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Children’s University pilot graduation


Reachers, faculty and students gather for the first ever Children’s University graduation ceremony at Massey University, Palmerston North.

Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa recently welcomed students, parents and staff from Longburn School and Te Kura o Wairau in Manawatū to celebrate the first graduating class of Children’s University at Massey.

Children’s University is an international charity that partners with local universities to engage children and young people in exciting, out-of-school learning opportunities with an aim to raise their aspirations for higher education and encourage lifelong learning.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Students, Alumni and Global Engagement Tere McGonagle-Daly says, “As lifelong learning is something Massey University strongly believes in, we knew Children’s University was a good fit for us.

“This pilot was the first step in launching this valuable community-focused programme across the North Island. Massey’s Māori name is Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, which means ‘From inception to infinity’. It is a name that celebrates the importance of lifelong learning. Children’s University is about helping young people encounter things that will inspire their learning journey. I’m thrilled that Massey has been entrusted with this programme and look forward to seeing many more graduations like this one.”

Longburn School Principal Jo Emerson says it has been great to see the students engaging with different activities through the online portal and learning destinations.

“The programme has enhanced the students' motivation to take ownership of their learning, encouraging them to learn new skills and complete a range of exciting activities to achieve the number of hours required to graduate.

“We look forward to embedding the programme further for our students in 2022, supporting them to achieve their goals in partnership with the Children’s University team.”

Speaking on behalf of the university at the graduation ceremony, Provost Professor Giselle Byrnes says she was delighted to see the next generation of young people moving forward in their education journey.

“A huge thank you and congratulations to the graduates and their families. You have completed your learning hours in record time. Your persistence in the face of disruptions related to the pandemic speaks to your resilience and determination. You have already demonstrated the characteristics of lifelong learners.

“For those of you who will return next year to Longburn School and Te Kura o Wairau, I hope you will continue your involvement with Children’s University to achieve the next level of the awards. In conclusion, I hope the activities you have participated in have ignited a spark for lifelong learning.”