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University of Otago

Dunedin, OTA, New Zealand

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The University of OtagoTe Whare Wānanga o Otāgo The University of Otago is New Zealand’s first university and one of its finest. It is a leader across all fields of academic endeavour – the humanities, sciences, health sciences and business – regularly topping the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission’s education performance indicators. Students can choose from more than 190 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and are taught by leaders in their fields. The high calibre of teaching at Otago is reflected by an unparalleled record of success in the country’s Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards. Research excellence underpins all academic activity: more than 4,500 of the University’s 20,000 students study at the postgraduate level. The University has leadership roles in national Centres of Research Excellence and partnership roles in the country’s National Science Challenges. It also hosts 13 multidisciplinary research themes and 14 research centres, including two of the world’s most highly regarded health and development longitudinal studies. It is the home of New Zealand's first medical school and only schools of dentistry and surveying. The teaching year generally runs from February to November, broken into two 13-week semesters. A number of programmes are offered via Distance Learning and a Summer School is held for six weeks during January and February. In addition to research and teaching excellence, the University is committed through its Strategic Direction to 2020 to local, national and international betterment; strong external engagement; sustainable capability; providing outstanding student experiences and campus environments. The main campus is located in Dunedin – internationally recognised as one of the most beautiful campuses in the world – with significant health sciences campuses in Christchurch and Wellington, as well as a presence in Invercargill and Auckland. The University of Otago is also strategically committed to furthering the aspirations of Māori, and our Pacific neighbours, and has memoranda of understanding with a number of iwi, in particular Ngāi Tahu, the mana whenua of the University’s main area of operation. With more than 80 per cent of students coming from outside Dunedin, the University offers a unique campus-based lifestyle, a special feature of which are the 14 residential colleges located close to the heart of all University activities. Providing a world-class environment for students and staff is a priority and the University has embarked on a significant capital development programme in recent years. Otago was the first New Zealand university to achieve Fair Trade status and the recently established University Volunteer Centre is fostering a growing culture of volunteerism among staff and students.

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