ROBBIE EWEN FELLOWSHIP FOR ADMINISTRATORS - Auckland University and Otago University New Zealand - November/December 2001

Page created by Melanie Salinas

                  Carol Baverstock
              Assistant Faculty Officer
      Arts & Divinity and Social Sciences & Law

              Auckland University
               Otago University

    New Zealand – November/December 2001


Aims and Objectives

   1.   Programme Development
   2.   Course Planning
   3.   Recruitment and Developing links with the community
   4.   Student Support and Retention
   5.   International Postgraduate Recruitment


Appendix A - Staff met at Auckland University
Appendix B - Staff met at Otago University

                           Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report   1
Auckland University, North Island, New Zealand
The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s largest university. Established in 1883 it currently
provides a comprehensive range of research-based study programmes to approximately 26,000
students. Almost 1,000 are international students from 60 different countries.

In 2000 The Asiaweek in its ranking of over a 100 universities, placed Auckland University 17th for
research, 19th for academic reputation and 21st overall. This placed Auckland significantly ahead of
any other New Zealand University and 5th in Australasia. This confirmation of the University’s
standing is underlined by its position as the only New Zealand member to two international consortia
of eminent research-led universities - Universitas 21 and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities.

Otago University, South Island, New Zealand
Founded in 1869, Otago values its heritage as New Zealand’s oldest university and has earned an
international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching. The University currently caters
for approximately 17,000 students (1,200 are international).

The University of Otago is strongly committed to international education and has collaborative
research and student exchange agreements with major institutions in Asia, South America, the
United States, Canada and Europe. Otago is proud of its outstanding teaching and research record
across the areas of Sciences, Humanities, Health Sciences and Business. The university regularly
wins the major portion of Health Sciences research funding in New Zealand and is a leading
contender for contestable funding in other areas.

As in the UK, New Zealand universities face a downward trend in public funding and they are
looking to increase income from student fees. In addition, they are aiming to maximise revenues
from external research funding, research contracts, private donations and sponsorship.

Competition in higher education has increased and both Auckland and Otago are feeling the effects
of other institutions encroaching on their traditional catchment areas. Polytechnics aspire to the title
of university and overseas institutions are franchising their courses through local institutions.

To address the pattern of low growth in terms of student enrolments, the University of Auckland
recognises the need to introduce innovative academic programmes and positive recruitment policies.
It does not anticipate an increase in the number of school leavers entering undergraduate degrees but
believes the growth in demand lies with international students (particularly postgraduates) and
recently arrived migrants. In addition to increasing enrolment, Auckland is committed to improving
the performance of those students who are enrolled and to retain increasing proportions of students
through to graduation.

Both institutions actively recognise the international trend towards student-centred, flexible learning.
Education is regarded as a life-long activity and Auckland and Otago provide courses to meet the
differing demands of students from a wide variety of backgrounds within or beyond New Zealand.
Otago has also developed a vigorous Distance Education Programme, teaching to locations
throughout New Zealand and also to various sites in Australia and Fiji.

In line with Government and SHEFC policies the University of Aberdeen is committed to widening
participation in addition to increasing recruitment and improving student retention. Both the Faculty
of Arts & Divinity and Faculty of Social Sciences & Law have been involved with the working
parties established to investigate a number of issues such as student advising, student retention and
programme development.

                                Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report            2
The universities in New Zealand operate in a similar fashion to Aberdeen and other Scottish
institutions. Unlike domiciled Scottish students, New Zealand students are required to meet the cost
of their tuition fees and these are banded according to subjects selected. Student Allowances are
means tested and administered by Work and Income New Zealand.

Modular based programmes are in operation with students working to achieve ‘points’ which are
similar to credits. In the areas of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, students enter University to
a specific course rather than a programme like the MA or BSc. However, in common with the MA
and BSc, entry to Honours is not automatic and New Zealand students are required to make an
application at the end of their first year.

Aims and Objectives

1. Programme Development

I am keen to investigate the policies and practices Auckland and Otago have adopted to ensure they
remain competitive and attractive and retain their market share of school leavers entering higher

The university system in New Zealand is unusual in that while it comprises administratively separate
institutions, they co-operate to maintain standards, and have done so for four decades.

The eight universities – Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, Waikato, Massey, Victoria,
Canterbury, Lincoln and Otago – differ in age and size but they do have much in common. They all
abide by the concept of academic freedom, which Parliament intended the Education Act 1989 to
preserve and enhance.

Each of the eight universities are autonomous institutions devoted to teaching and research, serving
their communities in a range of ways. To achieve these common objectives the institutions adopt a
range of strategies. They seek to ensure access to those who might benefit from the programmes
available, to offer research-based teaching, to provide a stimulating intellectual environment and to
offer qualifications that have international acceptance.

While they are autonomous institutions, the universities have also worked together to improve access
and to maintain and advance standards, in that they employ measures such as peer review and
external assessment. A number of inter-university bodies are designed to carry out these objectives,
as well as more generally to exchange information on current activities and plans, and their activities
have endorsed and enhanced good practice.

Programme development and assessment have been and remain the focus of activity at the
institutional and inter-institutional levels. Following the demise of the national University of New
Zealand back in 1961, individual institutions continued to collaborate on these matters, and their
proposals for major new programmes and qualifications were subject not only to local consultation
and internal approval processes but also to inter-institutional approval by the Curriculum Committee
of the University Grants Committee (UGC). Since the abolition of the UGC a new committee was
established by the New Zealand Vice Chancellors’ Committee (NZVCC) – the Committee on
University Academic Programmes (CUAP). Unlike the UK, CUAP in New Zealand is responsible
for the approval and accreditation of new programme proposals and in addition, advises the NVCC
on academic policies affecting the universities in New Zealand.

A proposal for a new qualification or programme, or for major change to an existing offering, has to
proceed through various deliberative bodies in a university before it reaches CUAP, where it is

                                Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report            3
subjected to peer review across the university system at large. At various levels in the university,
student, non-academic and professional input is also sought. At CUAP, representatives of the
polytechnics and the colleges of education are involved, to ensure that a university’s plans for
substantial change are available for comment, and susceptible to change in the light of that comment.
Following scrutiny in this way proposals may be approved with alteration, referred back to the
university or rejected. Without approval from the likes of CUAP no proposal for a new programme
will be funded by the Ministry of Education.

The way in which students apply to University in New Zealand is completely different to the UK,
(there is no body similar to UCAS) and although students enter a degree programme, tuition fees are
not determined by choice of programme but by courses selected. Universities therefore compete
with one another to offer attractive degree programmes and courses and often good ideas from one
institution are then copied by others once approval from CUAP is received.

It is quite common in New Zealand for students to undertake two degree courses at the same time.
Within the regulations for each degree there is a specified number of points which can be cross-
credited from another degree. It is possible, for example, to complete an LLB (usually 4 years) and a
BA (usually 3 years) in five years.

Programme implementation and amendment at Aberdeen is subject to academic scrutiny through
such groups as Departmental Teaching Committees, Faculty Teaching Committees, Faculty Planning
Committees, Academic Standards Committee (ASC) and University Programme Committee (UPC)
and at the start of autumn each year departments complete the appropriate paperwork to instigate
change. This pattern of approval is no doubt similar to many other UK institutions. During the
planning process, paperwork is submitted to the Faculty Office for consideration by the Faculty
Planning Committee and thereafter ASC or UPC, however prior to implementation they are not
subject to the same level of peer review as in New Zealand. Auckland University is organised into
Schools and within Schools, Divisions. The School administrative set up is similar to our Faculties
and within each Division there is a smaller administrative team. As Auckland is twice the size of
Aberdeen, Schools are naturally larger and therefore the School administrative set up incorporates a
large variety of staff. The Academic Services Manager (ASM) works very closely with academic
staff in the preparation of Course and Programme Proposals and unlike Aberdeen, the ASM
completes a financial plan to determine the viability of the Course or Programme. No proposal is
allowed to progress unless the School Accountant can demonstrate income will be generated.
Auckland did not always adopt this method of scrutiny but instigated such a system when it became
clear that the University was losing money on certain courses.

It is imperative for Auckland and Otago to remain competitive and attractive and improve if possible
their market share in the undergraduate market. Students applying to University in New Zealand
must place a separate application with each institution and in many cases each institution duplicates
effort in determining authenticity of the information presented. Universities can go to great lengths
to attract students and Auckland in particular has invested heavily in modern technology to create
suites of information centres with extensive computer access in an attempt to ‘sign up’ all those who
come through the door.

Auckland’s main advantage is its location and although Wellington is the Capital, Auckland is by far
the largest city and with one third of the population, the University understandably recruits heavily
from the local area. Otago however is at the other end of the country with its main base in Dunedin.
They cannot compete with Auckland’s size or location but they attract large numbers of students
from all over New Zealand who flock to Dunedin to experience University life in a city that is very
much student focussed. Without the University, Dunedin would not be such a bustling, vibrant
place, particularly during term time when students make up about a quarter of the population. Otago
is famous for its campus lifestyle and is one of only a handful of universities around the world where

                                Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report           4
education is the main activity of the host city. Otago’s aim is to deliver a great student experience
and unlike Auckland, they can accommodate most students in halls or in private flats where students
enjoy some of the lowest rents in New Zealand.

2.   Course Planning

At Aberdeen, As a result of restructuring from Continuing Education to KEY Learning
Opportunities, the commitment to widening access has been re-emphasised. The MA Faculties are
keen to enhance provision for part-time and distance students and departments aim to strengthen
their work with KEY to identify and implement additional courses.

New Start and Continuing Education is Auckland’s approximate equivalent to the University of
Aberdeen’s KEY Learning Opportunities. New Start are celebrating their Silver Anniversary in
2001, course fees are kept to a minimum in keeping with the University’s commitment to equity of
access into degree studies and there is no academic requirement for entry.        The Continuing
Education programme offers 120 courses for people of all ages and like New Start there are no pre-

The current planning period for New and Amended Courses and Programmes requires forms to be
submitted to Faculties by 31st October each year. Last year the Faculty of Arts and Divinity in
particular were disappointed to note that none of the submitted New Course Proposal Forms
addressed delivery for part-time or distance students. To assist our departments in identifying
opportunities I would like to explore how Auckland and Otago collaborate and encourage their
departments to ensure courses developed for full-time undergraduate study are expanded to meet
needs of part-time and distance students.

In New Zealand, most degrees set minimum entry requirements but from the age of 20 all students
have an automatic right to embark on higher education regardless of previous qualifications. Not all
degrees are available, some of the professions such as Medicine and Law set minimum entry
requirements for all students. Once a student embarks on a degree there is no time limit to complete.
Most students graduate within three or four years but some take considerably longer.

New Zealand undergraduate degree programmes were originally based on the old Scottish system – a
three year degree incorporating 9 units with 4 or 5 different subjects, 1 or 2 taken to level three.
When the national University of New Zealand dissolved in 1961, each university set their own
degree structure. Otago stayed with an 8 unit degree until 1992 and then changed to a paper, with
each paper allocated points. Over the course of three years, 120 points to be achieved however there
is no time limit set on completion and some students take considerably longer to finish. The main
aim of introducing a paper system was to increase the flexibility and Otago have found that there is
now too much flexibility so are trying to cut back.

UK reviews such as TQA and QAA do not occur on a national scale in New Zealand at present
although each institution performs its own review process. In 1995 Otago became concerned about
the number of papers offered to students – teaching the papers costs money so it became essential to
establish the break even point. A working party was set up to look in particular at small departments
with low numbers of enrolments. Nowadays the review is carried out once a year and in 2001 58
papers were deleted. Papers offered to campus based students are removed if no enrolments for three
consecutive years and papers offered to distance students are removed after four years.

On the back of the working party, Otago developed Programme Review Guidelines and
Departmental Review Guidelines in 1997. In its Review Principles, Otago made a commitment to
review each aspect of its operations at least once every 5 to 7 years and in order to monitor this

                               Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report           5
commitment, a three year rolling schedule of reviews has been developed. Programme Review is a
review of an entire academic programme (degree or diploma) in the context of its regulations, overall
structure and management, the majors and papers which make up the programme, and other
programmes of a similar type. The primary focus of a Programme Review is the manner in which
the range of majors and papers offered contribute to that programme. A Departmental Review is a
review of an academic department and the findings of a Departmental Review with regard to its
particular contribution to a programme are used to inform a Programme Review. The findings of a
Programme Review should provide a Departmental Review with insight into the broader direction of
a Programme to which its papers and majors contribute.

Creating flexible learning is important to the University of Otago and for a while this was organised
through a Distance Education programme. Funding for this was devolved to Divisions and one of
the units created was the Higher Education Development Centre. The Centre seeks to work in
partnership with staff and students of Otago to promote, support and enhance the ideals, knowledge
and values of higher education. Services provided range from professional development
programmes, new academic staff induction, postgraduate programmes in tertiary teaching, student
learning assistance including the Student Learning Centre, mentoring for staff and students,
development of educational media, research in higher education and leadership development

When new courses/papers are developed, distance delivery is automatically considered and
innovative teaching methods are encouraged, particularly those of an electronic nature. Otago use a
message based/communication system known as Blackboard in addition to WebCT. A large number
of courses are offered through the Higher Education Development Centre and many of them are
available through Blackboard. The Centre now responds to changes in legislation to develop and
deliver papers to enhance an individual’s qualifications. This came about following a change of
legislation involving Hazardous Chemicals. To deliver the changes and discuss the implications with
his students, an academic developed a new paper and as a result, professionals working in the field
created a demand to upgrade their knowledge and qualifications.

The Department of Tourism at Otago has developed flexible delivery modes to attract distance
students. They use the Blackboard system and their PGDiploma course has high industry
recognition within a growing market. In developing e-learning, Otago realised they could not under
estimate the cost and time associated with web resources. Not all distance students appreciate or
perform well under this form of delivery and therefore regular ongoing personal contact is still

Auckland University has developed a number of objectives to ensure their degree programmes
remain competitive and attract part-time and distance students in addition to full-time students.
Auckland acknowledge and embrace their special responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi, they
aim to attract, recruit and increase the number of students from target equity groups who have the
potential to succeed and to increase the retention and success rates of these groups.

Two of the target equity groups are Maori students and Pacific Island students and there are almost
4,000 at Auckland University. The University has partnership agreements with other institutions to
allow Maori and Pacific Island students to attend classes at venues out with Auckland. In addition,
there is an administrative structure (Te Wananga o Waipapa) for the development of all things Maori
and it encompasses all Maori institutions, programmes and degrees, staff and students within the
University. Admission schemes for Maori and Pacific Islands students are in place and most
Faculties offer a number of places specially reserved for these students.

                               Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report           6
Auckland, as mentioned previously, is committed to Lifelong Learning and New Start is one of
several academic support courses available to students who wish to embark on a university degree.
All the courses are part-time and costs are kept to a minimum in keeping with Auckland’s
commitment to equity of access into degree studies. Maori students and Pacific Islands students are
encouraged to make use of New Start, particularly is they are over the age of 20 and not in
possession of a University Entrance Qualification. Additional support is provided for Maori and
Pacific Islands students in the form of Equity Advisors. The Advisors are in place to ensure the
students receive all the assistance they need to have full access to a University education. This
ranges from visiting schools to talk to students about going to University, to acting as a first point of
support for students with problems or questions. Other services provided include: enrolment advice
and assistance; assistance with programme planning; information on scholarships and grants; and
orientation for first-year students. In addition all Faculties and most Departments have a staff
member assigned to offer advice and support.

The University of Auckland has a Summer School that, in addition to servicing the needs of current
students, is designed to provide opportunities for students from other tertiary institutions to study
courses which may be credited back to their home institutions. The Summer School provides the
opportunity for students to use part of the long summer break to begin or continue their university
degree. For some students the benefit will be seen to accrue from being able to progress through
their programme more quickly, or to compensate for a poor performance in a previous semester or to
spread a heavy workload. For others, Summer School may provide an opportunity for flexibility
enabling the completion of a double major combination. In February each year there is Summer
Study Skills in essay writing, beginners’ statistics and efficient reading and classes are held during
the day and evening.

3. Recruitment and Developing Links with the Community

KEY Learning Opportunities are involved in initiatives to expand and develop Aberdeen’s links with
the North East community in a formal capacity. The Faculty of Social Sciences & Law, in particular
the Department of Politics and Relations, has established links with secondary schools throughout
the North East to provide a one day conference for Higher Modern Studies students. The primary
aim of the exercise is to provide students with supplementary knowledge so as to improve their
performance in the Higher exam. The conference also promotes the University and the work of the
department and provides an insight for prospective students on the style of teaching. As Co-
ordinator of the Conference I wish to find out how Auckland and Otago promote their courses and
explore the type of links they have with secondary schools in their immediate communities.

One of my areas of responsibility is the MA Open Day – an event specifically for MA applicants
who have received an offer to study at the University. We must ensure the visit for the student is a
fun, rewarding, interesting and stimulating experience and convince them to select Aberdeen as their
Firm choice. The event caters for both student and parent and evidence suggests that a visit to the
King’s College Campus plays a significant part in determining an applicants final selection.

In addition, I am a member of the General Open Day Taskforce Group. This annual event serves a
different purpose to the MA Open Day and attracts significantly more students. The General Open
Day is an opportunity for those considering University to see at first hand the facilities and
programmes offered by Aberdeen. For 2001/2002 entry to Aberdeen, the application rate increased
by 17% an indication perhaps of the success of the Open Day August 2000.

Liaison Officers at Otago provide intending students with information and advice about courses and
other aspects of university life. They are all experienced and highly qualified educationalists with
detailed first hand knowledge of the university and Dunedin.

                                 Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report            7
There are 406 secondary schools in New Zealand and the Liaison Officers try to visit each school
twice a year. The second visit coincides with the arrival of registration packs and often Student
Ambassadors assist at this time. Situated at the south of the South Island, Dunedin, like Aberdeen is
not situated within the main student population catchment area. The funding system changed around
10 years ago towards a student loan based system and this had an impact on the concept of schools
liaison, advertising and marketing. For the majority of students attending Otago, living away from
home is unavoidable and Otago market this in a positive way. Extensive accommodation options
are available ranging from Halls to flats to private board. For those wishing to organise their own
accommodation, the Accommodation Office organises a hospitality programme. Help desks are set
up at Dunedin airport and on campus. In addition, daily tours of the main student accommodation
areas are available to assist students in their quest to find a flat or lodgings. The majority of first year
students choose to live in Halls and each Hall functions as a community. The Warden operates the
Hall like a business and each compete with one another to offer students the best service. Students
must abide by the rules and regulations and the Halls are well maintained. Most rooms are single
study bedrooms no different to standard rooms in the UK. It is the additional services provided
within the Halls that set them apart. Recreation facilities come in the form of snooker and pool
tables, relaxing lounges and tv areas, music rooms, lockable bike sheds, exercise and fitness studio,
film evenings, minibus transport service to campus, computing facilities and tutorials. As part of the
fee paid to live in the Hall, the Wardens employ academic staff to provide additional tutorial support
throughout the term. Catering is also managed and organised by the Warden and can vary from Hall
to Hall.

To respond to enquiries Otago established the Contact Centre to handle the increasing number of
telephone calls in response to TV and press advertising. Postgraduate students and staff man this
service and they are the point of contact for all enquiries. Information is supplied to them on all
topics so that they can respond efficiently to callers. A freephone number is available for all current
and prospective students and the Contact Centre has service level agreements with all academic
divisions. They use an electronic system known as the Action Remedy System and any queries that
cannot be handled by the Contact Centre are automatically forwarded to the appropriate academic
division for action.

In initiative run by the School of Education was put into place following Government changes to the
regulations for the training of teachers. With the College of Education in Dunedin, Otago offer a
BEd conjoint four year degree and on their own a Graduate Secondary programme. This is a two
year qualification and unique to Otago. Other New Zealand institutions run a one year programme
however schools are realising that the two year programme is more beneficial as a reflective teaching
programme is taught. In addition, the School of Education is also working with schools to promote
professional development for Principals. This allows teachers with older qualifications to update
their skills and upgrade to a degree.

The Marketing function is held centrally and controlled by the Director of Marketing. Each Division
(academic and non-academic) has a Divisional Marketing Co-ordinator who works very closely with
Marketing to ensure the corporate identity is maintained in all promotion material. Divisions have
their own budget to produce leaflet and booklets, however they must remain within the designated
guidelines. Design is in-house and staff are employed with the appropriate background and
experience. The Director of Marketing is responsible for the following areas:-

 •   Schools Liaison
 •   Auckland Representative
 •   Wellington Representative
 •   Media Management
     • Media management, Public relations

                                  Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report              8
•   Marketing Strategy
•   Communications
    • Advertising, Promotions & Events, Publications, Brand management
•   Alumni & Development
•   Website
•   Call Centre

Marketing campaigns are directed through advertising in newspapers, student publications and
television and radio. Staff also attend Career Fairs and communicate regularly with Careers
Advisers in schools. Information request postcards are also extensively distributed. and it is not
uncommon for New Zealand Universities to set up offices in cities well away from the main/home
campus. Otago has a media profile in Auckland and are looking to improve on this. The Auckland
office serves as an information point, recruitment office and teaching unit.

Otago have a marketing corporate style and Divisions are required to use this style to prepare
promotional material. One page Infosheets have been developed for distribution to prospective
students and these have been written by a journalist in a bid to ensure the material is presented in a
way 17-19 year olds appreciate.

Other initiatives involve encouraging academic staff to talk to the media about their research work
and experiences to raise the University profile. Web development is also expanding and Otago
recognise the need to ensure front-line pages conform to a corporate style. For this reason, the web
development function sits within the Marketing Division.

Otago hold Information Days usually in May of each year during the term. Two days are selected
and the purpose is to allow visiting school students the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of
the Otago campuses, to attend special presentations and tours and to visit the Residential Halls and
Colleges. It is usual for almost all schools from Otago, Southland and South Canterbury to attend
and in recent years some of the northern schools regularly send interested students south. The
Marketing Division at Otago also works closely with airline operators and Air New Zealand in
particular to offer reduced travel rates during Information Days and key dates within the term.

Auckland, like Otago, has developed a marketing corporate style and all Faculties and Departments
are required to use the template whilst retaining the opportunity to create individual items. Each
year, in September, Auckland organises a Courses and Careers Day and it is geared to students to
allow them to discover the qualifications that are right for them. The event is university wide
receives extensive media coverage.

In 2001 the Student Recruitment and Course Advice Team developed a strategy to promote
Auckland University. The Team wish to attract more students south of the Bombay Hills and will
attend more Recruitment Fairs in the appropriate areas. There is a need to maintain and improve the
Auckland effort and the Team will continue with course planning visits to local schools. The Team
has developed Key Messages and these are to be applied consistently in talks, presentations and
publicity material. Visits from students to the University are largely ad hoc and the Team aim to
develop a more structured approach and provide events for specific audiences. Auckland is to be
projected as an affordable and friendly option and the Team will approach Tourism Auckland to see
if they will provide money and resources to fly some students to Auckland.

                                Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report           9
4. Student Support and Retention
The University of Aberdeen is currently reviewing student retention. Although I am not directly
involved, I understand the working party believes that improvements can be achieved with the
introduction of additional advisers to share the advising workload. The MA Faculties for the coming
academic year plan to recruit more advisers in an attempt to reduce the student load from 60 to 40
per adviser. This is an interim measure, with the working party reporting in the autumn plans for
long term provision.

An effective advising system is not the only element in improving student retention. Many other
issues such as student hardship and stress can contribute to withdrawal.

Auckland is committed to ensuring enrolled students graduate. To aid the process, they established
in 1998 a Student Assistance Task Force. The group considered numerous issues, such as financial
stress, following the introduction in 1992 of tuition fees and the student loan system (tagged to
parental income). I would like to explore the practices and policies Auckland and Otago adopt to
support students. Since establishing the significant impact finance has on students I would be
interested to learn how successful Auckland has been in improving student retention.

The University of Otago offers a comprehensive range of student services.

The Student Learning Centre provides academic support to all students, at all levels of study. Study
skills workshops are held regularly throughout the year, and individual assistance on any matter
relating to study is also available.
The Careers Advisory Service provides assistance with career decision-making at any stage during
degree study.
Disabilities, Otago’s aim is that no student with a disability is penalised because of their disability.
To gain a qualification at Otago, students with disabilities are expected to achieve to the same level
as their peers and there is a wide range of specialised support systems for disabled students.

Since 1991, Otago has recognised that within its wider student population a number of students have
disabilities which require the provision of a more specialised and flexible learning support. The
university, acknowledging that the traditional learning environment disadvantaged these students put
in place provision for specialised support and services to ensure equitable access to educational
opportunity. New Zealand universities have an obligation to address the needs of students with
disabilities under a number of Acts and Otago has acknowledged the rights of students with
disabilities in its Charter and Strategic Direction to 2005. Between 1992 and 1997 one individual
was in place to staff the Disability Office and the numbers of students supported and the services
delivered were dictated by the time and funding available. During this time the Disability Office had
a purely operational focus. In 1998 additional Government funding was provided, the Disability
Office employed more staff and the Disability Co-ordinator developed a more management role and
strategic approach. The new role for the six full-time members of staff in the Disability Office is to:
identify students and staff with disabilities and provide prompt, targeted individual assistance to
those who require it to achieve their full potential; to foster an inclusive environment where people’s
differences and differing needs in relation to Disability are understood, accepted and valued; to assist
teaching staff in the delivery of teaching support to students with disabilities; and to act as a resource
for university staff and students in relation to disability issues. Since 1998 the Disability Office at
Otago has seen an increase in the number of students indicating a disability on their enrolment form
and out of a population total of 17,618 in 2000, 2.9% of students receive assistance. The Disability
Office has demonstrated that their involvement and support has improved the exam and academic
performance of students with disabilities. There are a number of rooms on campus containing
specialist equipment and furniture for students with disabilities – scanning and editing systems,
screen magnification programme with screen reading capabilities, text reading technology for sight-
impaired and blind students, ergonomic furniture and electronically adjustable tables.

                                 Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report            10
Information Technology Services, computer resource rooms are located around the campus and
several are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Student Computing Services section of ITS
provides training in the use of computers and administers a ‘driver’s licence’ system for students to
gain individual access to resource rooms for word processing, access to computer assisted learning
programmes and various other computer resources.
Libraries, there are five University libraries, all fully computerised with online search facilities. The
newest library opened in 2001 and is a state of the art centre offering the university community a
fabulous environment to study.
Recreation services offer a comprehensive range of recreational facilities, activities and services on
and off campus. Students have access to a recreation centre, a sports centre, bush retreat hut,
aerobics, wide range of sports, courses, trips, and equipment hire. All the facilities are used
extensively and team sports are extremely popular. Sport is very important to New Zealand students
an annual levy is charged to access the facilities at Otago. 60% of students are from the North Island
and they do not have the same access to sports such as ski-ing as the South Island students. To that
end equipment hire is very important and very successful. Over 90 clubs are administered through
the Students’ Association and there is an annual University Games with over 3,000 competing.
During term time there are over 400 teams at any one time participating in team based sports.
Student Health and Counselling Service is situated very close to campus and provides general
medical services for a moderate charge. This charge is levied at Registration and thereafter services
are fee. It is a facility dedicated to students, like Aberdeen. The Service has an open door policy and
occupies a new purpose built building incorporating both the Student Health and Counselling
Service. Like Aberdeen, medical staff are regularly required to provide medical certification but this
request is only actioned if illness affects the submission of a significant piece of work.

The University Proctor at Otago has been in existence since 1965 and initially employed as a
bouncer. Nowadays the Proctor works very closely with students, the local business community and
the police, particularly as Dunedin is very much a university town. The Proctor also wears an
additional hat, the Campus Cop. Very often the Proctor is the point of contact, instead of the Police
when students get into difficulty meeting HP agreements or leave restaurants without paying. Within
the university environment, the Proctor has a recognised authority and can award fines, or award
community service.

Otago provides extensive support to students from the Maori and Pacific Island communities.
Within Student Services the Maori Centre, set up in 1989, provides an extensive support network
mainly through student volunteers. The Centre is available to non Maori students and many of these
students have a strong interest in Maori culture and tradition. Traditionally Maori and Pacific Island
students are low participants in further education and Otago willingly embraces its statutory
obligation to acknowledge the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. Upon enrolment, all Maori
students automatically become members of Te Roopu Maori, an association which represents Maori
students’ interests on campus. The Maori Centre encourages Maori students to participate and
succeed at Otago. It offers support for academic, cultural and social needs from pre-enrolment
through to graduation. One of the calendar highlights for the Centre is the Maori pre-graduation
ceremony. A University degree is cause for great celebration within the Maori community and at the
pre-graduation ceremony, students are given the opportunity to share their achievement with family
and friends.

Auckland, like Otago, provides a vast range of services and support programmes to assist students.
Auckland is much larger than Otago and the student experience is quite different. Auckland do not
have the same range of accommodation options as Otago and indeed the campus is spread out around
the city. A Student Information Centre is the ‘one-stop’ information resource for students in addition
to the active Students’ Association. Services comprise Careers, Chaplaincy, Childcare, Counselling,
Health Service, Legal Advice, Mediation, Radio Station, Shops, Sports, Student Job Search

                                 Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report            11
Neither University provided student retention statistics, it is their belief that they have a duty to
ensure the students receive assistance and support. The financial burden can be a consideration,
however as students are not obliged to complete a degree within a fixed timescale, some do elect to
move from a full-time mode to part-time.

5. International Postgraduate Recruitment
Both MA Faculties are tasked with improving international postgraduate recruitment. This is
recognised as a growth area by Auckland and Otago and I would be interested to learn how the
institutions hope to increase numbers. Otago has an extensive Distance Learning programme for
postgraduate students and this mode of delivery may be an option for Aberdeen to consider.

For over 17 years Otago has provided supportive distance learning, using a variety of learning
materials and teaching guidance. It is possible to study for individual papers which may be credited
towards a degree, or to study for an entire programme at a distance. The majority of postgraduate
students participating in distance learning are based in New Zealand, particularly as most
programmes require students to attend a residential school at some point. Many of the papers offered
are presented in the form of regular teaching sessions on the University’s national audioconference
network, Unitel New Zealand. The network can function as a single teaching room in which teachers
and students throughout New Zealand may communicate directly with one another.

Despite an extensive selection of graduate programmes, postgraduate recruitment in general is
difficult. To respond to the lifelong learning initiative, Otago University developed the Diploma for
Graduates (DipGrad). The keynote of this programme is its flexibility: it is based on tailor-made
courses, each being planned to meet individual requirements. The DipGrad programme is designed
for those who require:-

•   Refresher and/or additional education in the subject of their first degree, diploma or other
•   Knowledge and expertise in a subject other than that of their first degree, diploma or other
•   A bridging qualification providing access to a course of higher study, such as a PhD or a Masters

Otago believe one of the main features of the DipGrad is that it allows new or recent university
graduates to progress into another subject area. For those not holding a university qualification but
who have adequate qualifications and experience for admission, the programme offers a university
continuing education, a university qualification, and, in many cases, access to postgraduate study.

The DipGrad is planned on the basis of the applicant’s qualifications and is made up of papers taught
within the university. Full time the programme will take one year to complete, part-time two years
however there is no time limit for completion.

Otago currently attracts international postgraduate students from the following areas:-

Asia         65
Africa       6
Americas     36
Europe       71
Oceania      10
Other        6
Total        194

                                Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report           12
Most of Otago’s international students who attend full time are enrolled in undergraduate degrees or
in postgraduate degrees and diplomas. The Foundation Year programme offered at Otago is
designed to help students from different countries gain knowledge in subjects relevant to courses
offered at New Zealand and Australian universities. The programme offers students a standard
university entrance qualification and an excellent educational base for further academic studies.
After completing the Foundation Year to the required standard, students are guaranteed a place in the
first year course for which they have prepared.

To attract international students, particularly postgraduates, Otago promotes a range of international

International Undergraduate Scholarships – is awarded for each year of study
International Master’s Scholarships – partial funding is awarded to students of outstanding merit
International PhD Scholarships – partial funding is awarded to students of exceptional academic
ability to undertake a research only PhD

Postgraduate scholarships are also available each year to students from Malaysia, Canada, United
Kingdom, France, Germany and United States of America.

The New Zealand Government also offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships to
students from targeted countries for study at New Zealand tertiary institutions. The scholarships
have developmental focus, and are designed to aid the social and economic development of eligible

The Student International Centre at Otago aims to enhance services provided to internationally
mobile students. The International Admissions team assists students to make informed academic
decisions, the Study Abroad and Exchange team promotes short-term international study
opportunities and the Student Support team enables internationally mobile students to integrate into
university study. The Student International Centre provides an extensive support system to
international students to ensure their stay is a positive one. Each student is met at the airport and
taken to their accommodation. Usually this is the halls of residence for international students. If
accommodation is in the private sector, the student is given a brief introduction to the facilities and
shown in particular how to use the power and kitchen equipment. Within 48 hours of arrival, a
briefing session is held. Students are in groups no larger than 15 and given important information on
how to contact the emergency services, rules and regulations associated with driving and cycling,
guidance provided on the weather and outdoor activities. An orientation programme is held before
classes commence to explain exam procedures, student support services, tours of the city.
Throughout their stay, an international student receives regular communication from the Student
International Centre through various mediums such as web, email and newsletter.

At postgraduate level Otago have found that students are not looking for research programmes or
research experience, partly because of the expense associated with the length of study. Demand
from the Asian market in particular is for a one year Masters programme that allows students to
move into another area as quickly as possible to improve their employability and earning capability.
Otago find it difficult to recruit research students so have been looking at ways to improve the
situation. In preparing research funding applications, academics are encouraged to cost in a PhD
research student. Otago is rapidly expanding institutional partnerships – joint research collaborations
could well realise additional research students. As mentioned above, postgraduate scholarships are
available to students from Germany and France, this is a government to government agreement and
Otago would like to see this scheme extended. Approximately 160 overseas agents are in place to
promote programmes at Otago and they are looking to focus on their strength areas. The
Undergraduate Study Abroad programme is very popular and Otago aim to ensure a visiting
student’s experience is a very positive one - student may elect to return for postgraduate study at a

                                Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report           13
later date. Otago are trying to develop links with the USA and since September 11, Otago has
noticed an increased interest in academic positions from US based academics. Otago is aware that as
part of the evaluation process to determine value, an American company’s financial standing will
take account of the qualifications held by the workforce. Otago MBA and PhD graduates can find
themselves headhunted as some companies look to employ management personnel with these

One of the initiatives implemented by the Faculty of Arts to attract postgraduate students is the
creation of the Postgraduate Centre. This dedicated state of the art facility is equipped with study
areas, computing facilities, a lounge area, kitchen and showers and is operated and maintained by the
postgraduate students themselves. Employment opportunities are available to both home and
overseas postgraduates and the university allows full-time masters students to work in some
departments as paid tutors in undergraduate teaching courses. PhD students can act as a laboratory
demonstrator/teaching assistant in addition to marking duties. Auckland market their Scholarships
and Grants and these are available in the form of Doctoral Scholarships, Masters Scholarships,
International Scholarships and Specialist Scholarships. Exchange Schemes are in place and like
Otago many are Government to Government arrangements.

Auckland expect applications to a graduate programme to be in the same subject or subject area as
the undergraduate degree. If the undergraduate degree is assessed as insufficient preparation, a
student may be required to complete a bridging programme. A bridging programme comprises
courses recommended by the Graduate Adviser and it will vary in content and length but usually
lasts for one or two semesters.

I would like to thank the Trustees of the Robbie Ewen Fellowship and the University of Aberdeen
for giving me the opportunity to visit Auckland University and Otago University in New Zealand.
The visit was tremendously beneficial and the staff I met at both institutions were extremely helpful
and friendly. They all gave considerable amounts of their time and ensured that my social time was
equally rewarding.

                               Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report          14
Appendix A

                                                       Auckland University

Gay B Brennan – Group Manager – Academic Administration
Postal Address                  Location
Student Administration          The ClockTower
The University of Auckland      22 Princes Street
Private Bag 92019               Auckland
Auckland                        Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 7797 Fax 64 9 373 7403
New Zealand                     Email:

Lorraine Evening – Women in Science and Engineering Equity Adviser – Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (EO)
Postal Address                    Location
The University of Auckland        Faculty of Engineering, 20 Symonds Street, Room 2.421
Private Bag 92019                 Ground Floor, Building 402
Auckland                          Faculty of Science, 38 Princes Street, Room 178
New Zealand                       Level 7, Building 303
                                  Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 8606/3034
                                  Fax 64 9 373 7428

Michael Graves – Department of History – Faculty of Arts
Postal Address                     Location
The University of Auckland         5-7 Wynyard Street
Private Bag 92019                  Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand              Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 8319 Fax 64 9 373 7438

Billie Harbidge – Registrar - Faculty of Arts
Postal Address                        Location
The Faculty of Arts                   Human Sciences Building
The University of Auckland            10 Symonds Street
Private Bag 92019                     Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand                 Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 8425 Fax 64 9 373 7478

Catherine Henderson – Group Manager New Start
Postal Address                  Location
New Start                       Room 220, The ClockTower
The University of Auckland      22 Princes Street
Private Bag 92019               Auckland
Auckland                        Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 7823 Fax 64 9 308 2351
New Zealand                     Email:

Katrina Hope – Student Finance Officer
Postal Address                     Location
The University of Auckland         Room The ClockTower
Private Bag 92019                  22 Princes Street
Auckland, New Zealand              Auckland

Christine Kellar – Alumni Director
Postal Address                       Location
Alumni Association                   Alumni House
The University of Auckland           Old Government House Grounds
Private Bag 92019                    1 Symonds Street
Auckland, New Zealand                Auckland
                                     Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 7600 Fax 64 9 373 7469

Lynn Lander – Programme Manager, Community Studies – Centre for CE
Also met Briar O’Connor – Centre for CE
Postal Address                        Location
Centre for Continuing Education       The ClockTower
The University of Auckland            22 Princes Street
Private Bag 92019                     Auckland
Auckland                              Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 7037 Fax 64 9 373 7419
New Zealand                           Email:
                                      Briar Email:

                                       Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report                   15
Dr Emmanuel Manalo – Director – The Student Learning Centre
Postal Address                   Location
The Student Learning Centre      First Floor, General Library Building
The University of Auckland       5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019                Auckland
Auckland                         Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 7896 Fax 64 9 373 7076
New Zealand                      Email:

Hana Mata’u – Academic Services Manager, Faculty of Arts
Postal Address                   Location
The Faculty of Arts              Room 506, Level 5, Human Sciences Building
The University of Auckland       10 Symonds Street
Private Bag 92019                Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand            Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 8577 Fax 64 9 367 7161

Stewart McElwain – Group Manager, Student Affairs - Student Administration
Postal Address                  Location
Alumni Association              The ClockTower
The University of Auckland      22 Princes Street
Private Bag 92019               Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand           Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 2973 Fax 64 9 373 7078

Claire L Morrison – Consortium Registrar – Auckland Consortium for Theological Education
Postal Address                    Location
Tamaki Campus                     Morrin Road
The University of Auckland        Glen Innes
Private Bag 92019                 Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand             Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 6672 Fax 64 9 373 7015

Warwick B Nicoll – Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar – Office of the Vice-Chancellor
Postal Address                       Location
The University of Auckland           The Registry
Private Bag 92019                    24 Princes Street
Auckland                             Auckland
New Zealand                          Telephone 64 9 373 7517 Fax 64 9 373 7407

Colin Prentice – Schools Director – Office of the Vice-Chancellor
Postal Address                       Location
The University of Auckland           The Registry
Private Bag 92019                    24 Princes Street
Auckland                             Auckland
New Zealand                          Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 4465 Fax 64 9 373 7407

Ann Shields – Registrar – Faculty of Law
Postal Address                       Location
The University of Auckland           Law School Buildings
Private Bag 92019                    9-17 Eden Crescent
Auckland                             Auckland
New Zealand                          Telephone 64 9 373 7599 ext 8001 Fax 64 9 373 7473

                                       Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report              16
Appendix B

                                                          Otago University

Wayne Angus – Manager – International Liaison - Research and International Office
Postal Address          Location
University of Otago     Room 1.15
PO Box 56               Clocktower Building
Dunedin                 Telephone 64 3 479 8361 Fax 64 3 479 8367
New Zealand             Email:

Pearl Barron – Manager – Maori Centre – Student Services
Postal Address           Location
University of Otago       519 Castle Street North
PO Box 56
Dunedin                   Telephone 64 3 479 5762 Fax 64 3 479 8490
New Zealand               Email:

Robyn Bridges – Graduate Recruitment Co-ordinator - Careers Advisory Service – Student Services
Postal Address           Location
University of Otago      Information Services Building
PO Box 56                Albany Street
Dunedin                  Telephone 64 3 479 8244 Fax 64 3 479 9148
New Zealand              Email:

Christine Colbert – Executive Assistant – Division of Humanities
Postal Address              Location
University of Otago         Fifth Floor
PO Box 56                   Burns Building
Dunedin                     Telephone 64 3 479 9769 Fax 64 3 479 5024
New Zealand                 Email:

Mary Cull – Manager, Careers Advisory Service – Student Services
Postal Address           Location
University of Otago      Information Services Building
PO Box 56                Albany Street
Dunedin                  Telephone 64 3 479 8243 Fax 64 3 479 9148
New Zealand              Email:

Amanda Dyer – Recreation Services – Student Services
Postal Address           Location
University of Otago      303 Great King Street
PO Box 56
Dunedin                  Telephone 64 3 479 5483 Fax 64 3 479 5481
New Zealand              Email:

Alison Finigan – Divisional Marketing Manager – Division of Humanities
Postal Address              Location
University of Otago         Fifth Floor
PO Box 56                   Burns Building
Dunedin                     Telephone 64 3 479 5997 Fax 64 3 479 5054
New Zealand                 Email:

Bob Gibson – Retail Manager, University Union – Student Support Services
Postal Address           Location
University of Otago
PO Box 968               660 Cumberland Street
Dunedin                  Telephone 64 3 479 5305 Fax 64 3 479 5316
New Zealand              Email:

Professor Chris Heath – Director, Higher Education Development Centre
Postal Address             Location
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin                    Telephone 64 3 479 8439 Fax 64 3 479 8362
New Zealand                Email:

                                        Carol Baverstock –Robbie Ewen Fellowship Report           17
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