Children's University

Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University encourages tamariki aged 7 to 14 to take part in innovative learning activities outside their school day

How does it work?

Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University aims to encourage lifelong learning and increase young people’s aspirations for higher education. We work in partnership with the University of Canterbury to deliver the programme, which is the first of its kind in New Zealand.


Participating in the programme is quite simple:

  • Children and young people join the programme through their school or rūnaka
  • Then they are issued a Children’s University Passport to Learning
  • By visiting Learning Destinations with their passport, tamariki get stamps to recognise their time spent learning.
  • Tamariki can access the Portal online where they can find out about these local destinations as well as online activities for when they can’t get out and about.
  • Once 30+ hours of learning are reached, students can attend a graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements.

Schools and Rūnaka

Many schools report improved attendance and engagement with classroom learning as a result of participation with Children’s University. If you wish to find out more about your school joining the programme, please contact

Schools that join the programme identify a coordinator who will be responsible for:

  •  Liaising with Children’s University to arrange enrolment and schedule events such as on-campus days and graduation.
  • Approving completed activities on the online portal and stamping the children’s passports.
  • Keeping track of children’s passport hours and providing an update each term.
  • Attending graduation.

Learning Destinations

Learning destinations are locations or organisations that offer child-safe, educational opportunities and activities. These may include:

  • Museums
  • Galleries
  • Libraries
  • Recreation Centres
  • Arts and Crafts

Our Sponsors

We thank our sponsors for their ongoing support in delivering TMMCU in the Waitaha | Canterbury region.

  • Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki | Lincoln University
  • Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | Canterbury University
  • Rātā Foundation
  • Riccarton Rotary Youth Trust
  • Lincoln University Centennial Trust
  • Canterbury Branch of the Royal Society of New Zealand
  • Christchurch Adelaide Sister City

If you would like to discuss how you can support TMMCU, please contact the Programme Manager at

Our Team

Jack Swannell

Programme Manager | Kaiwhakahaere

Toby Johnson

Learning Coordinator| Kairuruku Ako

Georgia Huxtable

Puni Coordinator | Kairuruku Puni

Get in Touch

If you are part of a school or a learning destination who want to be a part of this amazing opportunity for tamariki, please contact us at

Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University Website 

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