New CPIT Students to Benefit from Refreshing Lecture

News News & events

04 Mar 2015

CPIT students who are making the transisition from secondary school to tertiary education will be treated to "the most memorable lecture they ever sit through". As part of Welcome Month, CPIT has brought Unismart to campus to educate students about the challenges of starting student life in a fun an entertaining way.

The presentation will be held in the CPSA building on Wednesday 4 March at noon.  UniSmart combines comedy, multi-media, street theatre tactics, entertainment and education in a "lecture with a difference".

The high impact, energetic presentation is designed to engage and empower students as they cope with the demands of moving from secondary to tertiary education. Tackling topics like sex, drugs, alcohol and study choices, the R16 presentation is designed to appeal to young undergraduates.  


CPIT student wellbeing manager Diana Law anticipates the show to prove successful. "Unismart is expected to be a fun and engaging event for students to find out what support is available to them, encourage them to ask for support and to provide tips for thriving in tertiary study at CPIT," she says.

UniSmart was devised and written by Trudi Urlwin and John Davey, a Christchurch couple with a background in theatre performance and communications. Urlwin says the pair recognised the potential for using creative performance to engage and inform specific groups. 

For some students the transition from home to university will be daunting, Urlwin says.

 "The challenges are universal," Urlwin says. "Students are often overwhelmed by the massive changes that come with leaving home and taking on full time study."  UniSmart raises all the key issues and offers sage advice to students, in a surprisingly refreshing and candid way.

"It's about recognising them as adults and empowering them to make their own decisions," Urlwin says. "Students retain the information because it is delivered in a way that grabs their attention."

Unexpected stage antics and candid conversational banter are just some of the tactics used to impart information to the young and savvy audience. Over a period of 60 minutes, students are given a comprehensive, if unorthodox, overview of what to expect at university and where to go for help and support.  Each year the presentation is revised and updated to reflect relevant issues and the fast pace of change that influences youth culture.

Davey launched the first presentation at Victoria University's Wellington campus in 1999.  Since that hugely successful launch, the unique UniSmart presentation has been seen by more than 500,000 students in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the USA and the United Kingdom.