University of Otago: New Zealand’s first university
As New Zealand's first university, founded in 1869, the University of Otago has earned an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching.
New Zealand's leading postgraduate research institution, Otago attracts the best and brightest students from within New Zealand and around the globe. Based on national data, we have the best performance indicators for any university in the country for successful completion of courses and qualifications, student progression to higher level study, and students retained in study.
Achieving high approval ratings in employer surveys, Otago graduates are sought after and appreciated with many occupying influential positions in industry, government and within their communities across the world.
We strongly encourage students to undertake postgraduate study at Otago; we have a higher proportion of PhD students than any other university in New Zealand.
Our academic staff hold more national teaching awards and produce more highly cited papers per capita than any other university in the country.
Otago has the highest concentration of internationally trained staff anywhere in New Zealand and the fifth highest concentration of internationally trained staff in the world. 70% of Otago’s academic staff are foreign born or are New Zealanders who have gained their PhD overseas. Otago’s staff are truly world class.
Dunedin is the only true university city in New Zealand and Australia with more than 18,000 young people coming not only to learn, but also to live in our beautiful coastal city. In 2013, the Huffington Post listed the University of Otago as one of the fifteen most beautiful university campuses in the world.
Located on the edge of the Dunedin Botanic Garden, Otago’s stunning campus offers students an unrivalled campus experience and vibrant cultural life. Situated just a few blocks from the city centre, almost all students live within walking distance of the campus and key facilities. Most undergraduates study at the main campus in Dunedin and stay at one of our 15 residential colleges or in character-filled flats/apartments close to campus.
Otago has world-class teaching facilities and libraries and our state-of-the-art gymnasium enables students to get fit and stay fit while they study. Our students are also enjoy living in New Zealand’s first ‘Gigatown’, meaning that the city has access to the fastest internet in the Southern Hemisphere.
Otago has teaching and research strengths across the areas of Business, Health Science, Humanities and Science Divisions.
Many of our programmes are the only ones of their kind in New Zealand. Otago is home to the country’s only dental school, the only school of surveying and the country’s only standalone botany programme. We have the largest science communication programme in the world and the most successful genetics programme in Australasia. Our law school is regarded as one of the best in the country and ours is the oldest and largest medical school in New Zealand.
Otago’s annual Foreign Policy School continues to attract leading national and international speakers. For more than two decades, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs has used the school to train the new cohorts of New Zealand diplomats.