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Otago's commitment to social responsibility

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Here at Otago, we recognise the importance of social responsibility and are involved with the following programmes and initiatives.

Smoke-free campus

The University’s Dunedin campus will be completely smoke-free from 1 January 2014, a move that brings it into line with Otago’s other campuses in Christchurch, Wellington and Invercargill. The revised smoke-free policy will enhance the outstanding campus experience that the University offers its staff and students and is consistent with its mission statement, which sets out Otago’s aim of promoting individuals' development and wellbeing. For further information about the smoke-free campus, visit the Smoke-free Campus website.

World-wide campaign to eradicate polio

Peter Crampton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Health Sciences (and Dean, Faculty of Medicine) of University of Otago joined hundreds of scientists, doctors and technical experts from around the world in supporting the Scientific Declaration on Polio Eradication on 11 April 2013.

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Today, the world is closer than ever to eradicating polio, with just 223 cases in five countries last year. To capitalise on this time-limited opportunity to finally end the disease, a wide range of experts have signed the declaration to emphasise the achievability of polio eradication and endorse the Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan, a new strategy by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to reach the end of polio by 2018.

The scientists and experts signing the declaration come from more than 75 countries and include Nobel laureates, vaccine and infectious disease experts, public health school deans, pediatricians and other health authorities.

For additional information about the Scientific Declaration or to view a full list of signatories, please visit the Emory Vaccine Center website.

Becoming a Fairtrade university

The University of Otago is committed to acting in an ethically, socially and environmentally responsible manner. We also place a strong emphasis on educating our students so that they are equipped to meet societal challenges; acquiring knowledge of ethics, ethical standards and social responsibility. In November 2012, the university pledged to become an accredited Fairtrade university; hopefully New Zealand’s first!

Fair trade is a socially responsible way of doing business. It emphasises principles of fairness and decency in the marketplace, and respect for the environment, which translates into better deals for farmers and producers in developing countries.

Before we can apply for certification from the Fairtrade Association of Australia and New Zealand, we have to meet a number of criteria. This process is being overseen by the University’s Fair Trade Steering Committee. If you are curious about what’s involved, or how to ensure that your department helps us achieve this goal, contact the Fair Trade Steering Committee via the Sustainability Coordinator. Do your bit to support fair trade and spread the word.

World Vision partnership

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The University of Otago signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with World Vision in October 2013, a first between a New Zealand academic institution and the New Zealand office of World Vision.

The partnership, part of the University’s strategic vision to engage with the community, brings academics and students together with the charity’s administrators to collaborate on research, development and debate to help the fight against global poverty.

World Vision has taken part in the Otago Business School summer intern programme, offering six different projects in World Vision New Zealand’s Auckland office.