Nau mai, haere mai, tauti mai – I am pleased to welcome you to Aotearoa New Zealand's first university.
The early Scottish settlers who founded the University of Otago in 1869 placed a high value on education and recognised the important role universities play in shaping individuals and society – we are committed to continuing their vision, and growing it to fit today's and tomorrow's world. To that end, we place high priority on our partnership with tangata whenua and the importance of te ao Māori.
The University of Otago provides a research-led learning environment with a richly deserved reputation for excellence. As a university community, we are committed to tackling big global challenges and educating the next generation of professionals across a wide range of disciplines.
You will learn from academic staff who are dedicated to teaching and internationally recognised for their research. They frequently collaborate with experts in other countries and their research impacts local and global issues.
Importantly, at Otago, you will have the opportunity to define yourself and choose your own direction in life. Tens of thousands of our graduates now live around the globe, contributing to law, health, science, business, education, research and politics. Many of New Zealand's most renowned artists, novelists, poets and leaders also started out at Otago.
I hope you enjoy your experience here and make the most of the many extracurricular and cocurricular opportunities on offer. The University of Otago is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world – please take time out to discover the beaches, the hills and the native flora and fauna that are right on our doorstep.
Beyond gaining a world-class qualification, I am also confident that you will make lifelong friends while you are here. After you leave, the University of Otago and the beautiful city of Dunedin will continue to occupy a special place in your life. I wish you all the very best.
Professor Helen Nicholson