Spinning the web: How we foster successful connections among internal and external stakeholders

Ms Jieyan (Mera) Tan1, Dr Chelsea Blickem2

1The University Of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

The University of Waikato in Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand, is well-resourced to offer a unique university education experience through its connections within the region, the local community, the local iwi and through its many and extensive international relationships. The university motto ‘Ko  Te Tangata’, translates as ‘For the People’, which reflects our philosophy that we are in, of, and for the community.

Waikato Pathways College within the University provides a number of pre-degree programmes for both international and domestic students. Our focus within our local communities is balanced and enhanced  by our commitment to internationalisation. We celebrate the diversity of our students and staff, take pride in our reputation and commitment to pastoral care, and the measures we take through programme design and global networks to develop students as global citizens while enhancing their cultural competence.

This presentation will report on a number of case studies which showcase our multiple local and international connections and exemplifies our dealings with students from different backgrounds, cultures and study goals. Te Ara Ki Angitu: Pathways to Excellence is a new high school transition programme designed to make University study more accessible for students in the Waikato region. The Game On English programme combines English language with rugby. Programmes funded by government agencies combine English with management studies. The NZ Aid Scholarship scheme is a successful example of international connections and partnerships. Within each of these case studies we will consider student feedback on experiences and outcomes. We will examine and define what success means for these cohorts and from an institutional perspective. We will conclude with key recommendations that we believe are critical in building, maintaining and enhancing local and international connections with the key goal being enhanced learning experience and success.


Mera Tan is the Academic Student Advisor at Pathways College, the University of Waikato. Pathways College offers Academic English Language programmes and they are designed to improve the language skills of international students and prepare them for university study. Mera has more than 10 years experience in working directly with international students, providing enrolment, academic learning support and pastoral care. Her work at the University has been an exciting and rewarding blend of intercultural communication, administration and advocacy.

Mera holds a  Postgraduate Diploma in International Communication and has been an active ISANA member since 2008, and recently completed a course at Victoria University, Wellington in International Education.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education.

For more information, please visit ANZSSA website by anzssa.com.


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education.

For more information, please visit the ISANA website at www.isana.org.au.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.