This week Te Wānanga o Aotearoa will host organisations from across the tertiary sector as they come together for the second annual Tūwhitia Symposium, where they will discuss and explore ways that work towards the continued drive of positive outcomes for underserved learners in Aotearoa.
This symposium recognises that all tauira who engage in tertiary education bring with them dreams, aspirations, unique potential and their whānau bonds, but some are faced with greater challenges than others.
“Here at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, we have observed a recurring trend that tauira from low socio-economic and high deprivation areas are faced with greater challenges. We are committed to achieving system-level equity for these tauira,” says Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Chief Executive Officer, Nepia Winiata.
Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, supported by the Tertiary Education Commission, will host the event at their Mangakōtukutuku campus in Kirikiriroa Hamilton, 28-29 September 2023.
This year's theme, ‘Tūwhitia! Tauira Success’, will highlight continuity of the inaugural symposium in 2022 hosted by University of Canterbury, while also being deeply connected to the mission of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, ‘Kia angitu te tauira | Tauira Success’.
“The definition of tauira success has evolved over the years. It goes beyond the traditional metrics of grades and degrees. We now have a better understanding of the holistic journey required to equip our tauira with the tools they need to succeed,” says Nepia.
It is expected that over 120 tertiary experts and practitioners will come together for the symposium, while an added 200 people will join online via live stream.
This year's international keynote speaker is, Dr Karen Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream, an organisation that works with leaders to transform community colleges in the United States of America, to ensure that all students have access to learning that propels them into rewarding careers.
Karen will also be joined by several other guest speakers including Riashna Sithaldeen, Deputy Director of the University of Cape Town and Professor Randhir Rawatlal, from the University of Kwazulu-Natal.
“This symposium will be a chance for all those involved in the tertiary sector to come together, engage in kōrero, share experiences, and challenge conventional wisdom. This mahi requires a collaborative effort as it’s our responsibility to make sure that the educational experiences provided in Aotearoa are inclusive, accessible, and tailored to meet the diverse needs of our tauira,” says Nepia.
Wānanga and university representatives from across the country are expected to attend, as well as representatives from various iwi, and government organisations. Ministers, Jan Tinetti and Nanaia Mahuta will also be in attendance.