The word ‘Matariki’ holds important meaning for the MNU. A Māori word (Otago University in New Zealand is an MNU partner), it has come to mean a celebration of the unique place in which we reside, and the giving of respect for the land on which we live. A place-based and community-centred approach for the Matariki Network in educating global citizens is needed. This strand calls for MNU initiatives that enable students, through multi/transdisciplinary work-modes, to become community-engaged, socially and environmentally aware learners, as a central part of their higher education.
Community engagement is likely to include both the academic community and its campus as well as the communities surrounding the university. Building up relationships with communities and community based organisations and institutions can help us to better address and understand local, ‘real-life’ issues. We believe that bringing people from various cultural and social backgrounds together can help to broaden their perspectives and open up new collaborations and a sense of togetherness that can provide a basis for the demands of any discussion or action on global citizenship.