The University of Otago

Chancellor: John Ward
Vice-Chancellor: Professor Harlene Hayne
Main Campus Key Main Campus
Other Campus Key Other Campus Locations
Christchurch, Wellington, Invercargill, Auckland
AQA Academic Audit
Whole institution audit timeline: 2016
Audit Report: March 2012
Funding by TEC
78.9% Teaching and Learning
0.0% Capability
19.4% Research
1.8% Scholarships/Learners
TEC Funding
Delivery by Level
0.0% Level 1–2
0.6% Level 3–4
1.4% Level 5–6
87.0% Level 7–8
11.0% Level 9–10
Delivery By Level
Delivery by Subject
30.3% Society and Culture
24.7% Natural and Physical Sciences
20.6% Health 
11.0% Management and Commerce
5.2% Education
8.2% Other
Delivery By Subject

In 2012, the University of Otago’s educational performance was well above the university sector average and had improved on the previous year. Otago remained in a healthy financial position in 2012.


In the Annual Report, Chancellor John Ward highlighted Otago’s Economic Impact Report, which showed the university had a total economic impact estimated at more than $1.6 billion in 2011, with approximately $779.3 million contributed to the Dunedin economy.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Harlene Hayne, highlighted a number of achievements. Otago researchers secured the largest share of the Marsden Fund for the eighth consecutive year and a further $27 million in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s 2012 Science Investment and Health Research Council rounds. Otago was one of only two New Zealand universities to feature in the 2012 Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings’ top 200. More than 80 percent of students came from outside Dunedin and many had a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week university experience. In that context, the Vice-Chancellor saw Otago’s role as enhancing good scholarship and also good citizenship, providing a broad education that will stand graduates in good stead for the rest of their lives.

The Strategic Direction to 2012 document is at the end of its life, and considerable thought was being put into the planning of the new Strategic Direction to 2020. Its aim will be to build on well-established strengths in research and teaching but with a bolder and wider view. It will look to: generate knowledge that can be applied to real-world problems; further develop innovative transition pathways to university study for Māori and Pasifika students; educate students to be good citizens of the world; and increase the University’s focus on sustainability.

In 2012, Otago’s enrolments reduced by 1 percent (251 EFTS). Otago’s provision was primarily focused at Levels 7–8 (87%) and Levels 9–10 (11%). The main fields of study were Society and Culture (30%), Natural and Physical Sciences (25%) and Health (20%).

Participation for Māori and Pasifika in 2012 remained below the university sector average, with Māori at 8 percent and Pasifika at 3 percent of the domestic student roll. Participation for under 25-year-olds (81%) was well above the university sector average (73%). In each case, participation at Otago has remained fairly steady over the past five years. In 2012, Otago had 1601 full fee-paying international EFTS (1899 students).


Otago was the top-performing university across all four of the educational performance indicators, and had improved on the previous year’s performance for qualification completion and student retention.

Otago improved its performance for the TES priority groups (Māori, Pasifika and under-25-year-olds), with course and qualification completion well above the university sector average. Pasifika course completion increased notably (up from 72% in 2011 to 76% in 2012) as did Māori qualification completion (up from 66% in 2011 to 75% in 2012).


In 2012, two new Ministerial appointments to the council were made, with Stephen Higgs and Dr Royden Somerville appointed for a four-year term.

The university group’s total revenue increased by $29.3 million (5.0%); $18.0 million was from increased investment income driven primarily by revaluations of investments by the university’s Foundation Trust. Total expenditure increased by $24.7 million (4.4%) driven by higher costs that included a movement in actuarial leave liability, increased salary costs and additional support for scholarships. In 2012, Otago reported a net surplus of $32.1 million (5.2%), which was up on the 2011 result of $27.4 million (4.6%).

The university’s subsidiaries (which are included in the above financial summary) include the University of Otago Foundation Trust, The Hocken Collections, University of Otago Foundation Studies Limited, Otago Innovation Limited, University of Otago Holdings Limited, Unipol Recreation Limited and New Zealand Genomics Limited. The total equity for the group is $1.446 billion which is 89.6% of the total assets of $1.614 billion.

TES Priorities

2012 Performance Otago University
Students under 25 81% 73%
Māori 8% 10%
Pasifika 3% 6%
Course Completion
2012 Performance Otago University
All  89% 86%
Students under 25 90% 86%
Māori 85% 80%
Pasifika 76% 72%
Qualification Completion
2012 Performance Otago University
All 88% 80%
Students under 25 81% 72%
Māori 75% 68%
Pasifika 66% 60%
Overview of Educational Performance – Formal SAC Funded EFTS only
Enrolments % of University sector 2010 2011 2012
EFTS 15% 18,042 17,653 17,402
Students 12% 19,748 19,354 19,108
Educational Performance Indicators University sector 2010 2011 2012
Successful Course Completion 86% 87% 89% 89%
Qualification Completion 80% 74% 81% 88%
Student Retention 82% 88% 88% 90%
Student Progression L1-4 62% - - 92%
Overview of Financial Performance*
Summary Financial Statements ($000) 2010 2011 2012
Total government revenue $259,458 $265,249 $268,371
Domestic student fees $90,360 $91,035 $94,226
International student fees $42,169 $46,000 $45,377
Other income (including research) $194,396 $190,110 $213,754
Total revenue $586,383 $592,394 $621,728
Personnel $341,610 $344,692 $360,793
Total expenses $551,908 $564,954 $589,658
Net surplus (after unusual and non-recurring items) $34,475 $27,440 $32,070
Property, plant, equipment and intangibles $1,301,619 $1,312,678 $1,321,602
Total assets $1,555,583 $1,581,101 $1,613,644
Equity (net assets) $1,391,781 $1,411,376 $1,445,831
Net cashflow from operations $102,957 $91,858 $83,225
Purchase of property, plant, equipment and intangibles $71,312 $70,511 $67,916
Staffing FTE 3,751 3,749 3,755
Total EFTS to total staff FTE ratio 5 : 1 5 : 1 5 : 1
Total EFTS to teaching staff FTE ratio (academic and tutorial) 16 : 1 16 : 1 16 : 1