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UNIVERSITY of Waikato student Kayli van
der Heyden of Otorohanga is making good use of
a programme designed to make higher education
more accessible for rural students.
Kayli, in her first year of a Bachelor of Social
Science and Spanish degree, says university isn’t
an option for some rural students because of the
costs of travel, living in the halls of residence or
However, being part of the uni-
versity’s Pathways to Excellence
programme is making life
much easier for Kayli and
her fellow North King
Country uni students.
was extended to the
NKC this year from
a successful pilot for
Tokoroa and Putaruru
About 20 NKC first year
students are using the subsi-
dised daily bus to and from the
university (Waitomo News, March 1).
The Pathways programme offers several other
practical benefits to them.
It also provides Kayli with support and men-
toring if she needs it, a common room where out
of town students can relax and study between lec-
tures and access to a Google Chromebook laptop.
She uses the bus four days a week and is very
happy with the free WiFi access onboard so she
can study during trips.
“It’s a really good programme with awesome
practical benefits for rural students like me who
want to study at Waikato,” says Kayli.
“ The bus trip costs a couple of dollars each way
which is much cheaper than petrol.
“And because we’re there from 9am-5pm
every day with a lot of breaks between lectures,
our common room which has a fridge, jug and
microwave is a better place for people on the
bus to chill rather than having to sit for hours
in the library.
“ There are also many staff members to help us,
including a couple of Maori-speaking supervi-
sors to support the students from the wharekura
who learn in Maori.”
University director of regional engagement
Joseph MacFarlane says, with the university
subsidy, North King Country students only pay
$1 per ride.
“It has proven to be a very
popular service, and the uni-
versity is now looking to fur-
ther strengthen its relation-
ship with the secondary
schools and communities
of Te Kuiti, Otorohanga
and the surrounding ar-
eas,” says Mr MacFarlane.
“I have recently met
with the principals of Te
Kuiti, Otorohanga, and Pio-
pio when the discussion fo-
cussed on adding further supports
for the schools, students and commu-
nity including bringing university scholarships
into the schools.
“ They are tailored to those students who are
willing and able to succeed at university level, and
who require financial support in order to do so.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says
it is a priority for the university to strengthen its
relationships with the schools and communities
in the wider Waikato region.
“We are reaching out to all the secondary
schools of the Waikato to make the university a
more accessible place to students, their families
“ The students from Te Kuiti and Otorohanga
have been a delight,” he says.
“ The bus is well subscribed, and the students
are settling well into the university community,
as well as taking the initiative to explore Hamil-
ton too – when they are not in class or studying
hard that is.”
UNIVERSITY of Waikato student Kayli van der Heyden of Otorohanga says the university’s
Pathways to Excellence programme is making life much easier for her and other North King
Country uni students. PHOTO SUPPLIED
good ... with
Programme a real
winner for students
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