University Information




Wellington 6012,

New Zealand
Victoria University of Wellington (Maori: Te Whare Wananga o Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui) is a university in Wellington, New Zealand. It was established in 1897 by Act of Parliament, and was a constituent college of the University of New Zealand.

The university is well known for its programmes in law, the humanities, and some scientific disciplines, and offers a broad range of other courses. Entry to all courses at first year is open, and entry to second year in some programmes (e.g. law, criminology, creative writing, architecture) is restricted.

Victoria had the highest average research grade in the New Zealand Governments Performance-Based Research Fund exercise in 2012, having been ranked 4th in 2006 and 3rd in 2003.[6] Victoria has been ranked 229th in the Worlds Top 500 universities by the QS World University Rankings (2015), an increase of 46 from the 2014 ranking.

The original 1903 plan for Victoria University

Victoria is named after Queen Victoria, as 1897 was the 60th anniversary of her coronation. There was a dispute initially as to where to site it, and it opened in temporary facilities in Thorndon. It was eventually decided to place it in Kelburn, where it still has its primary campus. This decision was influenced by the Cable Car companys offer of a donation of £1,000 if it were located in Kelburn so that students would patronise the Cable Car from the city.[8] Several of the Company investors like Martin Kennedy were supporters of Seddon, who stalled on releasing land on the alternative Mount Cook Gaol site for the university, although this site was widely supported in Wellington.[9]

The foundation stone of the historic Hunter Building was laid in 1904. The original name was Victoria University College, but on the dissolution of the University of New Zealand in 1961 Victoria or "Vic" became the Victoria University of Wellington, conferring its own degrees.

An extramural branch was founded at Palmerston North in 1960. It merged with Massey College on 1 January 1963. Having become a branch of Victoria upon the University of New Zealands 1961 demise, the merged college became Massey University on 1 January 1964.[10]

In 2004, Victoria celebrated the 100th birthday of its first home, the Hunter Building.

In recent years, Victoria has had to expand out of its original campus in Kelburn, and new campuses have been set up in Te Aro (architecture and design), Pipitea (opposite Parliament, housing the law and business schools) and Karori (education) – the Wellington College of Education, established in 1880, merged with the University to become its revived Faculty of Education on 1 January 2005.

In 2015, Victoria opened a new campus in Auckland to service the growing demand for its courses and expertise.[11]
General information
Victoria University of Wellingtons Pipitea Campus: the Faculty of Law
Victoria University of Wellingtons Pipitea Campus: the west wing of Railway Station
Victoria University of Wellingtons Kelburn Campus: the Hunter Building
Victoria University of Wellingtons Kelburn Campus

Its main campus is in Kelburn, a suburb on a hill overlooking the Wellington central business district, where its administration and humanities & social science and science faculties are based. The law and commerce and administration faculties are in the Pipitea Campus,[12] near Parliament Buildings, which consists of Rutherford House, the restored Old Government Buildings, and the West Wing of the Wellington Railway Station. A smaller campus in Te Aro[13] is the base for the architecture and design schools. The Faculty of Education is in the Karori campus. The newest facility, the Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory supports research programmes in marine biology and coastal ecology on Wellingtons rugged south coast.

Day-to-day governance is in the hands of the University Council, which consists of 20 people: four elected by the Court of Convocation, three elected by the academic staff, one elected by the general staff, two appointed by the student union executive, four appointed by the Minister of Education, four selected by the Council itself, and the Vice-Chancellor. The Court of Convocation is composed of all graduates who choose to participate. Charles Wilson, at the time the chief librarian of the parliamentary library, was a member of the original council and its chairman for two years.[14]

For New Zealand residents entry to most courses is open, with a few exceptions. Performance Music requires an audition. There is selection for entry into the second year in degrees such as the LLB, BArch and BDes. BA in criminology and creative writing is also based on selection.

It is one of only three institutions (University of Auckland and Unitec being the others) to offer a degree in architecture in New Zealand.

In conjunction with Massey University it owns the New Zealand School of Music.

The Library

The library was established in 1899.[15] The collections are dispersed over five locations: Kelburn Library, Law Library, W. J. Scott Education Library, Architecture and Design Library and Commerce Library. The library is also has a collection of digital resources and acquires full text material online. In addition to electronic resources, printed books and journals, the Library also acquires works in microform, sound recordings, videos and other media consistent with the Universitys academic programme needs.[16]

The library holds approximately 1.3 million printed volumes. It provides access to 70,000 print and electronic periodical titles and 200,000 e-books. It is an official Depository Library (DL-296) of the United Nations System (DEPOLIB), one of only three in the country. The J. C. Beaglehole Room is the official repository of all archival and manuscript material, and provides a supervised research service for Rare Books, for fine or fragile print items, and for last resort copies of University publications.

The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (NZETC) is a digital library of significant New Zealand and Pacific Island texts and materials, and is arranged according to the library of Congress classification system. The library has two online repositories: the ResearchArchive is its open research repository, which makes the universitys research freely available online and the RestrictedArchive, which is the universitys private research repository and is accessible only to Victoria University staff and students.[17]

Between April 2003 and February 2010 the Library was home to two locally famous residents, Tessa Brown and Sandy Rankine, a pair of library cats.[18]

The faculties are:

Faculty of Architecture and Design[19]
Victoria Business School[20]
Faculty of Education[19]
Faculty of Engineering[21]
Faculty of Graduate Research[22]
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences[23]
Faculty of Law[24]
Faculty of Science[25]
Toihuarewa - a separate pan-University Faculty equivalent[26]

Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law on the left, Houses of Parliament on the right.

The Faculty of Law is located in the restored Old Government Buildings at the centre of the countrys law-making precinct, in close proximity to Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, and the District and High courts. The Faculty is rated 19th in the world in the 2013 QS World University Rankings[27] and led New Zealands law faculties for research in the most recent Performance-Based Research Fund Evaluation.[28]

It offers both undergraduate LLB degrees (including Honours) and the postgraduate Certificate in Law (CertLaw), Diploma in Law (DipLaw) and Masters in Law (LLM) as well as the Doctor in Philosophy of Law (PhD). The Law Students Association organises social events as well as the competitions, an annual Law Revue and public addresses. Many judges, MPs and notable New Zealanders are alumni of the Faculty. In 2013, the Faculty had 1781 law students enrolled. The Dean is Dr Mark Hickford.
Research Centres and Institutes

Victoria has more than 40 research centres and institutes, including

MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
Malaghan Institute of Medical Research
Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory
Centre for Strategic Studies New Zealand
Institute of Policy Studies
Adam Art Gallery
New Zealand Electronic Text Centre
Antarctic Research Centre

To see more, browse an A-Z List of Research Centres and Institutes[29]
Students Association and student media

Victoria University of Wellington Students Association
Salient (student magazine)
The VBC 88.3FM (student radio station)

Halls of Residence[30][31]

Victoria Operated

Boulcott Hall (Catered)
Capital Hall (Catered)
Joan Stevens Hall (Catered)
Katharine Jermyn Hall (Catered)
Weir House (Catered)
Willis St: Cumberland House (Catered)
Willis St: Education House (Self-catered)
University Hall (Self-Catered)
University Hall: Whanau House (Self-catered)

Privately Operated

Te Puni Village (Catered & Self-catered)
Victoria House (Catered)
Helen Lowry Hall (Catered)
Everton Hall (Self-catered)
Stafford House (Self-catered)

Scandals and Controversies

In July, 2016, a Victoria University of Wellington staff member Rebekah Proctor was jailed for two years and five months for defrauding the university out of $480,000 - as of 27 October Proctor has appealed her sentence.[32][33] In October 2016 students protested the cut of several European languages, including the German language department losing 43% of staff.[34] Also in 2016, Victoria University of Wellington was embroiled in a row with the Tertiary Education Union, when it was discovered that union members were being paid less than non-union members.[35] This led the TEU to characterise the Vice-Chancellor Grant Guildford as being anti-union, and resulted in a one-day strike.[36][35][37]

In late 2015, academics and students at Victoria University of Wellington spoke out at the university hosting Israeli Defence Force troops for a public lecture.[38][39] The opposition for this public lecture came about because of the soldiers involvement in Operation Protective Edge, which is thought to have killed at least 2000 Palestinians, most of them civilians.[38]

In 2012 a Facebook page that is associated with Victoria University of Wellington students, Overheard @ Vic, was in the media for the many rape comments that were made.[40] These included comments like "youve got to rape the paper, man, you cant let the paper rape you" and "at least ugly girls dont get raped".[40] In response to this, a spokesperson for Victoria University of Wellington said that "student safety was a key focus, and the university had partnered with police and Wellington City Council to promote awareness of personal safety." [40]

In 2010 there was widespread condemnation of Victoria University of Wellington removing the Gender Studies department.[41] As of October 2016 this has not been reinstated.
Notable academics
Main category: Victoria University of Wellington faculty

James Belich, historian
Doreen Blumhardt, education academic
Jonathan Boston, public policy academic
Mai Chen, public law lawyer
Paul Callaghan, physical sciences academic
Margaret Clark, political science academic
Lloyd Geering, religious studies academic
Robert Walker Hay FRSE, chemist
Frank Holmes, economics academic
George Edward Hughes philosophy academic
Douglas Lilburn, music academic
Richard Cockburn Maclaurin, mathematics academic
Bill Manhire, author and poet
Paul Morris, religious studies academic
Peter Munz, history academic
Terence OBrien, diplomat and academic
Tipene ORegan, Maori leader and education academic
Vincent OSullivan, academic and poet
Geoffrey Palmer, politician
Matthew Palmer, law academic
Pat Ralph, marine biologist; first woman at Victoria to be awarded a DSc[42]
Ivor Richardson, lawyer and academic
Kim Sterelny, philosophy academic
Teresia Teaiwa, pacific studies academic, author, poet
Matt Visser, specialist in general relativity
Colin J. N. Wilson, volcanology academic
John Chapman Andrew, foundation Vice Chancellor

Notable alumni
Orientation Week in the old campus hub
Graduation ceremony
Main category: Victoria University of Wellington alumni
See also: List of Honorary Doctors of Victoria University of Wellington

Fleur Adcock, (MA) poet, Queens Gold Medal for Poetry recipient
Barbara Anderson, (BA) author, poet
Michelle Ang, (BCA, BSc) actor
Sir Brian Barratt-Boyes, (BSc) cardiologist
Dr John Cawte Beaglehole, (BA, MA) Captain Cook expert, OM recipient
Sir Michael Hardie Boys, (BA, LLB) former Governor-General of New Zealand
Sarah Billinghurst, (BA) artistic director Metropolitan Opera
Dr Robert Burchfield, (BA) lexicographic scholar
Alistair Campbell, (BA, DipT) poet, novelist
John Campbell, (BA(Hons)) New Zealand television personality
Philippa Campbell, (BA) New Zealand film and television producer and theatre development executive
Jane Campion, (BA) Oscar and Palme DOr winning director/screenwriter
John Clarke, (Honorary Doctor of Letters) creator of Fred Dagg
Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords
Nellie Euphemia Coad, (MA) teacher, community leader, author
Baron Cooke of Thorndon, (LLB, LLM) former Law Lord
Frank Corner, (MA, Honorary Doctor of Laws) New Zealand diplomat, public servant
Andrew Digby, (PhD) Astronomer and ecologist, working in conservation of New Zealands endemic birds
Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, (LLB) former Chief Justice of New Zealand
Sir Randal Elliott, (BSc) social campaigner, surgeon
Edith Farkas (1921-1993), Hungarian-born New Zealand meteorologist who measured ozone levels[43]
Gareth Farr, (BMus(Hons)) Composer, Percussionist
Sir Michael Fay, (LLB) merchant banker, third-richest person in New Zealand
John Feeney, documentary filmmaker, nominated for two Academy Awards
Chris Finlayson, (BA, LLM) Attorney-General, MP
Dr Alexander Gerst, (MSc) German ESA astronaut
Patricia Grace, (DipTchg, Honorary Doctor of Literature) author
Prof Harry Hawthorn, (BA) NZ-Born Canadian anthropologist
Hon. Georgina te Heuheu, (BA, LLB) MP
Dr Fred Hollows, (BA) NZ-Born eye surgeon
Don Hunn, (MA) State Services Commissioner
Sir Jack Hunn, (LLM) New Zealand public servant
Prof Witi Ihimaera, (BA, Honorary Doctor of Literature) author of Whale Rider
Moana Jackson, (BA LLB) Maori lawyer specialising in Treaty of Waitangi and constitutional issues
Sir Robert Jones, (BA) property tycoon
Lloyd Jones, (BA) author, Commonwealth Writers Prize recipient
Sir Kenneth Keith, (LLM, Honorary Doctor of Laws) international jurist
Roger Kerr, Executive director of New Zealand Business Roundtable
Chong Kah Kiat, (LLB, LLM (Hons)) Former Chief Minister of Sabah state
Hon. Sir Doug Kidd, (LLB) former Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
Dr Michael King, (BA, DLitt) historian
Sir George Laking, (LLB) New Zealand diplomat, public servant
Dianne Macaskill, Chief Archivist
Prof Alan MacDiarmid, (BSc, MSc, Honorary Doctor of Science) winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2000
Sir Jack Marshall, (BA, LLB) former Prime Minister
Sir Thaddeus McCarthy, (LLM) Court of Appeal judge
Sir Alister McIntosh, (MA) New Zealand public servant
Bret McKenzie, Flight of the Conchords
Dr John Money, (BSc) sexologist
Sam Neill, (BA) actor
W. H. Oliver, (MA) historian, poet, writer
Teima Onorio, (BA) Vice President of Kiribati
Simon ONeill, M.Mus, (BMus(Hons), Honorary Doctor of Music) International Opera Singer
Lorae Parry, (MA) Playwright and Actress
Mark Paston (BSc) All Whites goalkeeper for the 2010 Fifa World Cup
Sir Guy Powles, (LLB) New Zealand diplomat, first Ombudsman
Dr Christopher Pugsley, military historian
Beverley Randell, (BA, TTC) author
Sir Paul Reeves, (BA, MA) former Governor-General of New Zealand and Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand
Dr Jonathan Sarfati, (BSc(Hons), PhD) author, New Zealand Chess Champion
Tuiloma Neroni Slade (LL.B.), Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum
Conrad Smith, (LLB(Hons)) current All Black
Jacqueline Sturm, (BA, MA, Honorary Doctor of Literature) wife of the late James K. Baxter
Dr Bill Sutch, (BCA, MA) public servant, suspected spy
Leslie Denis Swindale, soil scientist and Padma Bhushan awardee
Sir Ronald Syme, (MA) classicist historian, OM recipient
Sir Brian Talboys, (BA) former Deputy Prime Minister
Fran Walsh, (BA, Honorary Doctor of Literature) multiple Oscar winner, wife of film director Peter Jackson
Dr Marilyn Waring, (BA(Hons)) feminist, former MP, Professor at AUT
Albert Wendt, (MA) author, Samoan poet
Maarten Wevers, diplomat and civil servant, former Chief Executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Gillian Whitehead, (BMus(Hons), Honorary Doctor of Music) New Zealand composer
Sir Richard Wild, (LLM) former Chief Justice of New Zealand
Thomas Stafford Williams, (BCA) New Zealands only living cardinal
Simon Wilson, (BA) editor of Metro
Alison Wright, (BA) New Zealand athlete and record holder[citation needed]
Martin Wylie, CEO of Slingshot
Jack Yan, (LLB, BCA(Hons), MCA) businessman, publisher, Good Morning panellist
John Stuart Yeates (PhD (Botany)) academic, founding staff member of Massey University
Peter Dengate Thrush (BSc, LLB) Chairman of ICANN
Taika Waititi, (BA) Filmmaker, writer, and actor