Over 60 MATES Senior mentees participated in the “Uni for a Day” event at the University of Auckland in July. The day was hosted by the University of Auckland's Schools and Community Outreach Manager, Kate Ricketts, and student ambassadors. Its primary purpose was to provide Year 13 MATES Senior mentees with an exciting opportunity to explore the possibilities of higher education and understand the transformative benefits it can bring.

Throughout the day, the students attended informative sessions that covered a wide array of topics, including the diverse range of academic programs available, scholarships, and the application processes involved. Additionally, the students were informed about the Tertiary Foundation Certificate, a bridging pathway program designed to empower students preparing to embark on their university journey. These sessions were invaluable, enabling the students to plan for their futures and pursue their academic aspirations with clarity and confidence.

A highlight of the day was the chance for the students to witness cutting-edge research in action at the Space Institute, a multi-faculty space science and engineering centre on campus. The students had a tour of the Mission Operations Control Centre, the Fabrication and Assembly Facility, and the Test Facility, gaining insights into space science and the aerospace sector.

The day also featured a talk from Whare Ruha, a trailblazer from Alimetry, a medical devices company. Whare's work in developing advanced clinical solutions for investigating gastric disorders left the students motivated and eager to explore the exciting intersections of research, innovation, technology, and industry.

Mentees also explored the University of Auckland city campus, thoughtfully tailored to cater to their individual interests and faculty preferences. The full-day experience allowed our MATES Senior mentees to envision future possibilities and embrace the boundless potential within each of them. By the end of the event, students were inspired and equipped with the confidence to embark on the pathway that best aligns with their passions and aspirations.


Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme (MATES) is a programme that addresses the underachievement in the education of disadvantaged youth by working alongside schools to connect tertiary student Mentors with student Mentees at key educational transition points in Year 8 and Year 13.

MATES Senior Schools 2023

Aorere College

Auckland Girls Grammar School

Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate

Southern Cross Campus

Tamaki College

MATES Junior Schools 2023

Avondale Intermediate School

Clendon Park School

Finlayson Park School

Henderson Intermediate School

Mangere East Primary School

Papakura Intermediate School