options.

“My role is to represent wider society and ask questions of the people I talk to and see where the topics carry us – they can get very specific and lead to some insights that will be relevant to people (including students and parents) from around the world.

Mr Goodman was particularly fascinated by the discussion on New Zealand society with the head of the School of Māori Art, Knowledge and Education (Te Pūtahi-a-Toi) Professor Meihana Durie, and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley.

“For me the discussion on New Zealand society was particularly eye-opening and not at all what I originally envisioned – I don’t think people in the US know a great deal about New Zealand society, but I think they will be introduced to it now.

The magic came from the sophisticated, subtle politeness of the two guests thoughtfully reflecting on some issues of wider importance in New Zealand. At the end of the day, what else is the research of a university for than to deal with the serious issues.”

He also singled out the veterinary medicine discussion as one that would be of particular interest to students from the United States because of the Massey Vet School’s accreditation. However, all four segments will contribute to Massey’s international profile and its expertise worldwide.

When Mr Goodman is not producing the show, he is working as an educational consultant in Washington with students and families to help students make the right choice about programmes and what university to attend.

Mr Goodman was able to produce the show in New Zealand with assistance from Mr Graham. He relies on film and editing crews at the universities he visits, and was assisted by David Wiltshire and Graeme Ninness from the Massey External Relations and Development team.

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