Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Founded in 1869, Otago is New Zealand’s first university.

Founded in 1869, Otago is New Zealand’s first university

Celebrating 150 years in 2019.

Today

One thousand

Two thousand

Three thousand

Four thousand

Five thousand

Six thousand

Seven thousand

Eight thousand

Nine thousand

Ten thousand

Eleven thousand

Twelve thousand

Thirteen thousand

Fourteen thousand

Fifteen thousand

Sixteen thousand

Seventeen thousand

Eighteen thousand

Nineteen thousand

Twenty thousand

21,108

21,108 students by headcount (18,840 EFTS).

Earth

100

2,915 international students from 100 countries (13.8% of the student population).

  • Nationwide presence: from Invercargill to Auckland.
  • More than 3,800 postgraduate students including 1,410 PhD students.
  • 4,080 full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff.
  • Annual revenue of $727.1 million.
  • Estimated national annual economic impacts of almost $1.9 billion.
  • Total assets of $2.3 billion (2018).
  • Ranked 175th in the QS world university rankings…
  • … and in the top 300 worldwide in all other key international rankings.
  • Maximum 5-stars plus ranking from QS Stars reflects quality and excellence.
  • Regular contact with more than 112,000 alumni in 145 countries.
  • Founding member of the Matariki Network of Universities.
  • More than 200 international partnership agreements, including student exchange agreements and with more than 100 institutions in 33 countries.

Research and teaching excellence

 

3

Three Prime Minister’s Science Prize winners (2011, 2014, 2017).

Dna

Brain

Arts

Leaf

Microscope

Brain

Dna

Computer

Microscope

Computer

Dna

Leaf

12

12 flagship multidisciplinary research centres and 17 research themes.

  • $197 million in external research funding, including the Performance-Based Research Fund (2018).
  • 1,596 FTE academic and research-only staff.
  • Leadership and partnership roles in National Centres of Research Excellence, and leadership of Genomics Aotearoa.
  • Four academic divisions: Humanities, Sciences, Health Sciences and Business offering more than 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
  • Hosts two of the most widely-recognised longitudinal studies in the world: The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study; Christchurch Health and Development Study.
  • Summer School and Distance Learning programmes.
  • Home of New Zealand’s first medical school and of New Zealand’s only schools of Dentistry and Surveying.
  • Internationally accredited Business School: AACSB and EQUIS accreditations.
  • Otago tops the TEC’s Educational Performance Indicators for student performance and retention.
  • Unmatched record in the National Teaching Excellence Awards: six Supreme Award winners over the past seven years.

Student experience

85%

More than 85% of students from outside Dunedin.

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

Residential college

15

15 residential colleges located on or near campus, accommodate almost 3,500 students, including Abbey College, New Zealand’s first postgraduate residential college.

 

63

Otago has produced 63 Rhodes Scholars since 1904.

95%

95% of graduates go into work or on to further study.

  • Commitment to pastoral care with extensive student services and support networks.
  • Otago teams are highly successful in business case and debating competitions in New Zealand and overseas. An Otago team won the World’s Challenge Challenge in 2018.
  • Annual academic convocation ceremony and orientation programmes for students.
  • Director of First-Year Experience helps students transition to university life.
  • Office of Student Success helps all students get the most from their time at Otago, academically and in their personal development.
  • Otago has produced 63 Rhodes Scholars since 1904.
  • Around 170 student clubs, societies and activities to choose from.
  • The Otago University Rugby Football Club has produced more All Blacks than any other rugby club.
  • Otago has also won the New Zealand Universities Rowing Championships 19 times in the past 20 years.

Outstanding campus environments

 

15

Recognised as one of the 15 most beautiful campuses in the world.

Day

Night

24/7

Campus Watch teams on duty 24/7 to ensure a safe and secure campus environment.

  • The University of Otago’s main campus is in Dunedin, with specialist campuses in Wellington, Christchurch and Invercargill.
  • Significant building programme underway, with almost $500 million of construction investment either in progress, recently completed or soon to be started.
  • Sustainability Strategic Framework 2017–2021 integrates sustainability principles and practices across all activities : Otago won the 2018 Sustainable Campus category at the Australasian Green Gown Awards.
  • 98% of students provided a positive assessment of the general campus environment.

Commitment to local, national and international betterment

88%

88% of academic staff are regularly involved in community service activities; value of this estimated at $23.5 million.

 

35,000

National Poisons Centre provides a 24/7 service to the public: responds to around 35,000 enquiries each year.

  • Māori and Pacific Frameworks provide cohesive strategy to advance Māori and Pacific development.
  • Memoranda of understanding with Ngāi Tahu and other iwi in the University’s areas of operation.
  • Māori and Pacific students comprise 9.9% and 4.7% of total enrolments respectively (2018: 11.8% and 5.2% of domestic EFTS).
  • Divisional programmes, structures and scholarships are dedicated to supporting Maori and Pacific student achievement.
  • The Māori Centre Te Huka Matauraka and the Pacific Islands Centre provide academic support, mentoring and pastoral care.

Culture of good citizenship

  • Social Impact Studio works with around 230 community organisations.
  • More than 4,435 registered student volunteers.
  • 52.5% of graduates indicated they had undertaken volunteer work while studying at Otago.
  • Five arts fellowships illustrate longstanding commitment to the arts.
  • More than 740 open-to-the-public lectures, symposia, continuing education and arts activities held on campus each year.
  • Well-established academic outreach programmes, including Hands-on at Otago, Science Wānanga and the New Zealand Marine Studies Centre.
  • First New Zealand university to achieve Fair Trade status and to sign the international SDG Accord to pursue the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

For further information, see the University of Otago Annual Report:

Annual report