Victoria University of Wellington
Te Herenga Waka
|Motto||Sapientia magis auro desideranda (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Wisdom is more to be desired than gold|
|ACU, AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS|
|Chancellor||Neil Paviour Smith|
|Students||22,273 (2017) |
Victoria University of Wellington (Māori: Te Herenga Waka) 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, engineering) is restricted.
Victoria had the highest average research grade in the New Zealand Government's Performance-Based Research Fund exercise in 2012, having been ranked 4th in 2006 and 3rd in 2003. Victoria has been ranked 215th in the World's Top 500 universities by the QS World University Rankings (2020).
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 company's offer of a donation of £1,000 if it were located in Kelburn so that students would patronise the Cable Car from the city. 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.
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 Zealand's 1961 demise, the merged college became Massey University on 1 January 1964.
In 2004, Victoria celebrated the 100th birthday of its first home, the Hunter Building.
Victoria has expanded beyond its original campus in Kelburn, with campuses in Te Aro (Faculty of Architecture and Design), and Pipitea (opposite Parliament, housing the Faculty of Law and Victoria Business School). Victoria also hosts the Ferrier Research Institute and the Robinson Research Institute in Lower Hutt, the Coastal Ecology Laboratory in Island Bay and the Miramar Creative Centre, in Park Rd, Miramar.
In 2015, Victoria opened a new campus in Auckland to service the growing demand for its courses and expertise.
In May 2018 it was reported that Victoria was exploring options to simplify its name to University of Wellington (as distinct from Wellington University in Fort Collins, Colorado and other entities). Vice-Chancellor Grant Guillford said that the university was pursuing a name change in order to reduce confusion overseas, as several other universities also carried the "Victoria" name. On 27 July 2018, the Victoria University of Wellington Council agreed in principle to the name change, as well as replacing the Māori name with Te Herenga Waka. Of the 2,000 public submissions on the name-change proposal, 75% strongly opposed it. Alumni and students strongly opposed the name change, staff gave mixed feedback, while other university stakeholders[which?] favoured the name change.
On 24 September 2018 Victoria University's Council voted by a majority of nine to two to change the university's name to the University of Wellington. The Council also voted to adopt the new Māori name of Te Herenga Waka. The University's Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford abstained from the vote, citing a conflict of interest. Critics such as Victoria University law professor Geoff McLay criticized the name change for erasing 120 years of history. By contrast, Chancellor Neil Pavious-Smith defended the outcome of the vote as "one decision in a much broader strategy to try and help the university really achieve its potential". The Council would submit its recommendation to the Minister of Education to make the final decision.
On 18 December 2018 the Minister for Education, Chris Hipkins, announced that he had rejected the University Council's recommendation, stating that the proposed change did not have sufficient support from Victoria's staff, students or alumni, and that such a change would not be in keeping with institution accountability or be in the national interest. On 6 May 2019 Victoria University's Council announced that it would not contest the Education Minister's decision to reject its name-change proposal. The name change had received exceptionally strong opposition from faculty, alumni, students, and the Wellington City Council.
Governance and administration
From 1938 to 1957, the head of administration was the principal. Since 1957, the head of administration has been the vice-chancellor. The following people held the role of principal and/or vice-chancellor:
- Tommy Hunter, 1938–1951
- James "Jim" Williams, 1951–1968
- Danny Taylor, 1968–1982
- Ian Axford, 1982–1985
- Leslie Charles Holborow, 1986–1998
- Michael Irving, 1998–2000
- Stuart McCutcheon, 2000–2004
- Pat Walsh, 2005–2013
- Grant Guilford, 2013–present
Campuses and facilities
Victoria University of Wellington has three campuses spread out over Wellington city. It also has premises in Auckland.
- The main campus is in the suburb of Kelburn, New Zealand, overlooking the Wellington Central business district, where the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences, Science, Engineering, Education and Health are based. Additionally, it is the location of the universities Central Library and the site of its administrative offices. The campus has a range of amenities including cafes, the university book store VicBooks ,a pharmacy and health services, childcare facilities and a sports and recreation centre. The Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association is based here.
- The Faculty of Management and the Faculties of Government, Law, Economics and Finance, Information Management, Marketing and International Business and Accounting and Commercial Law are located in the Pipitea Campus. The Campus is located near the New Zealand Parliament Buildings, consisting of Rutherford House, the Old Government Buildings and the West Wing of the Wellington railway station. It is the location of the Commerce and Law libraries. Student services available at the Pipitea campus include Student Health and Well-being, the Recreation Centre and VicBooks.
- The Faculty of Architecture and Design is located in the Te Aro Campus. The campus contains an Architecture and Design library.
The School of Business and Government offers selected courses at the Auckland premises, which are located in the Auckland CBD.
The Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory supports research programs in marine biology and coastal ecology on Wellington's rugged south coast.
The Miramar Creative Centre is located by the Weta Workshop buildings on Park Road, Miramar. The Centre offers access to work experience and connections with New Zealand's film, animation and game design industries.
The library was established in 1899. The collections are dispersed over four locations: Kelburn Library, Law 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 University's academic programme needs.
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 university's research freely available online and the RestrictedArchive, which is the university's private research repository and is accessible only to Victoria University staff and students.
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.
Organisation and administration
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.
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 faculties are:
- Faculty of Architecture and Design
- Victoria Business School
- Faculty of Education
- Faculty of Engineering
- Faculty of Graduate Research
- Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Faculty of Law
- Toihuarewa – a separate pan-University Faculty equivalent
Faculty of Law
The Faculty of Law is located in the restored Old Government Buildings at the centre of the country's 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 and led New Zealand's law faculties for research in the most recent Performance-Based Research Fund Evaluation.
It offers undergraduate degrees (LLB and LLB(Hons)) 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' Society organises social events as well as legal skills competitions 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 Professor Mark Hickford.
|Global – Overall|
|World University Rankings|
|QS World University Rankings||Academic Ranking of World Universities||Times Higher Education World University Rankings|
Research centres and institutes
Victoria has more than 40 research centres and institutes, including
- MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology
- Robinson Research Institute
- Ferrier Research Institute
- Malaghan Institute of Medical Research
- Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory
- Centre for Strategic Studies New Zealand
- Language Learning Centre
- Adam Art Gallery
- New Zealand Electronic Text Centre
- Antarctic Research Centre
To see more, browse an A-Z List of Research Centres and Institutes
Students' associations and student media
- Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA)
- Salient (student media)
Halls of residence
- 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: Whānau 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)
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. In October 2016 students protested the cut of several European languages, including the German language department losing 43% of staff. 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. This led the TEU to characterise the Vice-Chancellor Grant Guildford as being anti-union, and resulted in a one-day strike.
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. 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.
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. These included comments like "you've got to rape the paper, man, you can't let the paper rape you" and "at least ugly girls don't get raped". 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".
In 2010 there was widespread condemnation of Victoria University of Wellington removing the Gender Studies department. In 2017, a minor in Gender Studies was made available.
In April 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak, the university came under fire from students, politicians, and media for suddenly announcing at 48 hours notice that they would be charging students a "placeholder fee" ($150 per week) for student accommodation that they had been forcibly removed from, despite emails from the university previously telling those same students that they would not have to pay. Instead ensuring that the university kept its word regarding their initial claims about there being no fee payments (which many students are unable to afford due to losing part-time jobs), Vice Chancellor Grant Guilford threatened to fire staff from the university if the students failed to comply.
Notable academics and staff
- 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
- Sally Davenport, management academic
- Lloyd Geering, religious studies academic
- Robert Walker Hay FRSE, chemist
- Frank Holmes, economics academic
- George Edward Hughes, philosophy academic
- Joanna Kidman, sociologist
- Wendy Larner, social scientist, Provost
- Douglas Lilburn, music academic
- Richard Cockburn Maclaurin, mathematics academic
- Bill Manhire, author and poet
- Douglas Mews, academic and early keyboard specialist
- Paul Morris, religious studies academic
- Peter Munz, history academic
- Terence O'Brien, diplomat and academic
- Tipene O'Regan, Māori leader and education academic
- Vincent O'Sullivan, academic and poet
- Geoffrey Palmer, politician
- Matthew Palmer, law academic
- Pat Ralph, marine biologist; first woman at Victoria to be awarded a DSc
- Ivor Richardson, lawyer and academic
- Claudia Scott, public policy academic
- Kim Sterelny, philosophy academic
- Teresia Teaiwa, Pacific studies academic, author, poet
- Matt Visser, specialist in general relativity
- Colleen Ward, cross-cultural psychologist academic
- Colin J. N. Wilson, volcanology academic
- Whatarangi Winiata, Māori leader and Professor of Accountancy
- John Chapman Andrew, foundation Vice Chancellor
- Warwick Murray, geography and development studies academic, musician
- Nicholas Agar, philosophy academic
- Fleur Adcock, (MA) poet, Queen's 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
- Hera Lindsay Bird (MA (Poetry))
- 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 D'Or 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 Zealand's endemic birds
- Sir Thomas Eichelbaum, (LLB) former Chief Justice of New Zealand
- Sir Randal Elliott, (BSc) social campaigner, surgeon
- Bill English, (BA((Hons))), former Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Edith Farkas (1921–1993), Hungarian-born New Zealand meteorologist who measured ozone levels
- 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) Māori 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
- Chris Kraus, (BA) American writer
- Sir George Laking, (LLB) New Zealand diplomat, public servant
- Sarah Leberman, Sport management academic
- 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
- Dr Mary Morgan-Richards, (PhD) evolutionary biologist, professor at Massey University
- Sam Neill, (BA) actor
- W. H. Oliver, (MA) historian, poet, writer
- Teima Onorio, (BA) Vice President of Kiribati
- Simon O'Neill, 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
- Maraea Rakuraku, (MA) writer
- 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) creationist author, New Zealand Chess Champion
- Tuiloma Neroni Slade (LL.B.), Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum
- Conrad Smith, (LLB(Hons)) All Black 2004–2015
- 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
- Peter Dengate Thrush (BSc, LLB) Chairman of ICANN
- Viran Molisa Trief, first female Solicitor-General and Supreme Court judge of Vanuatu
- Taika Waititi, (BA) Filmmaker, writer, and actor
- 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
- Sir Maarten Wevers, diplomat and civil servant, former Chief Executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
- Dame 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 Zealand's only living cardinal
- Nicola Willis, (BA(Hons)), MP
- Simon Wilson, (BA) editor of Metro
- Alison Wright, (BA) New Zealand athlete and record holder
- 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
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Victoria University of Wellington.|
- Victoria University of Wellington's website
- Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association
- Victoria University of Wellington Library