The University of Waikato is located in Hamilton and Tauranga, New Zealand, and was established in 1964. Today it has an international reputation for academic excellence in research and teaching. While it has strength across a broad range of subject areas, its degrees in Computer Science and in Management are regarded as particularly strong. Its School of Māori and Pacific Development is also acknowledged as the world center for study in this subject area.
In 2002 over 14,000 students were enrolled at the University of Waikato. More than one-quarter of students were over 25 years or older, and over half were women. The University of Waikato has the highest proportion of Māori students on any campus in New Zealand and is committed to providing appropriate programmes for these students. The Māori character of the campus is an important aspect of its overall identity.
The University of Waikato in Hamilton is spread over 0.67 km² (170 acres) of beautifully landscaped park-like grounds, and includes extensive sporting and recreational areas surrounding three ornamental lakes. Many sporting and cultural groups are active on campus, including various international students' clubs. The University provides excellent study facilities, including modern lecture rooms and laboratories, a library of over 1,000,000 volumes, and an extensive computer network with over 800 terminals.
The University of Waikato at Tauranga (formerly Tauranga University College) offers 150 papers.
The University of Waikato is comprised of seven Schools of Studies (Faculties).
- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
- Waikato Management School
- School of Education
- School of Science and Technology
- School of Computing and Mathematical Science
- School of Law
- School of Māori and Pacific Development
These schools offer undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees in their respective subject areas. Degrees in Engineering are offered through the School of Science and Technology.
The University of Waikato's research involvement is varied, however Waikato is noted for excellent research in Computer Science, Mathematics, Science (particularly in the biological sciences), Education and the Social Sciences.
The University has many research facilities, including
- Management Research Centre
- Technology Management and Innovation Unit
- Centre for Labour and Trade Union Studies
- Carbon Dating Unit
- Honey Research Unit
- Thermophile Research Unit
- Antarctic Research Unit
- Legal Information Institute of New Zealand
- International Global Change Institute
Research is further reinforced by close contact between the University and commercial or governmental research facilities located on or adjacent to the campus. Significant among them are the Ruakura Research Centre (the largest Agricultural and Horticultural research facility in the Southern Hemisphere), Landcare, National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA Ecosystems), and the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.
Cementing the University of Waikato's role as a key New Zealand research institute is UNILink, the University's own consulting division dedicated to national and international sourcing of commercial research contracts. As a result the University of Waikato attracts the highest percentage of research income in proportion to its student population of any university in New Zealand.
The School of Māori and Pacific Development is almost certainly the leading center of academic study of all things Māori. Similar the law school is a leading center for research on the Treaty of Waitangi. Because of the youth of the university the library's holdings are relatively undeveloped, but there are significantly holdings of Tainui taonga.
The Computer Science department is particularly strong, with research groups in networking, machine learning, digital libraries and usability.
The university is co-located with Ruakura, a center for research in the primary industries.
Due to the proximity of the Waikato River and Lake Karapiro the university has excellent rowing teams and competes against University of Oxford and University of Cambridge in alternating years on the Waikato River in The Great Race
The academic year runs from March to November. It is divided into two semesters by a four-week study break in June/July. Most schools within the University offer a mid-year intake so it is possible to enroll in the March-June or the July-November semesters, as well as in the year-long program. Summer School is available for many courses and allows students to accelerate the completion of their degree. The International MBA is taught over one year and begins in July.
Waikato has a strong commitment to attracting international students. In 2002 the University had over 1500 international students from more than 60 different countries, particularly from the Pacific Rim and Asia regions. There are also a growing number of students from diverse places such as Nepal, Eritrea, Mongolia, Ukraine, and various African countries. Many international students start at Waikato by enrolling in a one-year Certificate of Attainment in Foundation Studies. This prepares students from a non-English background for university study in New Zealand. Courses in English for students from non English speaking backgrounds are also offered through the University of Waikato Language Institute.
The University has approximately 1000 places in accommodation available for students, a number of which are set aside specifically for international students. Many students choose to stay in the University Halls of Residence
during their first year, and then move into a student flat (private rental accommodation) in subsequent years. Hamilton is an inexpensive city to live in for students on a limited budget.