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Otago tops national educational performance measures

Tuesday 18 October 2016

University of Otago tops national educational performance measures

The University of Otago has topped all but one of the key indicators released today measuring educational performance of students at New Zealand’s universities.

The Tertiary Education Commission’s Educational Performance Indicators (EPIs) for 2015 examine areas such as overall course and qualification completions, retention rates and progression to higher levels of study. This year the usually-used four indicators have been supplemented by a new indicator looking specifically at first-year retention and a revised qualification completion indicator.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne welcomed the release of the indicators, saying Otago’s stellar results reflect the excellence of the teaching and learning environment that the University offers students, and the efforts those students put into their studies.

“At this University we are deeply committed to providing our students with enriching learning and living settings that support their pursuit of academic excellence. We also strive to maintain and enhance a unique Otago experience that encompasses the social, cultural and sporting aspects of student life.

“The University’s near clean sweep of first placings in the indicators reflects how our amazing students, through their own hard work, are making the most of the rich opportunities we offer here. I would like to pay tribute to their sterling efforts, without which Otago would not have attained these dazzling results.”

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Otago placed first in the ‘Students retained in study’ (90%) and a very close second in the ‘First year retention rate’ (82%) indicators and first in ‘Completion of qualifications’ (85%) and ‘Cohort-based qualification completion’ (70%). Otago also topped ‘EFTS-weighted course completion’ (89%).

The University led the way as well in ‘Progression to higher levels of study’ (95%). This showing reflects the ongoing success of Otago’s Foundation Year in preparing students for university-level study, says Professor Hayne.

“Foundation Year includes the Pacific Foundation Programme and Tū Kahika Scholarship Programme, which have seen increasing numbers of Māori and Pacific students proceeding to Health Sciences First Year, and from there into our competitive-entry Health Sciences programmes.”

Professor Hayne noted that Otago’s continuing superb performance in national tertiary teaching awards mirrored the University’s showing in the indicators. Earlier this year, for the fifth year running, the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award for tertiary teaching excellence went to a University of Otago academic.

“Taken together, such achievements confirm our continuing status as a leading teaching and learning institution that offers our students world-class opportunities for academic success and personal growth,” says Professor Hayne.

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