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Mission of the Faculty of Dentistry

To pursue excellence in research, and to provide high quality undergraduate and postgraduate education and training in dentistry in order to improve health, through improving oral health nationwide and internationally, in accordance with the University's Teaching and Learning Plan and the University's and Division's Strategic Imperatives and Strategic Priorities.

Values of the Faculty of Dentistry

  • The generation of knowledge and understanding of the scientific basis of modern dentistry through excellence in research and teaching, with continuous efforts to improve quality
  • Provision of an excellent academic and clinical environment for the continuing development of all the disciplines within the Faculty
  • The personal development of all staff members, based on equity and justice
  • Openness and transparency in decision-making
  • Meeting the Faculty's obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi with respect to partnership, participation, and protection

Aims of the Faculty of Dentistry

The primary aim of the Faculty is to remain a nationally and internationally recognised leader of academic excellence in the areas of research, education and training, and clinical practice by:

  • Achieving and retaining a reputation for the highest quality research, teaching, and clinical expertise in each discipline
  • Fostering an environment that stimulates intellectual and professional development

We also endeavour to qualify undergraduates and postgraduates who meet the University of Otago's Graduate Profile. The following attributes aligned with the Division of Health Sciences' Strategic Priorities are to be fostered:

Critical thinking

Ability to analyse issues logically, to challenge conventional assumptions, to consider different options and viewpoints, make informed decisions, and act with flexibility, adaptability, and creativity.

Cultural understanding

Knowledge and appreciation of biculturalism within the framework of the Treaty of Waitangi; knowledge and appreciation of multiculturalism; and an ability to apply such knowledge in a culturally appropriate manner.


Knowledge of ethics and ethical standards, and an ability to apply these with a sense of responsibility within the workplace and community.

Environmental literacy

Basic understanding of the principles that govern natural systems, the effects of human activity on these systems, and the cultures and economies that interact with those systems.

Information literacy

Ability to apply specific skills in acquiring, organising, analysing, evaluating, and presenting information—in particular, recognising the increasing prominence of digital-based activity.


Ability to conduct research by recognising when information is needed; and locating, retrieving, evaluating, and using it effectively.


Capacity for self-directed activity and the ability to work independently.


Ability to work effectively as both a team leader and a team member.

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