As part of the Tertiary Education Reforms, Tertiary Education Organisations are required to demonstrate their distinctiveness.

Goal 3 of the University's Strategic Plan is to "be recognised nationally and internationally as having a role in New Zealand's tertiary education sector that is truly distinctive".

The University is developing its distinctiveness in three different respects:

  • Its academic portfolio and its teaching and research strengths
  • Its reputation for being student-centred
  • Its genuinely Aotearoa/New Zealand identity

The University of Waikato is already aligned unambiguously with emerging perceptions of Aotearoa/New Zealand national and cultural identity.

Our most plausible claim to distinction is that we are a New Zealand university, aware of our relevance and responsibilities to our region, and determined to compete on an international stage.  We are "New Zealand's university for the world".

The central idea of being "New Zealand's university for the world" rests on three distinctive and interdependent components:

  • Sustainability
  • Māori
  • Leadership

In isolation these components do not make us unique.  Our real distinctiveness comes in their synergy in the context of our Aotearoa/New Zealand identity.  They have significance only when combined and assimilated across the whole fabric of the University.

The detailed proposal for the development of the University's distinctiveness in the terms outlined above was approved by Council on 8 August 2007.

Read the approved University Distinctiveness document.

A plan setting out actions, responsibilities, outcomes and timelines for its implementation is currently being developed.


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