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Student support

The University of Otago offers a high level of support to students, so that you have every chance of success during your time at with us.

Academic progress

Faculty of Law staff are happy to see you (at a convenient time) to discuss your work or specific problems – academic or otherwise.

Faculty of Law staff

Accommodation

The University has 15 residential colleges for students – each with its own personality and history. If you prefer private accommodation, living costs in Dunedin are relatively affordable, with a variety of options within walking distance of the University campus. The University’s Accommodation Office can help you with any questions you have about accommodation in Dunedin.

Accommodation Office

Disability and special consideration

The University has a number of policies and procedures in place to support students affected by conditions or circumstances.

If you have a disability, impairment, injury or medical condition that affects your ability to study, Disability Information and Support can provide information, advice and assistance.

Disability information and support

Special consideration in examinations

If you experience impairment in relation to assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration. The University seeks to ensure just and equitable treatment of students who suffer unexpected and significant impairment (e.g. serious illness) affecting assessment.

For internal assessment, refer to the University guidelines and contact Dr Danica McGovern in the Faculty of Law. For final examinations, you should consult the University provisions. Disability Information & Support, or OUSA, may be available to provide assistance with the application process.

Special consideration in final examinations

Law students’ associations

In addition to the Society of Otago University Law Students (SOULS), which promotes the interests of Otago law students, there is also Te Roopu Whai Putake (the Otago University Māori Law Students’ Association), the Pacific Islands Law Students’ Association, and the Otago Asian Law Students' Association.

Other law students’ associations

Nationally, law students are represented by the New Zealand Law Students’ Association (NZLSA). The association is the parent body of the six on-campus law student societies in New Zealand and is responsible for coordinating the societies’ activities. Upon enrolling as a law student, you automatically become a member of the NZLSA.

Internationally, there is the International Law Students’ Association (ILSA). This non-profit association of students and lawyers promotes international law, by providing students with opportunities to study, research and network.

Māori students support

The University of Otago Māori Centre – Te Huka Matauraka works from a kaupapa Māori philosophy. It strives to support Māori students in their pursuit of academic excellence and works to strengthen cultural and social networks available for students. The centre offers tutorials for the LAWS 101 The Legal System paper and all 200-level law papers.

Otago University Students’ Association – OUSA

The Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) provides support for students via its Student Support Centre. The centre offers a free and confidential service to help you through any issues. If they can not help you directly, they will point you in the direction of someone who can.

OUSA is also home to Queer Support, where you will find non-judgemental support, information and resources.

Pacific Islands students support

The University of Otago’s Pacific Island Centre is there to help students of Pacific descent do well during their time at Otago. It offers advice on all aspects of campus life and organises academic, cultural and social events throughout the year.

Pacific Islands Centre

Services for students

The University of Otago provides a range of services for students, including the Student Health facility, counselling services, chaplaincy, careers development and the Unipol Recreation Centre.

Full list of University of Otago services and support for students and staff

Student grievances

If you have concerns about your treatment by the University, a staff member or a student, there are formal policies to detail processes and authorities for dealing with problems. Information on policies, and who to contact for support, is available here.

The Society of Otago University Law Students (SOULS) office (Richardson Building, Room 8C11) maintains a list of contacts who can provide support and advice if you are being harassed or want to talk to somebody about a possible harassment. In accordance with the University’s policy on ethical behavior, these people will respond to complaints promptly and with sensitivity, provide support and general advice, and advise what action may be taken. The term "harassment" includes sexual harassment and the abuse or improper assumption of power or authority (academic, supervisory or administrative) by one person over another.

Sexual misconduct

The University is committed to creating an environment where there is no tolerance for sexual misconduct of any kind. 

The Sexual Misconduct Policy

Student Learning Development

Student Learning Development provides free academic development to help improve your study and learning skills. Workshops are held regularly on a wide range of topics designed to make your study more manageable and enjoyable – and to help you develop skills to take into life beyond university.

Student Learning Development

Technology and study space

The University and Faculty of Law provide you with a high-tech environment to support your studies. When you arrive on campus, you are assigned email and network accounts, which allow you to access the Otago network on and off campus.

The University of Otago operates a learning management system called Blackboard. Through Blackboard, you can access course information, lecture notes, communicate with your tutor and class members and submit assignments.

Blackboard log-in

Well-being

Well-being support throughout your law school career