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University of Otago



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As New Zealand's first university, founded in 1869, the University of Otago has earned an international reputation for quality research and teaching. Based on national data, we have the best performance indicators of any university in New Zealand 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.

Otago’s staff are truly world class. We have the highest concentration of internationally trained staff in New Zealand and the fifth highest concentration of internationally trained staff in the world: 70% of our academic staff are foreign born or are New Zealanders who gained their PhD overseas.

Top global ranking
The University of Otago is ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world, and has the highest-possible rating of 5 Stars Plus in the QS global university performance ratings.

Outstanding graduate employability
Employers love Otago graduates. 95% of our graduates go straight into work or further study. Otago graduates are recognised for their interpersonal and negotiating skills, conceptual and analytical skills, and independent judgement.

Academic programmes
Otago offers 200+ undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and has teaching and research strengths across the areas of Business, Health Science, Humanities and Science.We also have genuinely world-class teaching and research labs, performance spaces, lecture theatres, study areas, and sporting facilities.

Amazing facilities
The University of Otago’s Central Library (one of nine libraries at Otago) is ranked 13th best library in the world. Our Dunedin campus is recognised as one of the world’s most-beautiful campuses.

Extremely high student satisfaction
Student surveys show 98% satisfaction with administration and support; 98% with campus safety; 99% with libraries; 98% with residential colleges; and 97% with sport and recreation facilities.

Sustainability and positive social impact
Otago is the first university in New Zealand to achieve Fair Trade status. Our Social Impact Studio achieves student-driven change through volunteering and leadership. We believe in channelling student creativity, vision, and insight for maximum social impact through our incredible volunteer programmes. Around 4,000 Otago students are registered volunteers, working with over 200 community organisations.

Unmatched student experience
In addition to being an international centre of academic excellence, Otago is New Zealand’s only true residential university. This gives you a student lifestyle that is unparalleled in New Zealand. 85% of our students come from outside Dunedin (including 3,000 international students from 100 countries). 3,500 of our first-year students live at one of 15 residential colleges, located on or near campus. Most of our 21,000 students live within 1 km of the Dunedin campus – creating our iconic student quarter that features academic, cultural, social, and sporting facilities, just a short walk from the Dunedin city centre. And at Otago, there are over 140 student clubs and societies to choose from.

Campus life
Dunedin is the only true university city in New Zealand and Australia with more than 21,000 young people coming to live and learn in our beautiful coastal city. The stunning campus, which is situated right in the centre of town, was recognised as one of the fifteen most beautiful campuses in the world by the Huffington Post.

Otago offers students an unrivalled campus experience and vibrant cultural life. Almost all students live within walking distance of the campus and key facilities. Most undergraduates stay at one of our 15 residential colleges or in character-filled flats/apartments, and have access to a range of student support services dedicated to ensuring they get the best out of their time here.

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