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College Life

Arana College stands overlooking the Otago Campus only 200 metres from the Registry Clock Tower, a notable feature of the University campus. The University of Otago College of Education, Otago Polytechnic and the Dunedin Botanical Garden are all within easy walking distance. We are proud of our Arana College complex for accommodating students close to campus where they can be surrounded by an excellent number of opportunities for academic, cultural and social growth. We focreus on maintaining top-notch facilities, up-to-date student programmes, and quality food services.

Arana College provides you with opportunities for academic and career exploration. Students are encouraged to participate in all we have to offer. We realise that moving into a Residential College and knowing what to expect from us, what is expected of you, and what to bring can be somewhat puzzling. The following information will alleviate much of the confusion and help you prepare for your arrival at the University of Otago and life at Arana College.

Please note that this is a Residential College, not a hostel. A hostel provides bed and breakfast and may or may not provide other meals. A hostel does not provide tutorial facilities and need not employ staff with an emphasis on support for the whole person. Here at Arana we are interested in supporting residents and developing our systems of support year by year to an even higher standard.

Our Coat of Arms

Arana and Carrington, the two Colleges at Otago that were created and originally administered by the Stuart Residence Halls Council, are now fully administered by the University of Otago. The Arms of Arana come from the arms of the Stuart Residence Halls Council, whose motto is Non tantum aedificatio sed sodalitas (not only education but community), with the addition of a three-pointed label (as for an eldest son). The Arana's motto is: Takina te hoe kia rite (wield the paddles together). Our College colours are maroon and blue.

A brief history of Arana College

Arana College opened in 1943 and is one of the original student Residential Colleges at the University of Otago. As such it has a rich and interesting history. The Administration Office building, on the present Clyde Street site was the former home of Sir James Allen, the University of Otago Vice Chancellor 1903 -1909 and Chancellor 1909 -1912. Sir James was also an important New Zealand statesman, being a Member of Parliament, Minister of the Crown and Acting Prime Minister.

Our Name

Arana perpetuates Sir James' last name, translated into Maori. The founder and first Warden was the Rev. Dr. Harold W. Turner. The Turner Wing of the modern Arana complex is named after him and was opened at the beginning of 1994. For many years the residents of Arana were accommodated in the converted World War II nissen huts and it wasn't until 1962 that the major construction work that resulted in the current ‘Main Block’ began. Much of this work was paid for by the Colombo Plan, a scheme that was designed to increase intra-commonwealth cooperation through education.

The 1960s to Today

The opening of the Bates and Colombo wings for accommodation in 1968 completed the main design for Arana College. By 1968, the number of residents was around 140, but this continues to grow through the acquisition of property on the streets that surround the main grounds. Today we have some 400 residents. Arana College has produced many notable high achievers in most of the different fields of human endeavour.

During 2002, Warden Jamie Gilbertson and the Arana Management team undertook a review of all systems at Arana.
Money was won for a new Boiler and Boiler-House in 2003 and this was constucted in 2004. As well the Arana team made a significant capital bid for new accommodation buildings as well as kitchen and dining room. After a demanding year of construction in 2005, three new facilites opened just in time for the 2006 season. Leithview housing 60 residents, as well as Rawiri housing 100 residents and a new kitchen, dining room and common rooms. Our well loved Colombo and Bates Wings were fully refurbished in the summer of 2013/2014.  A steady refurbishment of the Arana houses continues on an annual basis.

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