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Student Services for Distance students

Student walking past Zoology building

This section provides information about the following:

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Welfare and Recreation Services

Distance students would not normally access the following services which are located on campus: the Student Health Service, Student Counselling, the Accommodation Office, the Careers Advisory Service and Recreation Services. Because of this, distance students do not pay the Welfare and Recreation Levy. However, any distance student who wishes to access these services can do so by voluntarily paying the fee.

Students with Impairments

Disability Information and Support provides learning support, advice, advocacy and information to students with permanent, recurring or temporary impairments. Their vision is to work in partnership to promote an inclusive environment that celebrates diversity, promotes comprehensive academic support, and empowers individuals with impairments to achieve their full potential.

The supports provided are varied and include assistance with enrolment, access to specialised equipment, quiet study rooms, note taking, individual subject tutoring, reformatting of course materials, and alternative examination arrangements. Student Advisors are available to help and will work collaboratively to put together a support plan. All services are confidential.

For more information, or to download or request a copy of the Disability Information and Support handbook, A Guide for Students who have Temporary or Permanent Impairments, visit the Disability Information and Support website.

Disability Information and Support
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Tel 0800 80 80 98 or 64 3 479 8235
Fax 64 3 479 5873

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Te Huka Mātauraka/ Māori Centre

Māori students will find a friendly and supportive atmosphere at Otago.

Te Huka Mātauraka/Māori Centre is the support service for all Māori students and encourages Iwi Māori to participate and succeed at Otago. The Centre offers support for academic, cultural and social needs from pre-enrolment through to graduation and beyond.

The Centre creates opportunities for Māori students at Otago to meet in an informal and relaxed atmosphere and operates from a kaupapa Māori base to provide services including: Mentoring; Liaison and Advice; Tutorials and Seminars; Counselling; Resources; Scholarships & Grants information and Māori pre-graduation ceremonies.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Māori Centre if you require help or information.

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm.

Te Huka Mātauraka – Māori Centre
515 - 523 Castle Street North
Tel 64 3 479 8490
Fax 64 3 479 8477

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Pacific Islands Centre

Talofa lava and warm Pacific greetings from Otago!

The Pacific Islands Centre is a cultural and spiritual home for all those who identify with the Pacific nations of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Our job here is to assist you in your academic journey in any way possible. You are important to us and I acknowledge your passion and drive in taking the initiative to study from home. Distance learning can be a difficult and lonely time for some students.

We can support you by providing you with academic support via our academic mentoring programme and can find you a reliable mentor to assist and guide you in your studies. Mentors can be another student, staff member or professional person in your field of interest and might be in your city.

You can also have Blackboard access to the Pacific Islands Centre which will provide you with important information and news about events.

Don't hesitate to contact us and check out our website for more information. We'd love to hear from you.

Tofilau Nina Kirifi-Alai, Manager
Tel 64 3 479 8278

Otago University Student’s Association (OUSA)

All students at the University of Otago are automatically members of the Otago University Students’ Association.

Student rights and advocacy

Membership of OUSA gives you access to a range of services and allows the OUSA to represent and advocate for your academic interests. You will find information about all of OUSA's services on the Association’s homepage. Services include student rights and advocacy. The Association’s Executive includes elected representatives of the four Divisions: Commerce, Health Sciences, Humanities and Sciences.

Class Representatives

Integral to the Association’s student rights and advocacy services is the Class Representative system. This is managed on your behalf by the Students’ Association. The Class Rep system is also integral to the University’s commitment to Quality Assurance. In 2004, Senate reaffirmed the important role of the Class Representatives and the accountability of HODs for ensuring that representatives are appointed in all papers. For distance papers, finding and coordinating representation usually requires direct facilitation from teaching staff. Being a Class Rep is a worthy, not very time-consuming role. Please consider volunteering at the beginning of your course.

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Feedback from Students

The University places a high value on feedback from students. If you are given the opportunity to complete Course Evaluation or Teacher Evaluation questionnaires, please be assured that your views will be welcome and put to good use by your programme’s host School or Department. The University is seriously committed to continuous quality enhancement.

Further down the track, you may also receive from the University’s Quality Advancement Unit the opportunity to participate in the Student Experience and Graduate Opinion Surveys. Feedback data provided by Distance Learning students are extrapolated and reported to the relevant academic units. These surveys are also of key interest to the University in relation to benchmarking with other institutions.

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