Tēnā koutou katoa - I warmly welcome you to New Zealand’s first University, founded in 1869. The University of Otago provides a research-led learning environment that is second to none with a richly deserved reputation for excellence. This year, we are celebrating our 150th anniversary.
Here, at Otago, you will have unprecedented opportunities. You will be taught by international experts in their fields; you will gain a world-class qualification, and you will be able to contribute to ground-breaking research. The student experience at Otago is exceptional. You will join a diverse population of well over 20,000 students from around New Zealand and more than 100 nations around the world. Importantly, you will have the opportunity to truly define yourself and choose your own direction in life. Tens of thousands of Otago graduates now live in all corners of the globe, many contributing to law, health, science, business and Government. Many of New Zealand’s most renowned artists, novelists, poets and leaders also received their start at Otago.
At the University of Otago, you will have the option to study Science, Health Sciences, Humanities and Commerce. Most of you will study at the main Dunedin campus and live in one of the 15 well-appointed and friendly residential colleges, or in one of the many character-filled flats in surrounding streets. On your back doorstep you will find lecture theatres equipped with the latest technology, our award-winning library, superb study spaces, and fantastic sporting amenities, including a world-class covered stadium. Dunedin is the only true university city in New Zealand and a vibrant student community surrounds the academic hub.
We strongly encourage students to undertake postgraduate study at Otago; we have a higher proportion of PhD students than any other university in New Zealand. We also have health sciences campuses in Christchurch and Wellington, a centre in Auckland, and a small campus for the College of Education in Invercargill. We have partner universities around the world and we foster numerous student exchanges. Our researchers frequently collaborate with experts in other countries and a large proportion of our research can be brought to bear on issues facing New Zealand and other parts of the world. We work in close partnership with Ngāi Tahu, the Māori people of the South Island, and we enjoy strong links with other iwi.
I am proud to lead this very fine University. I hope that you enjoy your experience here, and grasp all the many opportunities that are on offer; they are yours for the taking. I am also confident that you will make lifelong friends while you are here. After you leave, with a well-earned degree in hand, 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 Harlene Hayne