Research is an essential component of any university or tertiary institution that awards Bachelors or Masters degrees. At IPU New Zealand, our research is used to inform our teaching, develop our courses, inspire our students and keep our lecturers up-to-date with developments in their specialist areas.

In this digital age, with increasing access to large amounts of information, a key requirement of employers is for graduates to have the ability to carry out research of a complex nature. Research generates ideas, encourages employees to investigate problems in a structured way and come up with better solutions.


Policy for AI Use in Academic Research at IPU New Zealand

IPU New Zealand allows the use of AI in research as a tool only. The researcher, whether an undergraduate or postgraduate student or a staff member, is responsible for maintaining the agency, transparency, and accountability of their research.


Agency. The researcher must conduct their own research and maintain control over all aspects of their research. It is the responsibility of the researcher to be aware of the capabilities, limitations, and safety issues of any AI technologies they use and to use them in a controlled manner as research tools.


Transparency. A fundamental principle of academic research has always been transparency. Therefore, the use of AI technologies must be declared and enough detail provided to clarify how these technologies have been implemented in their research.


Accountability. The researcher must be accountable for their own research, including their methodologies and how conclusions are drawn. An AI tool cannot be an author of any research output, such as a thesis or conference presentation, and therefore cannot be cited. The human author(s) must take responsibility for everything they present in oral, written and/or visual form.


Postgraduate research

To meet the requirements of the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA), and in line with other New Zealand universities and tertiary institutions, our postgraduate Diplomas and Masters programmes contain substantial research components. They go on to select from a range of research options which may include an academic thesis or applied research within companies or non-profit organisations.


The Tambon Internet Project in Rayong Province of Thailand for the Samnakthon Rural Community: A study of its operation, challenges, and problems
Sanirat Ketkaew 

E-government is of interest to both developed and developing countries as a new way to enhance democracy, transparency, and effectiveness of governmental administration by using information and communication technology (ICT).  However, just technology cannot push many developing countries to achieve the goals as they expect. 85% of e-government projects in developing countries are failures (Heeks, 2003) and rural residents in many countries are still unable to access and benefit from the internet. For this reason, this research aims to explore whether the Tambon Internet project, a nationwide e-government project in rural of Thailand, is successful or not. In this study, the Tambon Internet project in Samnakthon community was selected to find whether it is successfully operated by the local government or not, and what are the main problems and challenges of this project. Mixed methods of quantitative survey(questionnaires), and qualitative interview was used in this study. The research findings show that the local government officers thought that the project was not successful due to the low rate of users and lack of interest shown by the majority of community members. Low rate of use was also confirmed in results obtained through questionnaires, and among other reasons were lack of awareness and computer skills to participate. The research also found that "English" language was a barrier in learning computer and the Internet skills. However, all respondents were satisfied with this project and thought it was beneficial to the community.  


Developing Marketing strategies for Ho May Cultural and Ecotourism Park in Vietnam
Nguyen, Lam Phoung Thao

This research aimed to develop marketing strategies for Ho May Cultural and Ecotourism Park, and also explore how the development of ecotourism contributes to benefit Vietnamese people by investigating the current status of eco-tourism in Vietnam, domestic tourists' attitudes towards eco-tourism, the aesthetic and cultural values as well as the value for money eco-tourism provides to tourists, the ways for Ho May Cultural and Eco-tourism Park to attract tourists and the benefits of eco-tourism. Design/methodology/approach - Self-completion questionnaires were distributed to respondents mainly living in the South of Vietnam. Data from 270 completed questionnaires were analysed using a variety of statistical techniques including correlation analysis and ANOVA. Answers to open-ended questions were also used where necessary to delve deeper into the domestic tourists' attitudes towards eco-tourism, their decisions to join eco-tours as well as their expectations from eco-tourism in the local area. One of the major findings is that, the reasons influencing respondents' decisions to join eco-tours are significantly correlated with outcomes associated with joining eco-tours and expectations from eco-tourism in the local area. Furthermore, differences in gender and age have significant influence on the amount of money Visitors are willing to pay for their eco-tours. The overall conclusions and discussion of the findings provide a framework for the practical planning and implementation of marketing strategies in the eco-tourism context in Vietnam.

Dollarisation in the Vietnam Economy
Thi My Duyen Nguyen

This thesis utilises the recent economic statistics to analyse the phenomenon of dollarisation in Vietnam during the time of period of 1995-2011 by performing a secondary data analysis on an annual basis in the examined period. The purpose is to identify the phenomenon in Vietnam, how different it is to that in other countries, what are costs and benefits of dollarisation and how to make use of benefits and minimise costs. The thesis concluded that dollarisation in Vietnam was high during the period but the effects of other factors are different from what happened in other countries. Because of the differences, the thesis recommends that theoretical revisits are needed before implementing policy measures to deal with dollarisation. Dollarisation in Vietnam provides a distinctive case that could be a good reference for economists in reviewing the phenomenon.


Sustainable Housing in Palmerston North
Rashmi Salopal

This research examines initiatives taken by Palmerston North City Council (PNCC) to increase awareness for sustainable housing, together with the barriers to sustainable housing practices for Palmerston North residents. Primary data for the research were collected from Palmerston North residents through postal questionnaires selected randomly from the electoral roll 2013. One of the key findings show that less half of the sample was aware that the PNCC is offering free consultation service which can help them to renovate their existing home or build a new healthy energy efficient home.  The findings also show lack of knowledge amongst people when it comes to long-term benefits that they can yield by a healthy energy efficient home. The research findings were discussed and concluded to provide suggestions for policy makers and PNCC so that they can increase engagement of Palmerston North residents in sustainable housing practices.


Understanding the educational experiences of Vietnamese university students who pursue higher education programmes in New Zealand
Thi My Duyen Nguyen

This research project examines the teaching and learning experiences of Vietnamese students in higher education in New Zealand. Its aims to explore how they adapt to teaching and learning in New Zealand and gain insight into the difficulties they may encounter. Using a two-stage approach, the results of the twelve semi-structured interviews were used to inform the development of on-line survey. Over 100 Vietnamese students who were currently studying at tertiary level in New Zealand took part in the survey. In general, the findings from the research are in line with the existing literature. Within the teaching situation, students were positive about the quality of their lecturers. Within the learning situation, understanding assignments instructions, writing essays, the use of referencing, completing the required course readings and interactions were found to be particularly difficult for students. Low level of English language proficiency were found to be a background theme running through the results; however, more research will be need to determine the causal link.    


Undergraduate research - Bachelor of Contemporary International Studies programme

Unlike most universities and tertiary institutions, IPU New Zealand starts teaching research skills to its students at the undergraduate Diploma and Bachelor levels. It is at the core of our curriculum. For example, students in the Bachelor programme must complete two 15-credit courses (Research Skills 1 & 2) before going on to work on a 30-credit research project which is often in excess of 15,000 words. Furthermore, to recognise the importance of undergraduate research, an annual award ceremony is held for students who excel in their projects.


Indonesia's Political Ecology: The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Palm Oil Industry in Sumatra, Indonesia 
Facundo Ramiro Caro - International Relations major (Distinction)

Indonesia, and in particular the Sumatran region, is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of palm oil, nearly doubling its yearly output in the last seven years. Palm oil is present in nearly 50 per cent of all products in your nearest supermarket, yet you might not be aware of where it comes from, who produces it, what the processes and procedures involved are, and whether it is good for human consumption. The palm oil industry has seen an unprecedented growth in production, primarily due to the increase in global demand. As developing countries become more industrialised and experience growth, their populations also grow at speedy rates. Cheap and versatile palm oil products are vital sources of food that help fuel the development of such countries, for example India and China. However, how is Indonesia coping with this increase in global demand? Are the allegations of anti-palm oil NGOs factual? What are the true costs and benefits of the industry's agricultural expansion in Sumatra, Indonesia? These are the kind of issues this study covers, by looking at three key areas: economic, social and environmental. Additionally, these three areas are analysed in an interdisciplinary fashion, so as to reach a telescopic understanding of the current problems. As international pressure from NGOs and foreign governments increase with time, anti-palm oil and pro-palm oil lobby groups are starting to emerge very rapidly. There are many groups that rely on sensationalism and propagandas to confuse the general public even further. Therefore, this study proves useful to inform about the truths and unveil the most widespread myths in regards to the palm oil industry.

The Impacts of Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia
Tracey Nielsen - International Relations major (Distinction)

Human trafficking and modern day slavery has emerged as the fastest growing transnational crime of the century.  Human trafficking is a significant regional development issue for Southeast Asia due to the wide ranging impacts on the social, economic and political structures of society, and regional responses are forming at a rapid pace.  Whilst each country has varying challenges and shares similar causes for why trafficking is prevalent, each country has specific circumstances and challenges that are unique.  This research was conducted using secondary research methodology to examine the causes, impacts and solutions related to internal, inter-regional and transnational trafficking occurring in Southeast Asia.  Using relevant primary and secondary sources the researcher explored how widely entrenched human trafficking is, what the implications are for not only the state, but also the victims. Lastly, the research took a critical review of how each region is dealing with specific challenges and what appropriate legal mechanisms are in place to combat this epidemic issue.


Advantages and disadvantages of using offshore islands for conservation - The case study of the takahe in New Zealand
Nghiem, Gilbért Minh Quang- International Environmental Studies major (Distinction)

This interdisciplinary project was developed in the context where the world environment is at great risk and many species have been driven to the edge of extinction. This includes all marine, fauna and flora species. Thus, the research project investigates the efficiency of a common conservation strategy, which is using offshore islands to preserve endangered species. Throughout conservation history, using offshore islands has achieved significant success. To illustrate how offshore islands affect the species survival, a case study of the takahe in New Zealand is included in the research. A secondary research methodology, which utilises available secondary sources such as books, reports and social commentary is used to build up the theory framework. Lastly, the researcher proposes various strategies to overcome the disadvantages of using islands to maximise the outcomes for conservation. 


The benefits and risks of genetically modified organisms in food production: Implications for Indonesia
Husyati Amaliah - International Environmental Studies major (Distinction)

Genetic modification is considered as a significant development in agricultural technology after the green revolution. It promises significant benefits through its application in food production. These benefits are accompanied by risks that threaten the environment, society and economy. As a developing country with an ever-growing population, Indonesia sees genetically modified food as an opportunity to ensure food security. This interdisciplinary project investigates the implications of genetic modification application in Indonesia's commercial food production through the analysis of benefits and risks of genetically modified organisms in food production using a secondary research method. The overall finding indicates that genetically modified food has the potential to achieve its promised benefits in Indonesia. Furthermore, Indonesia has anticipated the risks of its application and has created a set of regulations to mitigate these risks with the help of international organisations and other countries. Nevertheless, Indonesia still needs to be more independent before it is ready to apply genetically-modified organisms in its commercial food production.

Environmental Issues in Japan and Thailand: Management and Cooperation

Kantheera Wongpiyanuntakul - Japanese Studies major (Distinction)

This secondary project focuses on environmental issues in Japan and Thailand brought about by economic growth and natural causes which are air pollution, water pollution, waste generation, plus earthquakes in Japan and floods in Thailand. It aims to discover the problems, management, and the cooperation between these two countries. The study investigates Japan and Thailand's own means of managing these problems which are quite different. For Japan, data collection and research are the keys to practical measures. Planning in advance is also what Japanese people do. On the contrary, the Thai government pays attention more to its economic growth. Therefore, when a disaster hits Thailand, the country solves that particular problem one by one. Prevention is hardly applied. For that reason, the cooperation to manage environmental issues between the two countries was started. When floods occurred in Thailand in 2011, a Japanese relief team was sent to help suffering people as well as recover industrial areas. Japan also provided technological support for Thailand. In return, Thailand helps Japan financially. To conclude, this research suggests that Thailand learns from what Japan does to improve itself and at the same time Japan can learn from Thailand's disasters when it visits the country to help.


Copies of selected postgraduate and undergraduate research reports are available in the IPU New Zealand Library.