18 UC students become the first Royal Society of New Zealand arts student members

UC art scholarsEighteen University of Canterbury (UC) arts undergraduate students have become the first group of arts students to join the Royal Society of New Zealand.

The students completed a new arts scholars programme in the College of Arts at the University of Canterbury last year. The programme provides an enhanced learning experience for high achieving students majoring in subjects taught in the College of Arts.

The Royal Society of New Zealand’s corporate manager Gill Sutherland said the engagement of young students was wonderful.

“One of our aims at the Society is to reach out to young people and engage with a new generation of researchers across all disciplines.

“Welcoming 18 outstanding arts scholars is a first for the Society. Ideas are born when people connect with each other and share their unique perspectives. Membership of the society engages and nurtures New Zealand’s best young and emerging scholars,’’ she said.

UC Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr said he was delighted with the development.

“Engaging our outstanding UC arts undergraduate scholars with the Royal Society of New Zealand extends student opportunities for creative problem solving from the beginning of their careers,” Dr Carr said.

UC Pro Vice-Chancellor of Arts Professor Ed Aldelson said the arts scholars would benefit hugely from joining the Royal Society of New Zealand.

UC Chinese language and politics student Josh Toohey said being a member of the Royal Society of New Zealand was a brilliant opportunity to link up with a network of thinkers, to acquire `new knowledge and skills to help me better understand a dynamic world”.

Director of the UC arts scholars programme Dr Bronwyn Hayward said membership of the Royal Society of New Zealand would provide students with opportunities to network with others and to engage in debate about a range of issues from climate change and economic development to social inequality and health through a series of workshops and masterclasses planned for mid winter.

“It’s no longer appropriate to talk of arts versus science. As Dame Ann Salmond FRSNZ argued in her speech on the New Enlightenment, the complexity of these challenges requires a new generation of researchers able to re-integrate creative and critical thinking from across our disciplines and it’s an exciting time to be researching,’’ Dr Hayward said.

Source: University of Canterbury