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University of Waikato
Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Coat of Arms of the University of Waikato
MottoMāori: Ko te tangata
Motto in English
For The People
TypePublic research university
Established1964; 60 years ago
EndowmentNZ$13.6 million (31 December 2021)[1]
BudgetNZD $263.6 million (31 December 2020)[2]
ChancellorSir Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO, KStJ
Vice-ChancellorNeil Quigley
Administrative staff
1,499 (FTS, 2020)[2]
Students10,537 (EFTS, 2021) [3]
Location, ,
New Zealand (Māori: Kirikiriroa, Waikato, Aotearoa)

37°47′13″S 175°18′50″E / 37.78694°S 175.31389°E / -37.78694; 175.31389
65 ha (160 acres)
Student MagazineNexus
ColoursUW Red, Gold and Black
AffiliationsACU, ASAIHL,
The University of Waikato logo

The University of Waikato (Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato), established in 1964, is a public research university located in Hamilton, New Zealand. An additional campus is located in Tauranga.[4] The university performs research in numerous disciplines such as education, social sciences, and management and is an innovator in environmental science, marine and freshwater ecology, engineering and computer science. It offers degrees in health, engineering, computer science, management, Māori and Indigenous Studies, the arts, psychology, social sciences and education.[5]


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In the mid-1950s, regional and national leaders recognised the need for a new university and urged the then University of New Zealand (UNZ) and the government to establish one in Hamilton. Their campaign coincided with a shortage of school teachers, and after years of lobbying, Minister of Education Philip Skoglund agreed to open a teachers' college in the region. In 1960, the newly established Hamilton Teachers' College, joined by a fledgling university (initially a branch of the University of Auckland), opened a joint campus at Ruakura

In 1964, the two institutions moved to their new home, and the following year the University of Waikato was officially opened by then Governor-General Sir Bernard Fergusson.[6]

At that time, the university comprised a School of Humanities and a School of Social Sciences.[6] In 1969 a School of Science was established.[7] This was followed by the creation of the Waikato Management School in 1972,[6] Computer Science and Computing Services in 1973,[6] and the School of Law in 1990.[8]

In 1990 the Hamilton Teacher's college merged with the University of Waikato [9]

From the beginning, it was envisaged that Māori studies should be a key feature of the new university,[6] and the Centre for Māori Studies and Research was established in the School of Social Sciences in 1972.[6] A separate School of Māori and Pacific Development was formally established in 1996 and in 2016, became Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao, Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies.[10] In 1999, the original Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences were merged to form the School of Arts and Social Sciences.[11]

In 2018 the university was reorganised under a divisional structure which resulted in its Schools and Faculties being brought under four Divisions and a School; Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences, Division of Education, Division of Health, Engineering and Computer Sciences, Waikato Management School and the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies. Although the university has had a presence in Tauranga since the 1990s, it officially opened its dedicated Tauranga campus in 2019 located in Tauranga's CBD. This added to the university's presence in the Bay of Plenty with the Adams Centre for High Performance in Mount Maunganui and the Coastal Marine Field Station in Sulphur Point on the Tauranga Harbour. In November 2020, the university also opened a new algal research and aquaculture facility in Sulphur Point.

In July 2023, the Pā was opened in the heart of the University, following years of preparation and construction. The structure's name, the , refers to a fortified Māori village/settlement, occurring mainly north of New Zealand's Lake Taupō. Key components of this structure include the Marae, inside which is a Wharenui (meeting house), and the Student Hub, which includes study and meeting spaces, food and beverage retail stores, a social space, and a multi-purpose stage.[12]

The Kīngitanga, Waikato-Tainui and the university

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Born in the 1840s and 1850s, the establishment of the Kīngitanga was a united national response of Māori chiefs to the effects of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi, and the establishment of the settler Government. From its inception, the Kīngitanga has had the role of leading, governing and representing Māori, as the rafters on one side of the house of Aotearoa, with the Queen and her subjects as the rafters on the other.

In relation to the university, the Kīngitanga has played a pivotal role, with King Koroki giving his personal support to the establishment of a university in Kirikiriroa/Hamilton, which led to the project gaining the support of Waikato iwi. This is notable as, when the University of Waikato was set up in 1964, it was on a site that had been part of lands confiscated from Waikato-Tainui by the Crown in 1865, only returned later, in 1995.

The university and the Kīngitanga have had an active relationship over the course of the university's history, including the establishment of the new campus in Tauranga, and the awarding of honorary doctorates to a number of tribal members. Most recently, doctoral honours were awarded to Kīngi Tūheitia in 2016.

Proposed medical school

In October 2016, Waikato University and the Waikato District Health Board made a joint bid to the New Zealand Government to establish a third medical school in Hamilton. While the bid was opposed by the University of Auckland and the University of Otago (which host New Zealand's two medical schools), it was supported by Hamilton East Member of Parliament (MP) David Bennett of the National Party.[13] On 10 April 2017, several local and regional territorial councils voiced support for the proposed Waikato medical school at a meeting of the Waikato Mayoral Forum in Hamilton.[14] In November 2017, the Waikato District Health Board reiterated its support for the third medical school and outlined its proposal. The Waikato proposal envisioned a four-year graduate entry program focusing on clinical training and supporting local clinical services.[15]

In late June 2018, Waikato District Health Board interim chief executive Derek Wright confirmed there was no update on the third medical school apart from an indication that the Government would not make a decision on the proposal until 2019. Wright stated that district health board would continue lobbying for the Waikato medical school proposal.[16] In 2019, the Labour-led coalition government rejected the idea of establishing a third medical school and instead supported Health Minister David Clark's proposal for multi-disciplinary training hubs in rural areas. In November 2019, the National Party released a discussion document on education supporting the Waikato proposal during the lead-up to the 2020 New Zealand general election. National's proposal was supported by Waikato University Vice Chancellor Neil Quigley, the Waikato District Health Board, and the New Zealand General Practice Network.[17]

In May 2021, the university School of Health's leadership Dean Sarah Strasser and rural health Professor Roger Strasser revived the medical school proposal and proposed partnering with Māori, Pasifika and the rural community to improve local access to health services. This announcement came in light of the Labour Government's plans to reform the 20 district health boards into a Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand) and Te Aka Whai Ora (Māori Health Authority). The Health Minister Andrew Little did not rule out the Waikato medical school proposal during a rural health conference in Taupō but stated that work was needed. The National Party's health spokesperson Shane Reti supported the revived Waikato proposal, stating it was an opportunity to train rural doctors and partner with Māori communities.[18]

In early July 2023, the National Party made campaign pledge to build the Waikato medical school during the leadup to the 2023 New Zealand general election.[19][20] In September 2023, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reported that Vice-Chancellor Quigley had worked with several National Party figures including health spokesperson Reti, former National cabinet minister Steven Joyce and his lobbying firm Joyce Advisory to develop National's Waikato medical school policy. Waikato University then hired Joyce's former press secretary and political advisor Anna Lillis to promote the school. In response, Tertiary Education Union's Waikato University organiser Shane Vugler criticised the university leadership for compromising its political independence. According RNZ, Quigley had told a senior National MP that the Waikato Medical School could be a "gift" for a future National government.[21] In June 2023, RNZ had also reported that Waikato University had paid nearly NZ$1 million in consultancy fees to Joyce Advisory.[22] In response to media coverage, Luxon defended Waikato University's process for establishing a third medical school, and emphasised that National and Waikato had supported the proposal for several years.[23]

Administration and organisation


Division, Faculty, School[24]
Division of Arts, Law, Psychology & Social Sciences
Division of Health, Engineering, Computing & Science
Division of Education
Waikato Management School
Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao - Faculty of Māori & Indigenous Studies
University of Waikato College
Te Mata Kairangi School of Graduate Research
Research Institutes[25]
Environmental Research Institute (ERI): Te Tumu Whakaora Taiao
Institute of Professional Learning (IPL): Te Whai Toi Tāngata
National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA): Te Rūnanga Tātari Tatauranga
New Zealand Institute for Business Research (NZIBR): Te Pūtahi Rangahau Umanga o Aotearoa
Te Ipu o te Mahara: The Artificial Intelligence Institute
Te Mata Punenga o Te Kotahi: Te Kotahi Research Institute
New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science (NZISCS): Te Puna Haumaru
Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research (WMIER): Te Pūtahi Rangahau Mātauranga o Wilf Malcolm
The village green is the social hub of the University of Waikato's Hamilton campus
One of three lakes on the University of Waikato's Hamilton campus

The chief executive of the University of Waikato is the vice-chancellor, currently Professor Neil Quigley. The university is governed by a council, headed by the university's chancellor, who is currently former New Zealand governor-general Sir Anand Satyanand.[26]

Te Rōpū Manukura was formed in 1991 as a consultative body to the university council. Te Rōpū Manukura is currently made up of members from over 20 different iwi within the catchment area of the university.

The following list shows the university's chancellors:[27]

Name Portrait Term
1 Denis Rogers 1964–1969
2 Bruce McKenzie 1970–1972
3 Henry Bennett 1973–1978
4 Douglas Arcus 1979–1980
5 David Tompkins 1981–1985
(3) Henry Bennett 1986–1987
6 Joy Drayton 1988–1991
7 Gerald Bailey 1992–1997
8 Caroline Bennett 1998–2002
9 John Gallagher 2003–2005
10 John Jackman 2006–2007
11 Jim Bolger 2007–2019
12 Anand Satyanand 2019–present


The University of Waikato operates from two campuses, Hamilton, and Tauranga. Undergraduate degrees are also offered through a joint-institute on a satellite campus at Zhejiang University City College in Hangzhou.[28]


The main Hamilton campus is spread over 64 hectares of landscaped gardens and lakes, and includes extensive sporting and recreational areas. Originally farmland, the campus was designed by architect John Blake-Kelly in 1964. The open space landscaping contains extensive native plantings, including a fernery, centred around three lakes.[6]


The University of Waikato previously shared campuses with Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Tauranga at Windmere in the central city. In March 2019, the university opened a stand-alone campus in the central city.[29]

The Student Centre officially opened in 2011 by Waikato alumnus Governor-General Jerry Mateparae.[30]


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[31]801–900 (2023)
QS World[32]250 (2024)
THE World[33]401–500 (2024)
USNWR Global[34]=739 (2023)

In the latest 2021 QS rankings, The University of Waikato is ranked at 373 out of the world's top 1,000 universities. Additionally, the university has been ranked between 501 and 600 for the Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings and between 101 and 200 in the THE Impact Rankings.[35]

Notable people

Notable alumni

Main category: University of Waikato alumni

Waikato Management School

Division of Arts, Law and Social Sciences

Division of Health, Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences and Science

Division of Education

Faculty of Maori and Indigenous Studies

The University of Waikato's official website lists other notable alumni, referred as "Distinguished Alumni" by the university.[37]

Notable academic staff and honorary doctorates


  1. ^ "University of Waikato Anuual Report 2021" (PDF). Retrieved 1 December 2022.
  2. ^ a b "University of Waikato Annual Report 2020" (PDF). Waikato.ac.nz. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 July 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  3. ^ "2021 at a Glance". 2021 Annual Report of the University of Waikato. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  4. ^ "History of University of Waikato: University of Waikato". www.waikato.ac.nz. Archived from the original on 24 January 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Qualifications". www.waikato.ac.nz. Archived from the original on 15 August 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Day, Paul. (1984) From The Ground Up: An informal chronicle of the genesis and development of the University of Waikato 1964–1984. University of Waikato, pp. 6, 18,-27, 30, 55, 56, 58–60, 157–9, 172–5, 219.
  7. ^ Celebrating 40 years of Science & Engineering, 1969–2009, University of Waikato (2009), p. 1
  8. ^ "New Name for Faculty". Waikato.ac.nz. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  9. ^ Alcorn, Noeline (2014). Ko te tangata : a history of the University of Waikato : the first fifty years. Wellington New Zealand: Steele Roberts Aotearoa. ISBN 9781927242322.
  10. ^ University of Waikato Calendar 1996, p. 31
  11. ^ University of Waikato Calendar 1999, p. 16
  12. ^ The University of Waikato->Major Projects-> The Pā
  13. ^ Goodwin, Eileen (19 October 2016). "Waikato medical school plan 'expensive folly". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  14. ^ "Waikato councils back medical school proposal". Waitomo District Council. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  15. ^ Lawrenson, Ross; Wright, Derek; Thomas, Ayla (10 November 2017). "Response to Dr Caleb Armstrong: proposed Waikato medical school". The New Zealand Medical Journal. 130 (1465): 116–117. PMID 29121633. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  16. ^ Lines-McKenzie, Jo (27 June 2018). "Proposed Waikato medical school decision is on ice". Stuff. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  17. ^ Leaman, Aaron (15 November 2019). "Waikato medical school bid brought back to life". Stuff. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  18. ^ Kerr, Florence (1 May 2021). "Breath of life for Waikato Medical School in cultural and rural partnerships". Stuff. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
  19. ^ Lines-McKenzie, Jo (5 July 2023). "National backs third medical school in Waikato". Stuff. Archived from the original on 7 July 2023. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  20. ^ Ellis, Fiona (7 July 2023). "National pledges Dunedin hospital budget boost". Otago Daily Times. Archived from the original on 8 July 2023. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  21. ^ Espiner, Guyon (5 September 2023). "University of Waikato boss referred to new medical school as a 'present' for future National government". Radio New Zealand. Archived from the original on 7 September 2023. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  22. ^ "Waikato University pays firm nearly $1million for advice". Radio New Zealand. 13 June 2023. Archived from the original on 4 September 2023. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  23. ^ "National, Waikato University planning third medical school 'for years' - Luxon". Radio New Zealand. 6 September 2023. Archived from the original on 6 September 2023. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  24. ^ "Faculties and Schools: University of Waikato". waikato.ac.nz. Archived from the original on 22 January 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  25. ^ "Research Institutes: University of Waikato". waikato.ac.nz. Archived from the original on 29 February 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  26. ^ Leaman, Aaron (6 August 2019). "Waikato University announces Sir Anand Satyanand as new chancellor". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  27. ^ "Former Chancellors of the University of Waikato". University of Waikato. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  28. ^ Biddle, Donna Lee (12 October 2017). "University of Waikato offers students degree overseas". Stuff. Archived from the original on 13 February 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  29. ^ Hunter, Zoe (11 May 2018). "Exclusive: Tauranga's new university campus a year ahead of deadline". New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  30. ^ "University of Waikato Student Centre – Portfolio". Warren and Mahoney. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  31. ^ "ARWU World University Rankings 2023". www.shanghairanking.com. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  32. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2024". topuniversities.com. 19 June 2023. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  33. ^ "World University Rankings". timeshighereducation.com. 6 August 2023. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  34. ^ "U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2022-23". Retrieved 23 November 2023.
  35. ^ "Rankings and Reputation". The University of Waikato. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  36. ^ "University of Waikato".
  37. ^ "Alumni and friends". University of Waikato. Archived from the original on 15 August 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.

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