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University of Otago

Number of students

21000 approx

International students

3000 approx


Multiple regions

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As New Zealand's first university, founded in 1869, the University of Otago has earned an international reputation for excellence in research and teaching. Otago is ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world and offers over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across Business, Health Science, Humanities, and Science subjects.

Otago at a glance

  • 5-stars plus QS Stars ranking, reflecting quality and excellence across teaching, employability, internationalisation, and research.
  • A national presence, with its main campus in Dunedin, and specialised campuses in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Invercargill.
  • New Zealand’s top university for student performance and retention (TEC Educational Performance Indicators).
  • 85% of its students come from outside of Dunedin.
  • 21,000 students, including 3,000 students from 100+ countries.
  • 95% of its students go into work or to further study.

Study Options

English Language Centre

Direct gateway to Pathway, Study Abroad, and University of Otago programmes. We have courses to suit you, including our most popular:

  • General English
  • English for Otago (EFO)
  • IELTS Preparation
  • NZ Culture and Customs + more!


  • Foundation Studies Certificate


  • Bachelor's Degrees
  • Study Abroad programme


  • Honours 
  • Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates
  • Masters' Degrees (course or research-based)
  • PhD

Online learning 2023

Enjoy the flexibility of online learning options with the University of Otago. Whether you are developing your academic or English language skills before moving to New Zealand for studies, or you are seeking to upskill from the comfort of your own home, we have a range of online/distance learning options.

  • Online BA, BCom, and BACom programmes

Otago’s online offering includes the BA, BCom, and BA/BCom with most majors available for the BCom and a number of majors for the BA. For the full list of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and papers, visit Online learning at Otago.

  • Online English Language and Foundation Year studies

The University of Otago Pathway and English Language Centre offers online delivery of the Foundation Studies Certificate as well as several English language options. For the full list of Foundation Year and English language programmes, visit the Language Centre and Foundation year webpage.

Internationals Students Scholarships

Visit Scholarships for International Students for a full list of Otago's scholarship options, including the following:

Pathway Scholarships

  • University of Otago Pathway | Te Huarahi

Undergraduate Scholarships

  • Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships 2023 for International Students
  • University of Otago Entrance Scholarship

Postgraduate Scholarships

  • Otago International Excellence Scholarships
  • University of Otago Coursework Masters Scholarships
  • University of Otago Research Master's Scholarships
  • University of Otago Doctoral Scholarships

Academic excellence

Otago is renowned as one of the top research universities in the Asia-Pacific region and produces the most winners of national teaching awards of any university in New Zealand. The academic staff profile is diverse and truly world-class, with one of the highest proportions of internationally-trained academic staff in the world – helping to provide a global perspective and foster international collaborations.

With over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes on offer, many of the programmes at Otago are the only ones of their kind in New Zealand.

Otago also has the best performance indicators of any New Zealand university for successful completion of courses and qualifications, student progression to higher level study, and students retained in study.

More about University of Otago

Outstanding student experience

Otago offers students an unrivalled campus experience and a vibrant, social student culture. The majority of Otago’s 21,000 students live, work and play in Dunedin - New Zealand’s only true university city.

Otago students are supported by dozens of dedicated on-campus support services, ensuring that students get the very best out of their time there.

Numerous accommodation options are available, including 15 residential colleges, which provide a supportive environment that enables students to develop their independence, build a social network and succeed in their academic endeavours.

There are over 150 student clubs and societies to get involved in; forested hills, beaches, incredible wildlife and a beautiful natural harbour on the doorstep; and lakes, mountains and world-class ski resorts within a few hours’ drive of the city.

Globally employable graduates, socially responsible citizens

95% of Otago students go into work or to further study in New Zealand and around the world. 112,000 Otago alumni are living in 145 countries, with many occupying influential positions in industry, government and within their communities.

The university has a reputation for producing well-rounded, practical, adaptable, resilient graduates, who are highly sought after by employers. Otago students don’t just focus on academic pursuits, they learn life skills, creative thinking, problem-solving and team dynamics. Outside of study, they are encouraged to get involved in a wide range of sporting, cultural and community-based activities during their time there.

Otago’s Social Impact Studio achieves student-driven change through volunteering and leadership. Otago believes in channelling student creativity, vision, and insight for maximum social impact through its incredible volunteer programmes. Around 4,000 Otago students are registered volunteers, working with over 200 community organisations.

Amazing facilities across New Zealand

The University of Otago stretches from Auckland in the north of the country to Invercargill in the south. While most study takes place at its stunning Dunedin campus, the Health Science-focused campuses in Christchurch and Wellington are home to many of its postgraduate students.

Otago is an intriguing mix of old and new – from its iconic Clocktower Building to world-class teaching and research labs, performance spaces, lecture theatres, sporting facilities, and study areas, including its award-winning Central Library.

The Otago factor

Otago offers a world-class academic experience, but one of the key things that set Otago apart is that it attracts and fosters independence. It provides academic programmes, accommodation options, support, and a teaching style that caters to the individual and enables each student to identify and develop their strengths – both inside and outside of the classroom.

Otago degrees are flexible, allowing students to combine subjects that might not normally be studied together, and most students can complement their degree with elective courses of personal and professional interest to them. Study is self-directed and interactive, with many opportunities for hands-on learning outside of the classroom.

A warm welcome – “manaakitanga”

The concept of “manaakitanga” is key in Māori and New Zealand society, loosely referring to the importance of openly and warmly welcoming visitors, of having a mutual respect for one another. Otago offers a rich cultural life, reflecting a diverse international university community and New Zealand's own multicultural population.


Contact details


University of Otago
Dunedin Campus, 362 Leith Street
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Phone number

+64 3 479 7000


University of Otago Pathway and English Language Centre, Invercargill campus, Christchurch Campus, Wellington Campus, Auckland Centre, University of Otago

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