University of Otago – The Division of Health Sciences

The mission of the Division of Health Sciences is as follows:

The Division of Health Sciences will provide New Zealand society and other communities with a highly qualified workforce in the health professions and will lead research and academic advancement in the areas of health and biomedical science. The Division will promote health, health care and equitable health outcomes through outstanding basic and applied research and world-class academic and professional leadership. This will be achieved through research- based undergraduate, postgraduate and professional academic programmes of international standard in the health and biomedical sciences and the translation of research into products and services to benefit society.

The University of Otago, through its Division of Health Sciences, is a leading New Zealand provider of undergraduate and postgraduate education and training in health workforce professions and biomedical sciences. It also leads research in the related medical, public health and biomedical sciences. The Division of Health Sciences has its main campus in Dunedin but Christchurch and Wellington are critically important for clinical training, postgraduate training and research.

The Division also has strong involvement in the continuing education of health professionals and offers a wide range of postgraduate certificates, diplomas and degrees, many of which are available by distance learning. The Division is committed to the University’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and to developing strategies to attract, recruit and retain Māori staff and students, educate students in Māori health needs and to provide appropriate clinical experience of Māori health care provision. The Division is also committed to Pacific health development and engagement with Pacific communities.

The University of Otago Christchurch campus is a key component of the Division’s national infrastructure. The University’s strategic objectives for participation in the Christchurch Health Precinct are:

  • To further enhance and strengthen the University’s and the Division of Health Sciences’ core activities and contributions in education and training in health workforce professions and biomedical sciences; research; and community service.
  • To support and foster strong and productive collaborative relationships across tertiary institutions and health provider organisations in Canterbury. Collaborations may variously include teaching and research activities and support of broader workforce development activities.
  • To make a strong positive contribution to the re-building and re-shaping of the central area of Christchurch city. The University is committed to adding to the vibrancy and ethos of the Precinct for the benefit of the wider Canterbury population.

Short and long term goals are:

  • To support the University’s many full-time, part-time and honorary staff and over 800 students and provide excellent facilities for all.
  • To maintain and where appropriate expand the University’s research and teaching programmes in Christchurch.
  • To work constructively to determine the optimal site for the University’s planned new building (noting that the University currently owns the former Tillman site on Oxford Terrace).
  • To develop plans for the new health and biomedical research building with the aim of completing construction in 2018.

The Members