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From the University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Harlene Hayne

Welcome to the University of Otago

Whaowhia te kete mātauranga | Fill your basket of knowledge

Professor Harlene Hayne welcome
Professor Harlene Hayne

The University of Otago was founded in 1869 by early Scottish settlers who recognised the importance of universities. Otago is the oldest and finest university in New Zealand with a long history of excellence in teaching and research. We work in partnership with Ngāi Tahu, the tangata whenua of this place. We value the strong cultural contribution of both elements of our history; the bagpipes and the haka can be heard on our campus and at our graduation ceremonies.

Students at Otago are taught by academic staff who are dedicated to teaching and who are internationally recognised for their research. We are committed to educating the next generation of professionals across a wide range of disciplines, and we are also committed to nurturing the next generation of citizens in New Zealand and other parts of the globe. At Otago you will gain a world-class qualification, and you will also learn other important lessons along the way – lessons that will allow you to thrive in all aspects of your adult life. In addition, you will make friends whom you will keep for a lifetime.

In order to make the best of your brief time with us, I strongly encourage you to be the best student you can be. I also encourage you to take advantage of the wide range of extracurricular and co-curricular activities that we have on offer. The University of Otago is located in one of the most beautiful places on the planet – please take time out to discover the beaches, the hills and the native flora and fauna that are right on our doorstep. Most importantly, I challenge you to dream.

I warmly welcome you to this exciting new chapter of your life.

Harlene signature

Professor Harlene Hayne

“Human knowledge is important – it is the greatest achievement of our species. It is what more than anything else sets us apart from other creatures. It is what makes us the most important, the most powerful, and yes, the most dangerous critter that there is. It is because human knowledge is so important that the universities, charged with transmitting and extending that knowledge, are also important.”

Professor Alan Musgrave
Department of Philosophy, University of Otago