University of Otago

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University of Otago

Motto Sapere aude (Dare to be wise)
Established 1869
Type Public
Chancellor Lindsay Brown
Vice-Chancellor David Skegg
Students 20,000 total
Location Dunedin, New Zealand

The University of Otago in Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest university with over 20,000 students enrolled during 2006. It is the South Island's largest employer and claims to have the world's 2nd longest continuously running annual student revue (the Capping Show) and New Zealand's oldest ballet company (the Selwyn Ballet).

Founded in 1869, the university opened in July 1871. Its motto is "Sapere aude" ("Dare to be wise"). (The University of New Zealand subsequently adopted the same motto.) The University of Otago Students' Association answers this with its own motto, "Audeamus" ("let us dare").

Between 1874 and 1961 the University of Otago was a part of the University of New Zealand, and issued degrees in its name. The University is known throughout the country for its unique student lifestyle and particularly its flatting culture, where students generally share semi-dilapidated housing units with a unique name and "character building" domestic life.

Otago graduates are known to be among the most dispersed alumni in the world, with many graduates ultimately settling in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, United States, China, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Japan or elsewhere in New Zealand.

The University's well-known Registry Building was modelled on the main building of Glasgow University in Scotland. Some of the University's many diverse buildings appear in the following panorama:

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. (Enlarge!)

The University clocktower viewed from Castle Street.
The University clocktower viewed from Castle Street.


[edit] Faculties

Interior of Central Library, University of Otago
Interior of Central Library, University of Otago

Administratively, the university is divided into four divisions: Commerce, Health Sciences, Humanities, and Sciences. 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 standalone departments to form these divisions.

In addition to relatively usual university disciplines, the Otago Medical School (founded 1875) remains one of only two in New Zealand (with constituent branches in Christchurch and Wellington). Other professional schools and faculties not found in all New Zealand universities include Pharmacy, Physical Education, Physiotherapy, Medical Laboratory Science, and Surveying. It is also the only university to offer training in Dentistry. 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, Mosgiel.

[edit] Merger with Dunedin College of Education

The university and the Dunedin College of Education (a specialist teacher training institution) merged 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.

[edit] Campuses

In addition the main Dunedin campus, the university has small facilities in Auckland and Wellington (based at Westpac Stadium[1]). The medical schools have larger campuses near Christchurch and Wellington Hospitals. Additionally, the University has the Portobello Marine Laboratory on Otago Harbour.

[edit] 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 2004 Government investigation into research quality (to serve as a basis for future funding) ranked Otago in fourth place in New Zealand.

Journal "Science" has recommended worldwide study of Otago's Biochemistry database "Transterm", which has genetic code data on 40,000 species.

Otago was recently ranked 79th from a listing of top 200 institutions in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings [2] and within 201-300 in the Shanghai Jiaotong rankings of world top 500 universities. (PDF)

[edit] Residential Colleges

The vast majority of first year ('fresher') students at the University of Otago stay in one of the many Residential Colleges. These provide food, accommodation, social and welfare services. Some of the colleges have developed a strong institutional personality over the years. This becomes self-perpetuating as applicants choose the college most suited to their own personality.

Quiet, conservative St Margaret's is next to the large, generic Unicol in the heart of the campus, which houses approximately 550 residents during the academic year. It is the most central hall on the campus, situated beside the university's original buildings.

Aquinas College, being the smallest and perhaps farthest of the halls, has developed a more tight-knit community than many of the others. City College is influenced by two-thirds of its students coming from the Dunedin College of Education or the Otago Polytechnic, and Toroa International House is almost exclusively filled by international students. It provides accommodation that is welcoming and supportive yet allows residents to live, eat, study and socialise in an environment that meets their individual needs.

Residential Colleges affiliated with the University of Otago select students based on their marks, extracurricular activities and high school testimonials. However, some colleges are more selective than others. Although their order varies from year to year, the most selective colleges are consistently Knox College, Selwyn College and Carrington College. Arana College received the most placement request for 2007. Unsuccessful applicants are referred to other colleges.

St Margaret's has similar entry standards, but the reputation of the college as quiet, religious and hard-working tends to attract a self-selected small group of highly-qualified applicants.

Otago's Residential Colleges are not as significant in the life of the University when compared with the Colleges and Halls of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Some halls seek to imitate Oxbridge colleges (occasional tutorials, "fellows", chapels etc) but students' primary affiliation is to the University rather than the hall, and the bulk of formal education does not take place within the college.

College Founded
Selwyn College 1893 Website
Knox College 1909 Website
St Margaret's College 1911 Website
Studholme College 1915 Website
Arana College 1943 Website
Carrington College 1945 Website
Aquinas College 1952 Website
University College 1969 Website
Salmond College 1971 Website
Hayward College 1992 Website
City College 2000 Website
Cumberland College ? Website
Toroa International House 1996 Website

Official list

[edit] Notable alumni and alumnae

(with Hall of Residence, if any, in parentheses where known)

[edit] Rhodes Scholars from the University of Otago

Main article: Rhodes Scholarship

(College at Oxford in brackets)

  • 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 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), The Hon. Hugh Campbell 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 Christine Ruth French (Worcester)
  • 1983 Dr Nancy Jennifer Sturman (New)
  • 1985 Dr David Edward 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)
  • 1995 Dr Simon John Watt (Oxford)
  • 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 Rachel Sarah Carrell (Balliol), Christopher John Curran (Merton)
  • 2003 Thomas Marcel Douglas (Balliol)
  • 2004 Glenn Fraser Goldsmith (Balliol)

[edit] External links

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 45°51′56″S, 170°30′50″E

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