University of Otago
The University of Otago (Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo) is a collegiate university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It scores highly for average research quality, and in 2006 was second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland in the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs. In the past it has topped the New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund evaluation.
Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo
|Motto||Latin: Sapere aude|
Motto in English
|Dare to be wise|
|Chancellor||Dr Royden Somerville QC|
|Colours||Blue and gold|
The university was created by a committee led by Thomas Burns, and officially established by an ordinance of the Otago Provincial Council in 1869. The university accepted its first students in July 1871, making it the oldest university in New Zealand and third-oldest in Oceania. Between 1874 and 1961 the University of Otago was a part of the federal University of New Zealand, and issued degrees in its name.
Otago is known for its vibrant student life, particularly its flatting, which is often in old houses. Otago students (Scarfies) have a long standing tradition of naming their flats. The nickname "Scarfie" comes from the habit of wearing a scarf during the cold southern winters. The university's graduation song, Gaudeamus igitur, iuvenes dum sumus ("Let us rejoice, while we are young"), acknowledges students will continue to live up to the challenge, if not always in the way intended. The university's student magazine, Critic, is New Zealand's longest running student magazine.
The architectural grandeur and accompanying gardens of Otago University led to it being ranked as one of the world's most beautiful university campuses by the British publications The Daily Telegraph and The Huffington Post.
Dunedin leaders Thomas Burns and James Macandrew urged the Otago Provincial Council during the 1860s to set aside a land endowment for an institute of higher education. An ordinance of the council established the university in 1869, giving it 100,000 acres (400 km2) of land and the power to grant degrees in Arts, Medicine, Law and Music. Burns was named Chancellor but he did not live to see the university open on 5 July 1871.
The university conferred just one degree, to Alexander Watt Williamson, before becoming an affiliate college of the federal University of New Zealand in 1874. With the dissolution of the University of New Zealand in 1961 and the passage of the University of Otago Amendment Act 1961, the university resumed its power to confer degrees.
Originally operating from William Mason's Post Office building on Princes Street, it relocated to Maxwell Bury's Clocktower and Geology buildings in 1878 and 1879. This evolved into the Clocktower complex, a striking group of Gothic revival buildings at the heart of the campus. These buildings were inspired by then-new main building at Glasgow University in Scotland.
Otago was the first university in Australasia to permit women to take a law degree. Ethel Benjamin graduated LLB in 1897. Later that year she became the first woman in the British Empire to appear as counsel in court.
The Otago University helped train medical personnel as part of the Otago University Medical Corps. They supplied or trained most of the New Zealand Army's doctors and dentists during the First World War.
Professor Robert Jack made the first radio broadcast in New Zealand from the physics department on 17 November 1921.
Queen Elizabeth II visited the university library with the Duke of Edinburgh on 18 March 1970. This was the first time the royals completed informal "walkabouts" to meet the public, and it was the first visit of Prince Charles (then 21 years old) and Princess Anne (19 years) to this country.
Because it had a wide range of courses, Otago attracted more students from outside its provincial district. This led to the growth of colleges and informal accommodation in north Dunedin around the faculty buildings. This development of a residential campus gave Otago a more vibrant undergraduate student life at the same time as comparable but smaller developments in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland were eclipsed in the late 20th century. Otago now has the most substantial residential campus of any university in New Zealand or Australia, although this is not without its problems.
In May 2010 University joined the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) together with Dartmouth College (US), Durham University (UK), Queen’s University (Canada), University of Tübingen (Germany), University of Western Australia (Australia) and Uppsala University (Sweden).
Coat of arms
The blazon of the arms granted by the Lyon King of Arms, Scotland is Azure, on a saltire cantoned between four mullets of six points Or, a book, gilt-edged and bound in a cover Gules charged with a mullet of six points of the second and a book-marker of the third issuance from the page-foot, and in an Escrol under the same this Motto "Sapere Aude".
The motto may be translated as 'dare to be wise' or 'have courage to be wise'. The shield is first described and it is blue (azure.) On the shield is a saltire which is an "X" shaped object. On the saltire sits a gilt edged book the cover of which is red (gules.) On the cover of the book is a star (mullet) of six points. Mullets normally only have five points. At the foot of the book is a bookmark also in red being the third colour mentioned. The saltire and the book are surrounded by four other stars each also of six points which are placed in the spaces formed by the saltire. The five stars and the saltire are all coloured gold (or) which was the second colour mentioned. An Escrol is the scroll under the shield containing the motto.
The University of Otago's main campus is in Dunedin, which hosts the Central Administration as well as its Health Sciences, Humanities, Business School, and Sciences divisions. In addition, the University has four satellite campuses in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Invercargill.
- The Christchurch campus is based at the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Science. It also provides medical and physiotherapy clinical training programs, research, distance education, and postgraduate programs.
- The Wellington campus is based at the Wellington School of Medicine and Health Science. It also provides medical and physiotherapy clinical training programs, research, distance education, and postgraduate programs.
- The Auckland campus is based at the Auckland Centre on Queen. The Auckland Centre provides various teaching and distance learning courses and serves as a liaison with the wider Auckland community and alumni.
- The Southland Campus (Ahuahu Te Mātauranga) is a branch of the University of Otago College of Education. The campus provides a range of early childhood, primary, primary bilingual, and secondary teacher education programs.
- The University of Otago's Department of Marine Science also operates the Portobello Marine Laboratory in the Otago peninsula.
Merger with Dunedin College of Education
The University of Otago and the Dunedin College of Education (a specialist teacher training institution) merged on 1 January 2007. The University of Otago College of Education is now based on the College site, and includes the College's campuses in Invercargill and Alexandra. Staff of the University's Faculty of Education relocated to the college site. A merger had been considered before, however the present talks progressed further, and more amicably, than previously.
The University of Otago has ten libraries: seven based in Dunedin on the main university campus, the education library in Southland, plus two medical libraries in Wellington and Christchurch. All libraries have wireless access.
The Central Library is part of the Information Services Building and has over 2000 study spaces, 130 computer terminals, and laptop connections at 500 desks. It has Te Aka a Tāwhaki, a collection of Māori resources, and the Special Collections consisting of about 9,000 books printed before 1801. In total, the Central Library has over 800,000 print and electronic materials relating to the arts and humanities, commerce, education, physical education, social sciences, and technology. It was designed by the American architecture firm Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer and opened in 2001, replacing what was previously a 1960s-era modernist building.
Robert Stout Law Library
The Robert Stout Law Library is the university's law library and is based in the Richardson Building.
Health Sciences Library
The Health Sciences Library is in the Sayers Building, opposite the main entrance to Dunedin Hospital. The Health Sciences Library book collection only includes the last 10 years of content, but does have over 150,000 volumes, the vast majority of which are in storage. There is seating for over 400.
The Hocken Collections is a research library, archive, and art gallery of national significance which is administrated by the University of Otago. The library's specialist areas include items relating to the history of New Zealand and the Pacific, with specific emphasis on the Otago and Southland regions. The Hocken Collections was established in 1910 when Dunedin philanthropist Thomas Hocken donated his entire private collection to the University of Otago. It currently houses over 8,000 linear metres of archives and manuscripts. It is currently situated at the site of the former Otago Co-operative Dairy Company factory on Anzac Avenue, east of the main campus.
The Robertson Library is the university's education library and is jointly run by the University of Otago's College of Education and Otago Polytechnic, which is also located near the university's Dunedin campus.
Organisation and administration
The university is divided into four academic divisions:
- Division of Humanities
- Division of Health Sciences
- Division of Sciences
- School of Business
For external and marketing purposes, the Division of Commerce is known as the School of Business, as that is the term commonly used for its equivalent in North America. Historically, there were a number of schools and faculties, which have now been grouped with stand alone departments to form these divisions.
In addition to the usual university disciplines, the University of Otago Medical School (founded 1875) is one of only two medical schools in New Zealand (with component schools in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington); and Otago is the only university in the country to offer training in Dentistry. Other professional schools and faculties not found in all New Zealand universities include Pharmacy, Physical Education, Physiotherapy, Medical Laboratory Science, and Surveying. It was also home to the School of Mines, until this was transferred to the University of Auckland in 1987. Theology is also offered, traditionally in conjunction with the School of Ministry, Knox College, and Holy Cross College, Mosgiel.
There are also a number of service divisions including:
- External Engagement Division
- Financial Services Division
- Human Resources Division
- Information Technology Services Division
- Property Services Division
- Research & Enterprise Division
- Student Services Division
|Ethnicity of Students||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||2007||2006||2005||2004|
|Other / unknown||3.7%||3.6%||3.2%||3.3%||2.9%||2.9%||2.5%||5.3%||4.4%||6.5%||6.2%||6.1%||6.6%|
Many Fellowships add to the diversity of the people associated with "Otago". They include:
- Robert Burns Fellowship (literature)
- Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance
- Charles Hercus Fellowship
- Claude McCarthy Fellowship
- Foxley Fellowship
- Frances Hodgkins Fellowship (art)
- Henry Lang Fellowship
- Hocken Fellowship
- James Cook Fellowship
- Mozart Fellowship (music)
- THB Symons Fellowship
- William Evans Visiting Fellowship
The 2006 Government investigation into research quality (to serve as a basis for future funding) ranked Otago the top University in New Zealand overall, taking into account the quality of its staff and research produced. It was also ranked first in the categories of Clinical Medicine, Biomedical Science, Law, English Literature and Language, History and Earth Science. The Department of Philosophy received the highest score for any nominated academic unit. Otago had been ranked fourth in the 2004 assessment.
In 2006, a report released by the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology found that Otago was the most research intensive university in New Zealand, with 40% of staff time devoted to research and development.
From 2010–2011, Times Higher Education produces rankings independently from Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Initially this ranking was only the top 200 listed universities and the University of Otago did not appear. In 2015, the University of Otago became the first New Zealand university to have a course in a QS Top 10 list, being ranked 8th in Dentistry.
|World university rankings|
|Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)||Academic Ranking of World Universities||Times Higher Education|
The University of Otago owns, or is in affiliation with, fourteen residential colleges, which provide food, accommodation, social and welfare services. Most of these cater primarily for first year students, though some have a sizable number of second and higher year undergraduates, as well as occasionally a significant postgraduate population. While some teaching is normally undertaken at a college, this generally represents a small percentage of a resident's formal tuition.
Most colleges actively seek to foster a sense of community and academic achievement amongst their members through, variously, intercollegiate competitions, communal dining, apartment groups, traditionalism, independent students' clubs, college events and internal sporting and cultural societies.
The colleges are geographically spread over the Dunedin urban area:
- Abbey College
- Aquinas College
- Arana College
- Caroline Freeman College
- Carrington College
- Cumberland College
- Hayward College
- Knox College
- Salmond College
- Selwyn College
- St Margaret's College
- Studholme College
- Te Rangi Hiroa College
- Toroa College
- University College
In mid October 2019, the University of Otago announced that it would be building a new 450-room residential college called Te Rangi Hiroa, which will replace the current Te Rangi Hiroa College along Cumberland Street. The new college is estimated to cost NZ$90 million and is located on the corner of Albany and Forth Streets near the Dunedin campus.
'O-Week' or Orientation Week is the Otago equivalent of Freshers' Week. New students are most commonly known by their seniors as 'freshers' or simply as 'first-years'. O-week is organised by the Otago University Students' Association and involves competitions such as 'Fresher of the Year' whereby several students volunteer to carry out a series of tasks throughout the week before being voted to win. Other competitions include that of different faculties facing off with each other. The OUSA also organises events each night including various concerts, a comedy night, hypnotist plus bigger events at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Typically there is a Highlanders rugby game scheduled during the week. Local bars organise events also with a range of live music and promotional deals. Historically events have included the Cookathon and a Miss O-Week competition hosted by The Outback. The Cookathon was held by a local pub (the Cook) with the premise that your first drink costs you about $20 which gives you a t-shirt, three meal vouchers and reduced price on drinks then you spend the rest of the day binge drinking and 'telephoning' the occasional jug with mates.
Each year the first years are encouraged to attend the toga parade and party dressed in white sheets wrapped as togas. Retailers called for an end of the parade after property damage and disorder during the 2009 event. However, the OUSA took it upon themselves to reintroduce this tradition, with a festival like event taking place at the stadium. 2012 Toga Party saw an unofficial world record. A clocktower race also occurs, in the style of Chariots of Fire. Students must race round the tower and attached building, beginning on the first chime of the clock at noon and completing before the chimes cease. Unlike Chariots of Fire, the task is possible with a couple of students completing each year.
Student behaviour is a major concern for both the University administration and Dunedin residents in general. Concerns over student behaviour prompted the University to introduce a Code of Conduct (CoC) which its students must abide by in 2007. The introduction of the CoC was accompanied by the establishment of the dedicated 'Campus Watch' security force to keep tabs on crime and anti-social behaviour on campus and in the student neighbourhoods nearby. Campus Watch reports directly to the University's Proctor.
Riots took place in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 related to events surrounding the Undie 500 car rally organised by students from Canterbury University. Other student social events during the year such as the Toga Parade and the Hyde Street Keg Race are also notable for attracting police attention, but not to the scale of the Undie riots. In 2012 there were 80 people treated by emergency services and 15 arrests by police after the Hyde Street party went out of control.
Otago students are notable for protesting over contentious political issues in nearly every decade. In the 1960s students at Otago who were involved with the Progressive Youth Movement led protests against the Vietnam War. In the 1960s mixed flatting (males and females were prohibited from sharing housing up to that time) was contested in various creative ways by Otago students. On 28 September 1993 Otago students protested against a fee increase at the University Registry (Clocktower Building), which ended in a violent clash with police. In the lead up to the 1996 general election students trying to stop a 25% fee increase occupied the University Registry (Clocktower Building) for over a week (which was followed by similar occupations at campuses around the country), fee increases were limited to 17%. Since 2004, the Otago University NORML club has met weekly on the Otago campus to protest by smoking cannabis in defiance of New Zealand's cannabis laws. In 2008, several members were arrested and issued with trespass notices banning them from the Union Lawn.
- Muriel Bell, nutritionist and medical researcher
- Robert J. T. Bell, mathematician
- William Noel Benson, geologist
- Carolyn Burns, Marsden Medal winning zoologist
- Jennie Connor Medicine
- Alice Copping, nutritionist
- Alison Cree, herpetologist
- Michael Cullen, politician
- Catherine Day, biochemist
- Sarah Derrett, injury prevention specialist
- John Carew Eccles, medical researcher
- Jim Flynn, intelligence researcher and political philosopher
- David Harris, software developer
- Christina Hulbe, Antarctic researcher, glaciologist
- Keith Hunter, Marsden Medal winning marine chemist
- Robert Jack, physicist
- Pat Langhorne, physicist
- J. L. Mackie, philosopher
- Brian John Marples (1907–1967), Professor of Zoology 1937–1967
- Alan Musgrave, philosopher of science
- Lisa Matisoo-Smith, Professor of Biological Anthropology and Head of the Department of Anatomy
- Christina Riesselman, paleoceanographer
- Bridget Robinson, Mackenzie Chair in Cancer Medicine
- Abigail Smith, professor in marine sciences
- Rachael Taylor
- Virginia Toy, geology
- Gillian Whalley, medical research
(with residential college, if any, in parentheses where known)
- Arthur Henry Adams, journalist and writer
- Barbara Anderson, novelist
- Rui Maria de Araújo, Prime Minister of Timor-Leste.
- Annette Baier, moral philosopher
- Muriel Bell, nutritionist and medical researcher
- David Benson-Pope, politician
- Christine Jensen Burke, mountain climber
- Dame Silvia Cartwright, Governor General
- Brian Christie, neuroscientist
- Nathan Cohen, world champion and Olympic champion rower
- David Cunliffe (Carrington), politician
- Thomas Davis, politician, diplomat and researcher
- Glen Denham, Tall Black
- Derek Denny-Brown
- Sarah Derrett, injury prevention specialist
- Archibald Durward FRSE, anatomist
- Marc Ellis (University College), All Black
- Bill English (Selwyn), 39th Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Janet Frame, writer
- Ian Fraser, broadcaster
- Caroline Freeman, first female graduate of the University of Otago
- William Fyfe, geochemist
- Jon Gadsby, comedian and actor
- John Gallas, poet and educator
- Sir Harold Delf Gillies, plastic surgeon
- Sir Malcolm Grant (Selwyn), lawyer and Vice-Chancellor of University College London (2003–13); subsequently Chairman of NHS England and Chancellor of the University of York
- Stephen Guest, legal academic
- Geoffrey Harding OAM, medical practitioner
- Graeme Hart, businessman
- Volker Heine, physicist
- Jan Hellriegel, singer/songwriter
- Greg Henderson, cyclist
- Sir Peter Buck, doctor, military leader, health administrator, politician, anthropologist and museum director.
- Brent Hodge (Cumberland), director
- Fergus Hume, novelist
- David Kirk (Selwyn), All Black captain and businessman
- Josh Kronfeld (Aquinas College), All Black
- Chris Laidlaw, All Black and politician
- Michael Laws, (Arana) politician, writer, broadcaster
- Tania Lineham, science teacher, winner of the Prime Minister’s Science Teacher Prize, 2015
- John Edward "Jack" Lovelock, athlete
- Chris Mahony, World Bank professional, University of Oxford doctorate, athlete
- Kamisese Mara (Knox), politician
- Stella Maxwell, fashion model
- Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, businesswoman
- Archibald McIndoe, plastic surgeon
- Joseph William Mellor, chemist
- Arnold Nordmeyer, politician
- Christopher Norton, composer
- Anton Oliver (University College), Captain of the All Blacks
- Prof. Datuk Dr. Mazlan Othman, astrophysicist, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
- Lord Porritt (Selwyn), Olympian, physician to the Queen and Governor General
- Arthur Prior, philosopher
- Lauren Kim Roche, physician and author
- Emily Siedeberg, first female medical graduate
- Robert Stout (Aquinas), Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Sulaiman Daud, politician
- Peter Tapsell, politician
- Jeremy Waldron, legal philosopher
- Murray Webb, cricketer and caricaturist
- Bridget Williams, publisher
- Allan Wilson, molecular biologist
- Mel Young, conservation biologist
(College at Oxford in brackets)(Source: List of NZ Rhodes Scholars)
- 1904 d James A Thomson (St John’s)
- 1906 d Robert A Farquharson (St John’s)
- 1907 d Colin Macdonald Gilray (University)
- 1913 d Prof. Frederick Fisher Miles (Balliol)
- 1921 d Rev. Hubert James Ryburn (Lincoln)
- 1923 d Rt Hon. Lord Arthur Espie Porritt (Magdalen)
- 1924 d Sir Robert Stevenson Aitken (Balliol)
- 1928 d Charles Andrew Sharp (St John’s)
- 1929 d Dr Wilton Ernest Henley (New)
- 1930 Prof. James Campbell Dakin (Trinity)
- 1931 d Dr John Edward (Jack) Lovelock (Exeter)
- 1932 d Sir Geoffrey Sandford Cox (Oriel)
- 1934 d Norman Davis (Merton)
- 1935 d The Hon. Sir Lester Francis Moller (Brasenose)
- 1936 d Daniel Marcus Davin (Balliol)
- 1947 Dr Robert Owen Davies (Oriel)
- 1950 Dr John Derek Kingsley North (Magdalen)
- Peter Selwyn O’Connor (Balliol)
- 1952 Prof. Graham Harry Jeffries (Magdalen)
- Hon. Hugh Templeton (Balliol)
- 1954 Dr Kenneth Alfred Kingsley North (Magdalen)
- 1956 Dr Colin Gordon Beer (Magdalen)
- Rev David George Simmers Victoria (Balliol)
- 1957 Em. Prof. Graeme Max Neutze (University)
- 1959 Graeme Francis Rea (Balliol)
- 1960 Dr James Julian Bennett Jack (Magdalen)
- 1966 John Stephen Baird (Merton)
- 1968 Christopher Robert Laidlaw (Merton)
- 1970 Dr Murray Grenfell Jamieson (Merton)
- 1972 Prof. David Christopher Graham Skegg (Balliol)
- 1973 Dr Anthony Evan Gerald Raine (Merton)
- 1975 Dr John Alexander Matheson (Worcester)
- 1976 Dr Derek Nigel John Hart (Brasenose)
- 1981 Justice Christine Ruth French (Worcester)
- 1983 Dr Nancy Jennifer Sturman (New)
- 1985 Dr David Kirk (Worcester)
- 1988 Dr Ceri Lee Evans (Worcester)
- 1990 Dr Prudence Anna Elizabeth Scott (Lincoln)
- 1992 Prof. John Navid Danesh (Balliol)
- Susan Reta Lamb (Balliol)
- 1993 Dr Jennifer Helen Martin (Lady Margaret Hall)
- 1995 Jennifer Sarah Cooper (Magdalen)
- 1996 Andrew Norman Benson Lonie (selected, not taken up)
- 1998 Dr Jane Larkindale (New)
- 1999 Dr Damen Andrew Ward (University)
- 2000 Clare Beach (Merton)
- Sally Virginia McKechnie (Hertford)
- 2002 Dr Rachel Sarah Carrell (Balliol)
- Christopher John Curran (Merton)
- 2003 Thomas Marcel Douglas (Balliol)
- 2004 Glenn Fraser Goldsmith (Balliol)
- 2006 Nicholas Douglas (St Catherine's)
- 2007 Holly Walker (University)
- 2008 Jesse Wall
- 2009 Laura Fraser
- 2010 Alice Lindsay Irving (Merton)
- 2011 Iona Mylek (St. Antony's)
- 2013 Louis Chambers
- 2014 Benjamin Abraham
- 2018 Jean Balchin
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