Christchurch kids graduate from New Zealand's first 'children's university'

You might have heard that a nine-year-old Belgian boy is set to become the youngest ever university graduate at the end of the year, but in Christchurch, there are 151 kids as young as seven who've just graduated from university.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Jordan Cameron has benefitted from joint initiative involving Canterbury and Lincoln universities. Source: Seven Sharp

Yesterday, 12-year-old Jordan Cameron headed off to Lincoln University, where he graduated from New Zealand's first ever "children's university".

The university, a joint effort by Canterbury and Lincoln universities, is aimed at encouraging young people aged seven to 17 to engage in hands-on learning activities and experiences outside of the classroom.

The Christchurch schoolboy said the children's university is "not really like school" because you can "go out and do stuff that's fun and you still learn stuff while you're out there."

You need to clock in 30 hours towards your university certificate, but Jordan went above and beyond with 217 hours.

"It's been amazing," Jordan's mum Lisa said. "So every afternoon or weekend, instead of getting up and watching TV, the kids will get up and go, ‘Mum, what are we doing today?'"

Jordan said they've gone to many different locations and done many activities as part of the course, including Otago Museum, Art Gallery, the Art Centre, Orana Park, Rutherford's Den, a farm, and building things at Mitre10.

He also did university experiences at ARA Institute of Canterbury, and Lincoln and Canterbury universities.

However, Jordan's still imagining what his future career will look like.

"I like three things - I want to be a scientist or own a business or maybe join the Navy?"