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About us


Entrance to Caroline Freeman College
Designed by iconic architecture firm Mason and Wales, Caroline Freeman College was named City College when it opened in 2000.

Caroline Freeman College is the latest addition to the University’s portfolio of colleges and is named in honour of the University’s first female graduate and a passionate pioneer in education. We share her values. At Caroline Freeman College, residents experience a world of diversity with students studying degrees in arts, commerce, health science, law, science and teaching – Caroline Freeman College allows students to thrive.
Artworks from alumni cover the walls of our custom-built modern learning environment, which also includes the Attic common room, tutorial rooms, a library and a sports’ court. Residents have many opportunities to represent the College in a wide range of sporting, cultural and social activities - we take great pride in all of our students’ talents.

Shared living offers you a perfect stepping-stone into your first year away from home with all the benefits of college life – from meals to structured academic support. Learn, network and engage with others during an immensely fun and memorable first year of tertiary education.

Caroline Freeman College has 214 single bedrooms spread across 37 apartments. Each apartment comprises four, five or six bedrooms; a lounge; a kitchenette; and shared bathrooms.

Students also have access to newly-refurbished common areas including a large dining hall, two lounges, an exercise room, a library and multiple tutorial rooms.

Rooms and facilities at Caroline Freeman College

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Our supportive environment

We assume that the prime goal for all residents is achievement of their academic goals for the year. As such, the College offers a comprehensive academic support programme including supported study sessions, study skills and mentoring.

A well-being programme is led by the residential assistants to encourage residents to develop healthy habits for study, rest and play.
A comprehensive pastoral service is provided by all senior college staff with access to the wide range of support services provided by the University of Otago.

Meet our team at Caroline Freeman College

Students outside Caroline Freeman College
Caroline Freeman College is the ideal size for a great first-year residential college experience.

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Our great location

Caroline Freeman College has the benefit of being a short, flat walk from the University, the North-East Valley village and supermarket, the North Ground and Logan Park sportsgrounds, the George Street shopping precinct and Dunedin's student-focused hospitality industry. We are across the road from the Botanic Gardens which are the inspiration for our college courtyard gardens.

View our location map

Location Walking time
University campus (main entrance) 5 mins
Subway, Mobil Shop, BP 2go 1 min
Dunedin Botanic Garden 3 mins
Marsh Study Centre 3 mins
North Ground (park and rugby ground) 3 mins
Domino's, KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut 3 mins
Bus stop (for bus to St Clair Beach) 3 mins
North East Valley village, New World supermarket 6 mins
Science Library 6 mins
Otago Museum 8 mins
OUSA (Otago University Students' Association), Student Union Complex
8 mins
Central Library
9 mins
Student Health
9 mins
24-hour Night 'n Day convenience store 9 mins
Logan Park (athletics, cricket, hockey, rugby, soccer, tennis, touch) 12 mins
Otago Polytechnic 12 mins
Forsyth Barr Stadium 18 mins
Unipol student gym and recreation centre
18 mins
Cadbury Chocolate Factory 18 mins
Meridian Mall, Golden Centre, Wall Street Mall 20 mins
The Octagon (art gallery, bars, cafes, cinemas, public library, theatres, town hall) 25 mins
OUSA Aquatic Centre (Otago University Rowing Club)
25 mins
Baldwin Street (the world's steepest street) 25 mins

The courtyard at Caroline Freeman College
Caroline Freeman College is a short flat walk from the University campus.

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About Caroline Freeman

Caroline Freeman – the University of Otago's first female graduate.

Caroline Freeman was born to an English farming family near Halifax, England, and emigrated to Otago as a child in 1858.

Her family farmed at Abbotsford in Dunedin. Caroline attended Green Island School, where she was Dux in 1866. She later served as the single-room rural school's first pupil teacher, from 1868 to 1872.

She had no secondary education but kept studying and became infant mistress at Caversham School in 1872. Encouraged by the principal, she studied for the matriculation exam to gain admission to the University of Otago.

At Otago, she walked over 10 km home to Green Island after lectures each day, while also supporting herself by teaching – although eventually, poor health forced her to take rooms in Dunedin.

She persevered and after seven years graduated with a BA in Classics, English and Latin.

When she walked on stage to graduate from University, her fellow students clapped, cheered, threw bouquets and burst into song. Otago Medical School's Dr William Brown then spoke about higher education for women.

Education was Caroline's passion and she founded Girton College here in Dunedin, soon to be followed by a Girton College in Christchurch. Girton College Dunedin was later renamed Columba College which still exists today as a leading high school in Otago.

Caroline died of a heart attack at her home in Christchurch in 1914. Her pupils erected a tombstone to "The beloved teacher and guide of many of New Zealand's girls".

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