Wananga landing Wananga landing

About 150 years

14 July 2023

Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury is proud to have been a pillar in our community for 150 years. In 2023 we celebrated 15 decades of accessible education, impactful research, and positive change. Find out what makes UC special, how we've been guided by our past, and how we're moving into an exciting future.


UC was first formed as the Canterbury Collegiate Union in 1872 and became the Canterbury College in 1873. As the first constituent college of the University of New Zealand, it was also the second institution in New Zealand to provide tertiary-level education. In 1961, the federated University of New Zealand was split and the University of Canterbury was created as an independent university.

In his inaugural address, the first Chancellor of the University Henry John Tancred said: “It is of the greatest importance to the wellbeing of the whole that this influence should be felt in every part and among all classes, that high as well as low, rich as well as poor, should have every opportunity afforded to them of cultivating and developing the higher faculties in such a manner as will fit them for occupying worthily the highest position in the State.”

Discover what makes UC special, how we have been guided by our past, and how we are moving into an exciting future.

If you have any questions about the University of Canterbury or the 150th celebrations email us.

Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.