Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland

Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland, is located in Aotearoa New Zealand, a place of extraordinary beauty and diversity, where Māori are tangata whenua. From here, the University reaches out to the Pacific, Asia and the world.

The University’s special connection with the Auckland region, and unique place in the world, is personified in its Māori name, Waipapa Taumata Rau, which was gifted to the University by the people of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei in 2021. The enduring relationship with tangata whenua is based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi, an essential part of our distinctiveness, and is a key component of Taumata Teitei, our Vision 2030 and Strategic Plan 2025.

The University has six main campuses and two research sites (Leigh and Waiheke Island). Eight faculties represent each of its main disciplines: Arts, Business and Economics, Creative Arts and Industries, Education and Social Work, Engineering, Law, Medical and Health Sciences, and Science. It also has two large-scale research institutes: the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and the Liggins Institute.

Many courses and research activities reflect Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s and Aotearoa New Zealand’s place in the world. This perspective has long been a feature of our programmes. For example, Pacific archaeology, ethnology and languages are emphasised in the discipline of Anthropology. Asian languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean, are taught, and Pacific languages were introduced in 1991. Te Wānanga o Waipapa in the Faculty of Arts offers Māori Studies and Pacific Studies, as well as Indigenous Studies.

Geographers carry out fieldwork in the Pacific Islands, while University scientists make frequent study trips to the Antarctic. The Leigh Marine Laboratory, about 100km north of Auckland and part of the Faculty of Science, brings together a wide range of expertise and facilities to work towards our understanding of the marine environment.

The University continues to build on these foundations with the introduction of the Bachelor of Global Studies in 2018, the Bachelor of Design in 2020 and the Bachelor of Communication in 2022. Additionally, a suite of exclusively online taught masters programmes was introduced in 2020 as part of the Auckland Online initiative, and these offerings have been expanded over time. The University also began offering industry-endorsed micro-credentials in 2021.

Waipapa Taumata Rau recognises research and research-led teaching as a primary responsibility of its academic staff. High-quality research on a large scale and across the full range of disciplines, represented by faculties and Large-Scale Research Institutes, is essential to ensure the place of the University among the leading international research universities. University of Auckland researchers contribute to the growth of new knowledge by conducting fundamental research across a wide range of fields in the natural, human and social sciences, the humanities and creative arts. Its expertise across a number of research disciplines was called upon by the Government in 2020 to assist in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

The University fosters the commercialisation of its research to assist in the pursuit of the country’s economic objectives and applies it to enhance social values and advance the well-being of all New Zealanders.

In 2022, the University launched seven Hīkina kia Tutuki Research Centres, to tackle persistent and urgent challenges faced by Aotearoa New Zealand. The University’s strategy Taumata Teitei focuses researchers and professional staff on four impact areas: sustainability; health and well-being; advancing just, cultured and engaged communities; and ethical innovation and technology. These transdisciplinary centres and institutes focus on pioneering research.

Research also underpins the University’s obligation to act as a critic and conscience of society. As the leading research university in New Zealand, the University of Auckland is committed to the quality and excellence of its degree courses including its postgraduate and doctoral programmes.

Since the launch of the University Impact Rankings by Times Higher Education (THE) in 2019, the University of Auckland has been ranked first twice, and in the top ten every year. This reflects the University’s strong teaching, research, policy and operational performance against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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