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University of Waikato


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We are ranked among the top 1.1% of Universities in the world- we've jumped 100 places in just four years, a reflection of our ability to challenge, inspire and prepare our students to lead change. Our research is also ranked highest in New Zealand for quality and impact, tackling issues of national and global importance. Our campuses in Hamilton and Tauranga are bursting with life and energy. With smaller class sizes, better access to lecturers, affordable living, a wide range of support services, and with dozens of student clubs, your student experience at Waikato will be dynamic and distinctive.
Our flexible degree structures mean you can study a broad range of subjects to shape a qualification that matches your strengths and career interests, and will keep your skills in demand. We believe in rewarding success, which is why we offer hundreds of scholarships every year to our students to help fund study and study-related expenses.
Our students learn from award-winning lecturers and world-leading researchers who are committed to delivering you a world-class, innovative education. Each year, we offer more than 2000 industry placements and internships. Whether you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate student, our partnerships and networks offer you a unique opportunity to embed yourself in local or international organisations as part of your learning experience.
This University is committed to delivering a world-class education and research portfolio, providing a full and dynamic university experience, distinctive in character, and pursuing strong international links to advance knowledge.
Waikato University owes its existence to two brave men who fought loudly for eight years, on behalf of the people of Waikato, to establish their own university. Since then we've never been afraid to do things differently.
In 1956 a handful of Hamiltonian locals decided they wanted their own university. It seemed reasonable. New Zealand had four universities that had been established in the main centres since the end of last century. Why not the Waikato?
Unfortunately, the powers that be had other ideas. They'd been safely holed up unchallenged for more than 50 years, in the colleges that constituted the University of New Zealand, and were dismissive of a Hamilton based university. Hamilton was a plodding centre for producing farmers and the occasional All Black, certainly no place for higher learning. Luckily two men begged to differ.
After several rebuffs the University of South Auckland society was formed. The society's first founder was Douglas Seymour, a barrister and solicitor reminiscent of Rumpole, who sprinkled his speech with Greek and Latin quotes. Seymour set "out to kill to establish something (he) believed in." Thankfully, it never came to that, but his passion was never in question.
During his five years heading the society, Seymour's zeal and tenacity made a lot of headway... and more than a few enemies. His able and more diplomatic off-sider Anthony Rogers, a Hamilton GP and brother to long-time mayor Denis Rogers, often stepped in to pat down the feathers Seymour had ruffled. Known by his nickname of Rufus, Rogers succeeded Seymour as president of the society. Together, over eight long years, they made enough noise to make the University of Waikato dream... a reality.
Uow Campus gateway in 1970In 1964 the University of Waikato was officially opened by then Governor-General, Sir Bernard Fergusson (later Lord Ballantrae).
Today Waikato University is home to more than 12,000 students and has continued to be a breeding ground for independent thought and progressive learning. In 1989 (with a little help from NASA) we connected New Zealand to the Internet before going on to become the first University in New Zealand to have cyber-graduates, completing their teaching degrees online.
In 1998 we took a major initiative into Tauranga and formed an alliance with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic to facilitate teaching in the Western Bay of Plenty. For the first time courses became available taught completely face-to-face in a city outside of Hamilton. In 2001 the first students from The University of Waikato at Tauranga graduated at a ceremony held in Tauranga. Our campus now covers 65 hectares and is a far cry from its modest beginnings in 1964 on what was largely farmland, with a handful of temporary buildings and a few staff.
The University has delivered its enrolment and financial targets this year, and I congratulate the many staff whose efforts have contributed to such sound results. We finished 2011 with a strong financial surplus. It is a credit to the University’s planning and financial management that the surplus of 4.1% is well within the 3%-5% range recommended by the Tertiary Education Commission. The Tertiary Education Commission’s assignment of a ‘Low Risk’ rating is an important affirmation of the Government’s confidence in the management and viability of the University.
The University remains committed to the Bay of Plenty and we acknowledge and appreciate our partnership with business, civic and community groups as we develop new opportunities for the region. We have been working closely with the regional and district councils, iwi, community agencies and other stakeholder groups in the Bay, as well as our partner organisations - the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi - to advance a proposal for a new campus development in Tauranga. A new field station in the Bay provides a venue for scientists and research students, as well as a focal point for workshops and public fora based around the University’s research capability in coastal science

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