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Campus accessibility

28 July 2023

UC's campus is mainly flat but there are still some access problems around campus. We invite feedback from anyone experiencing access difficulties so we can keep on improving access as resources allow. Find out about campus accessibility at UC.


The University of Canterbury campus is mainly flat but there are nevertheless some problems with access around the campus. Improving access on campus is an ongoing process and we invite feedback from anyone regarding access difficulties so that we can look at continuing to improve access as the availability of resources allows.

The following are some of the facilities that are provided to improve access on campus:


Door openers

Heavy fire doors present a major impediment to ease of access within many buildings on the campus. Door-openers have been installed in some buildings to improve access into, and within, buildings.

These will continue to be installed as and when funding is available. If you feel there is an urgent need for the installation of door-openers in specific areas of campus please contact the Te Ratonga Whaikaha | Student Accessibility Service


Fixed height-adjustable desks

Fixed, height-adjustable desks for students who use wheelchairs have been installed in the following lecture theatres:

  • Central Lecture Theatre building: C1 - C3
  • Arts (North) Lecture Theatre building: A1 - A3 
  • Arts (South) Lecture Theatre building: A4 - A6
  • Kirkwood Lecture Theatre (K1)
  • Ernest Rutherford 412
  • Ernest Rutherford 419

For a demonstration of how to use these desks please contact Te Ratonga Whaikaha | Student Accessibility Service


Library access

Central Library in Puaka-James Hight

Access to the Central Library in the Puaka-James Hight building for students who use wheelchairs or have other mobility needs is provided under the Puaka-James Hight main (front) steps, outside the entrance to the Undercroft. This entrance gives users access to a glass lift which will transport them to level 2, the main floor of the library.

Other libraries on campus

Other libraries on campus have either ground floor or lift access to their entrances.


Student Services

Student Services are now located on levels 2 and 3 of the Central library, accessible via lifts.


Erskine Building Basement (aka the Crypt)

Wheelchair access to the basement of this building where lecture theatres, computer workrooms and the Blue and Green Rooms are located is via the lifts. The Blue and Green Rooms can be booked online by TRW|SAS students.


Safety and security

The Security Office operates on campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be contacted for assistance at any time, day or night, on (03) 364 2987 ext. 6888 (ext. 6111 for emergencies) or 0800 823 637 if you are off campus or on a mobile phone. If you have any concerns about your safety when on campus, please contact Security. 13 Security Call Point Towers have been installed across Ilam and Dovedale campuses if you need help in an emergency.

The Security office is located on 114 Ilam Road, opposite Ilam Fields. If you have any concerns about your safety when on campus, please contact Security.


Building wardens

Each building has a Building Warden. There should be a notice at the main entrance to every building identifying the Building Warden. If you have a mobility difficulty and are a regular user of a particular building, you should inform the Building Warden of the regular times that you expect to be in that building and discuss with them the particular safety procedures for that building. In the event of an emergency evacuation, the Building Warden then knows that you may be in the building. In particular if you are in the Central Library or one of the branch libraries and will be studying there for some length of time, you may wish to inform the staff at the Information Desk.

If you need help to evacuate a building in an emergency, please respond yes to this question on your application to enrol, or update this information through myUC or by advising Te Ratonga Whaikaha|Student Accessibility Service.

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