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The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021

The University of Otago is a signatory to The Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021 (the Code), which supports the wellbeing of all learners enrolled with tertiary education providers in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Code sets out the requirements that the University must meet to make students feel safe and supported when studying at Otago.

The 12 outcomes encouraged by the Code are listed below.

  1. A learner wellbeing and safety system;
  2. Learner voice;
  3. Safety, inclusive, supportive and accessible physical and digital learning environments;
  4. Learners are safe and well;

Outcomes 5–7 relate directly to residential accommodation provided by the University (or affiliated to the University):

  1. A positive, supportive and inclusive environment in student accommodation;
  2. Accommodation administrative processes and contracts;
  3. Student accommodation facilities and services;

Outcomes 8–12 relate specifically to international students:

  1. Responding to the distinct wellbeing and safety needs of international learners;
  2. Prospective international learners are well informed;
  3. Offer, enrolment, contracts, insurance and visa;
  4. International learners receive appropriate orientations, information and advice;
  5. Safety and appropriate supervision of international learners.

You can access the full Code (in English or te reo Māori) at the NZQA website:

The Tertiary and International Learners Code of Practice – NZQA

Support services

As part of the University of Otago’s commitment to taking care of the wellbeing and safety of our tauira (students), we provide a wide range of services to support all students to reach their full potential and to have a positive and successful experience at Otago. Our caring, compassionate and highly trained staff are dedicated to helping students with a wide variety of issues.

To learn more about these services visit:

In addition to the above student services, international students also have access to specialist services, including international student advisors, student visa support, insurance support and international orientation.

International student support

Students enrolled at Pathway and English Language Centre have access to supports tailored to their needs.

Student support services – Pathway and English Language Centre

The Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) also offers a range of supports.

OUSA Student Support Hub

Questions about the Code?

If you have any questions about Otago's obligations under the Code of Practice, please contact:

Dr Jo Oranje
Manager Student Pastoral Care

Reporting on our compliance with the Code

All signatories to the Code are required to review and report on their compliance. Reports are submitted to Universities New Zealand Te Pōkai Tara (UNZ), the statutory authority for monitoring Code compliance.

Past reports on the University of Otago’s compliance with the Code are listed below.

Upcoming reports:

  • Attestation 2023 (submitted to UNZ July 2024)
  • Self-Review 2024 against Code Outcomes 1–4 (submitted to UNZ November 2024)

The Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand universities (AQA) provides external academic quality assurances for all New Zealand universities via a five-yearly cycle of audits. Many aspects addressed in that audit directly or indirectly relate to Code outcomes. Audit reports for all universities are available from the AQA website.

Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities

Pastoral care policies

The University has a number of policies, procedures, guidelines and statutes that relate to students’ wellbeing and safety.

University of Otago Policy Library

Breaches of the Code of Pastoral Care

If you believe the University of Otago has breached the Code of Pastoral Care, as a first step, please contact the University's Manager Student Pastoral Care to raise your concern:


If you are not satisfied with the response, please visit the NZQA website and complete the form to report for their investigation the possibility of a Code breach:

Report that an education provider is not meeting the Code of Pastoral Care – NZQA

For more general complaints, we encourage you to visit the University's student complaints page:

Student complaints

You are always entitled to support when you are lodging any complaint. The following sources of support are available to you, as relevant:

  • OUSA Student Support
    The Otago University Students' Association provides a free and independent student advice, advocacy and support service.
  • Conflict Resolution and Mediation
    The University Mediator provides advice and mediation services to help with the resolution of interpersonal problems.
  • The University Proctor
    The Proctor's Office is responsible for a safe and healthy campus environment. If you feel that a situation may endanger yourself or others, you should contact the Proctor's Office. Breaches of the University's Code of Student Conduct can also be reported to the Proctor.
  • Graduate Research School
    The Graduate Research School can provide support and advice to research degree (doctoral and masters') candidates in relation to issues arising in their thesis studies.
  • International Student Advisers
    International Student Advisers are available on a confidential basis to assist international students.
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