The University of Canterbury Story
Immersed in the heart of Ōtautahi – the second largest city in New Zealand – Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury provides an experience unlike any other university. Nestled between Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, the majestic Southern Alps, and Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, the abundant Pacific Ocean, the University of Canterbury offers students endless opportunities for education, exploration and recreation, with all the conveniences of a modern city.
People come first at the University of Canterbury, reflecting our intrinsic values: whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and tiakitanga. These values are rooted in trust, care and reciprocity, and were embedded over generations of Ngāi Tūāhuriri and Ngāi Tahu presence in the region. In fact, in 1861 Pita Te Hori, the first Upoko of Ngāi Tūāhuriri, instructed the founders of Ōtautahi: “kia atawhai ki te iwi – be kind to your people.” Today, these words underpin the relationships we foster amongst our students, staff and community. We are proud to open our doors to students and staff throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and the world, welcoming everyone to learn from one another and contribute to our diverse and flourishing community. The University of Canterbury is a place for everyone.
Our vision for the University of Canterbury is a contemporary university, a place of learning that is grounded in our shared history, values our differences, and aspires towards research and tertiary education that is equitable and accessible to all. We are determined to remain agile, responsive and pioneering, pushing boundaries to meet the evolving needs of our students. Since the Canterbury Collegiate Union was founded with Henry John Tancred’s inaugural address in 1872, the University of Canterbury has stood for the encouragement of talent without barriers. With our 150th anniversary on the horizon in 2023, we are reflecting on our past so that we can take our successes and our learnings into the future as we set our aspirations for the next 50 years.
Our relationships with manawhenua are integral to these aspirations, as we strive to ensure that Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the bedrock of the University of Canterbury. As we continue to strengthen our partnership and grow our understanding of mātauranga Māori, we are creating a programme of collaborative knowledge creation that sets the University of Canterbury apart. In doing so, we also acknowledge New Zealand as an integral Pacific nation, and embrace the shared whakapapa and reciprocal relationships with our Pacific neighbours.
We seek to cultivate a spirit of curiosity that honours those who have gone before us, while contributing to the pool of diverse knowledge that we will in turn pass on to the next generation. In this, we are inspired by the Ngāi Tahu whakataukī: mō tātou, ā, mō ngā uri ā muri ake nei – for us and our children after us. We know that our students are our future, and we believe in empowering them to overcome the challenges of the changing world, and to create a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive future for us all.
The University of Canterbury provides a learning and research gateway, from the vast expanse of the galaxy and to the depths of the Antarctic continent – offering the connection, understanding and opportunities that will enable us to overcome the challenges facing our society. We pride ourselves on delivering a high standard of education and facilitating creative and innovative research for the benefit of both local and global communities. Our international networks provide opportunities for partnerships, research collaborations and student exchanges. Our academic leaders are encouraged to be courageous, forward-thinking and generous with their knowledge. They explore their fields of expertise with integrity and vigour, encourage conversations and challenges, and share their learnings with the intent of creating better outcomes for everyone.
Our people are powered by resilience and determination, using our combined knowledge and experience to chart a course into the future – aukahatia tō waka, he hekenga tai roa. We stand with our community in times of need, mobilising our networks to provide solutions, resources and simple kindness.
Our students are smart, innovative and caring, and we are proud to support them to grow as individuals and members of our warm and vibrant University of Canterbury community. We offer endless opportunities outside traditional learning, giving our students the chance to find themselves, to connect with others and to positively contribute to a changing world. When you graduate from the University of Canterbury, you join a whānau more than 140,000 strong, a cohort of engaged and empowered alumni affecting change across the globe. There is a place for you at the University of Canterbury – nau mai, tauti mai – come join us.
About us - short paragraph
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury researchers advance our understanding of the natural world and drive changes that contribute to a more sustainable future.
People come first at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury — our students, our staff and our community. We embrace the values — including whanaungatanga (value people and their differences) and manaakitanga (extend care and empower others). Our institution has a foundation of knowledge, collaboration and the core belief that tertiary education should be accessible to all; the University of Canterbury is a place for everyone to explore, thrive and discover.