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18 UC students become Royal Society arts student members

18 UC students become the first Royal Society arts student members

January 25, 2013

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

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 Royal 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 Royal 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 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.

UC Chinese language and politics student Josh Toohey said being a member of the Royal Society 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 would provide students information about climate change, economic development, social inequality and health.

``It’s no longer appropriate to talk of arts versus science. 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.

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