Skip Content
Djuan Ruland - Amata | Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

Being the youngest in her class didn’t bother Djuan Ruland-Umata during the three years she spent studying for a Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Unlike many teenagers - who want to get as far away from school as possible when they finish Year 13 - Djuan simply had a year off before enrolling in her teaching degree.

“I took a gap year,” she says.

Her mother is a teacher so Djuan knew what to expect from a teaching career and says she particularly enjoyed the unique learning experience that Te Wānanga o Aotearoa provided.

“I just loved the cultural feel of it,” she says.

“I could express myself as Māori and Pasifika because that’s who I am. I was able to be myself. I was able to grow for me.”

Djuan was one of 11 tauira who graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree at Waiāriki last week. Another five tauira graduated with Bachelor of Education (Adult Education) degrees, while 19 Maunga Kura Toi Bachelor of Māori Art degrees were awarded. Hundreds of certificates and diplomas were also presented at the two graduation ceremonies, which marked the conclusion of Te Waenga graduation ceremonies for 2018.

After completing her studies last year, Djuan is now working at Kaitao Intermediate School in Rotorua and says she would never have been able to succeed in her studies at a typical mainstream tertiary education provider.

“I couldn’t learn in lectures, in that sort of environment,” she says.

“When we connected as a class and with the kaiako, the intimacy we had was amazing, that’s what I really loved about learning at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.”

 Back to news & events

Published On:

Article By:



Other Articles

  • 22 August 2022

    Toi Class Encourages Self-Discovery

    Karen Nel ventured onto the Toi Maruata course in Porirua to explore indigenous arts in this part of the world and found out more about herself in the process.

  • 10 August, 2022

    Entrepeneur Hits the Spot with Spice Blends

    A little over three years ago Kavita launched the label ‘Kavita’s Kitchen’ after completing the Certificate in Small Business and Project Management course in Wellington.

  • 25 July 2022

    Wendy-Lee pursues her passion

    Wendy-Lee McKee-Warner’s love for art started at high school, where she spent all her time hanging out in the art room.

  • 14 July 2022

    Filling the toi kete

    Innovative and motivating are just some of many words that describe the well-known toi guests who have been inspiring our tauira this semester.