University of Otago

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University of Otago
Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou
University of Otago Registry Building2.jpg
Motto Latin: Sapere aude
Motto in English
Dare to be wise
Type Public research collegiate university
Established1869; 152 years ago
Endowment NZD $258.3 million (31 December 2020) [1]
BudgetNZD $756.8 million (31 December 2020) [2]
Chancellor Stephen Higgs
Vice-Chancellor David Murdoch [3]
Academic staff
1,744 (2019) [4]
Administrative staff
2,246 (2019) [4]
Students21,240 (2019) [4]
Undergraduates 15,635 (2014) [4]
Postgraduates 4,378 (2014) [4]
1,579 (2019) [4]
Location, ,
New Zealand (Māori: Ōtepoti, Ōtākou, Aotearoa)

45°51′56″S170°30′50″E / 45.86556°S 170.51389°E / -45.86556; 170.51389 Coordinates: 45°51′56″S170°30′50″E / 45.86556°S 170.51389°E / -45.86556; 170.51389
Campus Urban/University town
45 ha (111 acres)
Student Magazine Critic
Colours Dunedin Blue and Gold
  
Affiliations MNU
Website https://www.otago.ac.nz
Logo of the University of Otago.svg

The University of Otago (Māori : Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou) is a public university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. The university accepted its first students in July 1871, making it the oldest university in New Zealand and third-oldest in Oceania.

Contents

The university was created by a committee led by Thomas Burns, [5] and officially established by an ordinance of the Otago Provincial Council in 1869. [6] Between 1874 and 1961 the University of Otago was a part of the federal University of New Zealand, and issued degrees in its name. [7]

Otago is known for its vibrant student life, particularly its flatting, which is often in old houses. Otago students have a long-standing tradition of naming their flats. [8] [9] [10] The nickname for Otago students "Scarfie" comes from the habit of wearing a scarf during the cold southern winters. [11] 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 newspaper The Daily Telegraph and American online news website The Huffington Post . [12] [13]

History

The Registry Building (Clocktower Building), looking east. University of Otago.jpg
The Registry Building (Clocktower Building), looking east.
Aerial view of the Dunedin campus. The Water of Leith runs through in the centre. University of Otago in Dunedin, NZ.jpg
Aerial view of the Dunedin campus. The Water of Leith runs through in the centre.
Dunedin campus in winter University of Otago grounds in winter.jpg
Dunedin campus in winter

The Otago Association's plan for the European settlement of southern New Zealand, conceived under the principles of Edward Gibbon Wakefield in the 1840s, envisaged a university.

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. [14] 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. [15] Burns was named Chancellor but he did not live to see the university open on 5 July 1871. [5] [14]

The university conferred just one degree, to Alexander Watt Williamson, before becoming an affiliated 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. [15]

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. [15] This evolved into the Clocktower complex, a striking group of Gothic revival buildings at the heart of the campus. These buildings were inspired by the then-new main building at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Otago was the first university in Australasia to permit women to take a law degree. [16] Ethel Benjamin graduated LLB in 1897. Later that year she became the first woman in the British Empire to appear as counsel in court. [17]

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. [18]

Professor Robert Jack made the first radio broadcast in New Zealand from the physics department on 17 November 1921. [19]

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. [20]

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.[ citation needed ] Otago now has the most substantial residential campus of any university in New Zealand or Australia,[ citation needed ] 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). [21]

In December 2020, eight graduation ceremonies scheduled for that month were disrupted following threats to carry out a firearms and explosives attack on students attending graduation ceremonies scheduled for 7 and 8 December. On 18 December, a 22-year-old woman appeared in the Auckland District Court on charges of threatening harm to people or property. Court documents have described the threat as being of a "magnitude surpassing the March 15 Christchurch mosque massacres." [22] [23] On 14 July, the woman, who has interim name suppression, admitted to threatening to carry out a firearms and explosives attack against Otago students. Her lawyer has applied for a discharge without conviction. [24]

Coat of arms

Coat of arms of the University of Otago
Arms of the University of Otago.svg
Notes
The Arms of the University of Otago were granted by the Lord Lyon on 21 January 1948 and based on the unauthorised arms used on the University's seal since 1870 [25]
Escutcheon
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
Motto
Sapere Aude ('dare to be wise' or 'have courage to be wise')

Campuses

Dunedin Panorama.jpg
180° view of Dunedin shot from the hills on the west. The University can be seen in front of the large hill to the left.

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. [26]

  1. 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. [26] [27]
  2. 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. [26] [28]
  3. 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. [29]
  4. 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. [26] [30]
  5. The University of Otago's Department of Marine Science also operates the Portobello Marine Laboratory in the Otago peninsula. [31]

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.

Libraries

Interior of the Central Library University of Otago New Library (inside).jpg
Interior of the Central Library

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. [32] All libraries have wireless access. [33]

Central Library

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, [34] 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. [35] 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. [36]

Health Sciences Library

The Health Sciences Library [32] 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.[ citation needed ]

Science Library

The Science Library [32] is at the north end of the campus in the Science III building, with seating for approximately 500.[ citation needed ]

Hocken Collections

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. [35] [37]

Robertson Library

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. [38]

Other libraries

The Wellington Medical and Health Sciences Library and the Canterbury Medical Library provide services to University of Otago students and staff, and the staff of the local District Health Boards. [39] [40] The university's Southland Campus also has a library. [32]

Organisation and administration

The Lindo Ferguson Building, home to the Departments of Anatomy and Physiology Otago University Medical School.jpg
The Lindo Ferguson Building, home to the Departments of Anatomy and Physiology
The university's research vessel Polaris II entering Otago Harbour Polaris II University of Otago.jpg
The university's research vessel Polaris II entering Otago Harbour

The university is divided into four academic divisions:

For external and marketing purposes, the Division of Commerce is known as the Otago Business School, 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:

Student body

Admissions

Enrolment By Qualification Type [41] 20192018201720162015201420132012201120102009200820072006200520042003
Doctoral1,5791,5411,5011,4111,3871,3891,3611,3771,2591,2581,2061,1041,048935829755723
Masters'1,4691,3601,2611,2871,2241,2141,2161,2819699799218748381,0521,1081,060994
Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates1,5911,6911,7621,6541,5421,3881,3831,4771,5411,6601,6201,5661,4351,5071,3781,3531,345
Graduate Diplomas192215243294314388416426475487405317494204392314298
Bachelor's with Honours396404366385451434460524873854843723750736769771763
Bachelor's Ordinary14,72814,67714,44814,59814,55915,13615,48915,76215,59315,78015,35913,34713,13612,86812,93912,71112,186
Undergraduate Diplomas and Certificates1417202939657392116152169133265216239318344
Certificate of Proficiency1,5761,4551,4921,4931,4421,2841,2281,1711,3261,4501,419 ? ? ? ? ? ?
Interest Only13511141000 ?223150 ? ? ? ? ? ?
Foundation Studies263298305292316300303266254273282 ? ? ? ? ? ?
Total21,24021,10820,83820,81420,60120,94221,11321,41621,72822,13921,50720,75220,66519,85320,05719,67418,844
Gender of Students [42] 20192018201720162015
Female12,71112,58812,27212,14711,879
Male8,5108,5198,5658,6658,720
Gender diverse191122
Total21,24021,10820,83820,81420,601
Ethnicity of Students [43] 2019201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007200620052004
European/Pākehā 71.5%71.4%72.4%73.1%73.4%74.3%74.3%74.8%75.0%75.6%75.7%76.8%68.4%68.3%69.1%69.5%
Māori 10.3%9.9%9.3%8.9%8.5%8.5%8.0%7.8%7.6%7.6%7.5%7.3%6.9%6.4%6.2%6.1%
Asian20.3%20.5%19.8%19.2%18.8%18.3%18.6%18.3%17.9%17.2%16.9%16.0%15.6%16.5%16.1%15.2%
Pacific Islanders5.0%4.7%4.5%4.2%3.9%3.6%3.2%3.1%3.1%3.1%3.0%2.8%2.6%2.6%2.5%2.5%
Middle Eastern / Latin American / African3.7%3.6%3.4%3.4%3.6% ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Other / unknown3.8%3.7%3.9%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%

Academics

Distinctions

Many Fellowships add to the diversity of the people associated with "Otago". They include:

In 1998, the physics department gained some fame for making the first Bose–Einstein condensate in the Southern Hemisphere.

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. [44]

Journal "Science" has recommended worldwide study of Otago's Biochemistry database "Transterm", which has genomic data on 40,000 species. [45]

Rankings

University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World [46] 301–400
QS World [47] 184
THE World [48] 201–250

From 2010 to 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. [49]

World university rankings
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) [50] [51] Academic Ranking of World Universities Times Higher Education
2021184301–400201–250
2020176301–400201–250
2019175301–400201–250
2018151301–400201–250
2017173301–400201–250
2016169201–300201–250
2015173201–300251–275
2014159201–300226–250
2013155201–300226–250
2012133201–300201–225
2011130201–300201–225
2010135201–300200+
2009125201–302NA
2008124=201–302NA
2007114=305–402NA

Residential colleges

St Margaret's College St Margarets College University of Otago.jpg
St Margaret's College
Selwyn College Selwyn College, Otago.jpg
Selwyn College

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:

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. [52] [53]

Student life

O-Week

Participants in the annual clocktower race lining up, ready to go. Otago clocktower race.jpg
Participants in the annual clocktower race lining up, ready to go.

'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. [54] 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. [55]

Traditions

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. [56] [57] 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.

Behavioural issues

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

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. [58] [59]

Protest

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. [60] 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. [61] 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%. [62] Since 2004, the Otago University NORML club, led by Abe Gray, [63] 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. [64] [65] [66]

Notable people

Chancellors

The following is a list of chancellors of the University of Otago. [67]

NamePortraitTerm
1 Thomas Burns Thomas Burns.jpg 1869–1871
2 John Richardson Painting Major Sir John Larkins Cheese Otago.jpg 1871–1876
3 Henry Samuel Chapman Henry Samuel Chapman00.jpg 1876–1879
4 Donald Stuart Rev Donald McNaughton Stuart.jpg 1879–1894
5 Joshua Williams Judge Joshua Williams.jpg 1894–1909
6 James Allen James Allen portrait.jpg 1909–1912
7 Andrew Cameron Rev Andrew Cameron 1913 (cropped).jpg 1912–1925
8 Thomas Sidey Thomas Kay Sidey.jpg 1925–1933
9 William John Morrell William John Morrell (cropped).jpg 1933–1945
10 David Herron 1946–1955
11 Hubert Ryburn 1955–1970
12 Stuart Sidey Stuart Sidey, 1953.jpg 1970–1976
13 Jack Somerville 1976–1982
14 Jim Valentine 1982–1992
15 Judith Medlicott 1993–1998
16 Eion Edgar Eion Edgar (cropped).jpg 1999–2003
17 Lindsay Brown Lindsay Brown MNZM (cropped).jpg 2004–2008
18 John Ward John Ward, University of Otago, 2016 (cropped).jpg 2009–2017
19 Royden Somerville Royden Somerville (cropped).jpg 2018–2022
20 Stephen Higgs 2022–present

The following is a list of vice-chancellors of the university: [68]

NamePortraitTerm
1 Robert Aitken 1948–1953
2Frederick Soper1953–1963
3Arthur Beacham1964–1966
4 Robin Williams 1967–1973
5Robin Irvine1973–1993
6Graeme Fogelberg1994–2004
7 David Skegg David Skegg.jpg 2004–2011
8 Harlene Hayne Harlene Hayne (cropped).jpg 2011–2021
9 David Murdoch 2022–present

Faculty

Alice Copping Portrait of A.M.Copping Wellcome L0017184.jpg
Alice Copping

Alumni

(with residential college, if any, in parentheses where known)

Nathan Cohen Nathan Cohen rowing.jpg
Nathan Cohen
Robert Stout, 13th Premier Robert Stout, ca 1919.jpg
Robert Stout, 13th Premier
Bill English, 39th Prime Minister Bill English November 2016.jpg
Bill English, 39th Prime Minister
Fergus Hume, novelist Fergus Hume.jpg
Fergus Hume, novelist
Tania Lineham Tania Lineham 2016.jpg
Tania Lineham
Lord Porritt, athlete, physician and 11th Governor-General Arthur Porritt 1923.jpg
Lord Porritt, athlete, physician and 11th Governor-General

Rhodes Scholars

list of Rhodes Scholars:

Jack Lovelock, athlete Jack Lovelock 1936b.jpg
Jack Lovelock, athlete

(College at Oxford in brackets)(Source: List of NZ Rhodes Scholars)

See also

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Abraham Gabriel Gray is an American-born New Zealand cannabis activist, politician and founder of the Whakamana Cannabis Museum, New Zealand's first and only cannabis museum. Gray was a University of Otago lecturer and tutor for over a decade before founding the museum.

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