International Biology Olympiad

VC Prof. Roy Crawford signs a memorandum of agreement with Dr Angela Sharples, the Chair of New Zealand's International Biology Olympiad Committee, while Dr Alison Campbell looks on.

Over 300 students from around the world are set to visit the University of Waikato, thanks to the Department of Biological Sciences.

The University of Waikato has signed a Memorandum of Agreement which will see the University host the 2014 25th International Biology Olympiad, exposing the University to hundreds of international students and their support groups, over a period of a week.

This prestigious international competition is fiercely contested by around 300 top senior secondary school biology students from nearly 60 countries. The talented contestant sit both practical and theory examinations of a standard that would challenge many first-year undergraduates.

 The New Zealand International Biology Olympiad has sent four students to represent the country in the competition every year since 2005, and have won medals every year. This year Waikato University again helped host the domestic competition. The competition saw 19 students from around New Zealand attend a training camp, in the battle to win one of the top four spots to represent New Zealand at the international competition to be held in Chinese Taipei this July.

"This event will allow us to showcase the university to the global education community," says Dr Alison Campbell, a member of the NZ IBO committee.

"Along with those students come supporting teachers and university educators. Many countries also send media teams, and have their diplomats attend the opening and closing ceremonies. The 25th Olympiad coincides with the University's 50th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Hamilton City, so we have three years of planning to make this an event to remember."