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University of Canterbury


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  • The University of Canterbury is the second oldest University of New Zealand, found in 1873 as the Canterbury College and was the first constituent college of the University of New Zealand. Later, in 1961, it was converted into an independent University.
  • The University of Canterbury is housed in Christchurch Central City, the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Southern Alps.
  • The University has five colleges and 35 research institutes, each of the colleges offer various courses in arts, commerce, technology, fine arts, sports, music, law, and health science.
  • The hottest month is from December to February, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20-30°C and the coldest month are from June -August, and the average minimum temperature ranges between 10-20°C.
  • The University of Canterbury has around 1,158 academic staff with 715 international staff, it offers a diverse range of educational opportunities with over 100 programs in more than 80 different subjects and world class-research center and inspirational teaching technique

Why study in the University of Canterbury?

  • Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranks the University of Canterbury in the world's top 500 universities in 2017.
  • The University of Canterbury was ranked at 214th position by QS World University and the third highest rank in New Zealand in 2017/2018.
  • According to QS World Ranking, the individual global faculty ranking for 2015-2016
    • 146th in Arts and Humanities
    • 161st position in Engineering & IT
    • 211th position in Natural Science
    • 94th position in Social Science and Management
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and QS World Ranking ranks the University of Canterbury at the 4th position out of 8 universities in New Zealand.
  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks the University of Canterbury in the world's top 400 universities.
  • The University of Canterbury was the first university to be granted five stars by the QS Stars in New Zealand, also QS star rating 2021 rated the University with 5-Stars for teaching and research.
  • The University of Canterbury is an academic expert in their respective field and promotes students to be creative and forward-thinking individuals. The university's alumni include famous personalities such as Karl Popper, one of the greatest science philosophers.
  • There are more than 100 student-run clubs available at the University of Canterbury campus. It has an outstanding sports facility, film club, political clubs, green club, and many other clubs open for students with varied interests.
  • Apart from other co-curriculum, the university staff is outstanding in academics. The university also brings academics from other universities and institutions, including Cambridge and Oxford, through its staff exchange program, and it attracts around 75 international academic lecturers.
  • The University of Canterbury has security officers patrolling the campus 24 hours and seven days a week and provides assistance and support. All the staff of the university is trained to administer basic first aid.
  • The University of Canterbury has thirteen help towers situated across the campus to assist with information at any time.
  • Colleges under the University of Canterbury
    • College of Arts
    • College of Engineering
    • College of Science
    • College of Education, Health and Human Development
    • College of Business and Law

Departments of the University

College of Arts

The College of Arts is known for its academically vibrant and culturally diverse structure. The college of arts provides nearly forty discipline courses in the field of Humanities.

College of Business and Law

The College of Business and Law has an impressive global reputation for promoting innovation and extensive industry links.

College of Education, Health and Human Development

The college of Education, Health, and Human Development teaches students to positively impact children and adults' lives in their own lives and for the community.

College of Engineering

The college of Engineering is highly-ranked and provides world-class modern education.

College of Science

The college of Science provides world-class education in both Science and communication.

International Partnerships

The University of Canterbury works closely with notable universities worldwide; these result in an excellent international network that ensures that students have excellent opportunities to obtain global exposure.

Scholarships and Funding

The University of Canterbury offers international students a scholarship to recognize factors like academics, excellence, and sports achievements.

Here are the popular Scholarships available for international students are

  • The University of Canterbury International First Year Scholarship (Offshore).
  • Betty Wignall Scholarship in Chemistry: This scholarship support students looking forward to studying for Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry.
  • The University of Canterbury Mathematics and Statistics High Achievers Award


The University of Canterbury has its main campus of 76 hectares in Christchurch, Ilam, about 5 km away from the city center.

Central Library: The central library is housed in the main building of the university, i.e., Puaka-James Hight Building,

  • Named after the former Canterbury professor James Hight, The Central Library has a collection supporting research and teaching in Social Sciences, Commerce, Music, Fine Arts, Humanities, and Antarctic Studies.
  • Engineering and Physical Science Library: This library has a collection supporting research and teaching in Engineering, Forestry, and Sciences.
  • Macmillan Brown Library: it is a research library, art & archive gallery specialized in collecting items related to New Zealand and Pacific Island history. This library has over 100,000 published items, including books, various manuscripts, photographs, audio-visual recordings.
  • The University's College of Education, Health & Human Development maintains an additional campus in Nelson, Timaru, and Tauranga and an additional teaching center in Greymouth, New Plymouth, and Rotorua.
  • The University of Canterbury has the highest number of field stations than any other university in New Zealand. It has four field-station:
    1. Cass Field Station provides a wide range of environments such as montane grassland, riverbed, scrub, screen, beach forest, lake, stream, alpine habitat; all of them are accessible by foot.
    2. Harihari Field Station - it gives access to native forests and steam.
    3. Westport Field Station- this field station is particularly for studying the West Coast of New Zealand and especially mining.
    4. Kaikoura Field Station: It represents an essential zone of Flora and Fauna, particularly in the marine environment with rich birdlife associated nearby.
    5. The University of Canterbury and its project partners have an additional field station in Nigerian Montane Forest Project.
    6. The university's department of physics & astronomy has its field laboratories.
  • a. Mount John University Observatory for optical astronomy research at Lake Tekapo.
  • b. Birdling's Flat radar facility
  • c. Scott Base radar facility
  • d. Cracroft Caverns ring laser facility.



The University of Canterbury's each hall of residence has its own culture depending on student's preferences also depending on the year of courses; here are residence halls at University of Canterbury.

  • Bishop Julius Hall - First year
  • College House - First year
  • Hayashi - Second year
  • Ilam Apartments - All students
  • Kirkwood Avenue Hall - First year
  • Kirkwood Flats - Couples only
  • Rochester and Rutherford hall - First year
  • Sonoda Christchurch Campus - Second year
  • Tupuanuku - First year
  • University Hall - First year

Off Campus Accommodation

The University of Canterbury has much to offer when it comes to off-campus accommodation, students can refer to University of Canterbury Guide to Flatting.

The popular destination is located five kilometers away from the Ilam Campus of the University.

  • Riccarton
  • Upper Riccarton
  • Avonhead
  • Bryndwr
  • Burnside
  • Fendalton
  • Ilam