Ara Foundation was established as an independent charitable trust in 1984 with the aim of promoting and supporting the applied vocational, educational and research activities of Ara Institute of Canterbury. In this time, our commitment to working with Ara students and staff has seen hundreds of thousands in grants awarded and hundreds of Ara projects supported.
Our goal is to mentor, support and offer real world opportunities to students and academics so that they maximise their life experiences.
The role of Ara Foundation is diverse, but our core responsibilities are to:
- Improve the educational facilities of the Ara Institute of Canterbury
- Provide financial assistance (including the provision of scholarships and bursaries) to students of Ara on such conditions (if any) as they deem appropriate
- Support student educational activities of Ara
- Support staff education and development projects of Ara
- Support innovative educational projects undertaken by staff of Ara
- Support any other educational or charitable enterprise.
In order to achieve these aims the Foundation provides grants to Ara students and academics that:
- Allow students to become involved with projects that add real value to their CV
- Create projects that make Ara an attractive option for potential students
- Build relationships between Ara and its community
- Foster excellence in research, technology transfer and scholarship.
After Christchurch’s devastating earthquakes of 2011/12, Ara Foundation made temporary additions to criteria to ensure relevance in the Christchurch community:
- The development of skills and skilling strategies essential for the rebuild of Christchurch
- Promotion of technology transfer between Ara and industry
- Creating opportunities for participation and success for those groups currently underrepresented in vocational and applied education
- Developing infrastructure at and around Ara campuses which creates an environment where students will be attracted, retained and successful in their studies.
The Trustees also undertook a refresh of the strategic plan and reinforced the requirement to develop relationships and engagement with key stakeholders and to promote the Foundation via a cornerstone project.
The Foundation is governed by a board of Trustees, who are drawn from the business and education sectors in Canterbury.