A record 1385 students will graduate in person from the
University of Otago at a series of graduation ceremonies next
month, in a boost for domestic tourism and the Dunedin economy.
Overall, Otago University graduating student numbers are up
about 290 this month, from 1757 last May to 2049 this year.
And students graduating in person have risen 3%, from 1345
last year - believed to be the previous largest number of
Otago students to graduate in person at May graduations.
University officials said much of the overall increase
resulted from an administrative redistribution of in absentia
numbers, particularly involving certificates. Many had been
traditionally awarded later, at the university's August
Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton yesterday
welcomed the increase in the already high level of in-person
This was ''great'' for Dunedin and for the city's economy, Mr
Many parents of graduates travelled to Dunedin from the North
Island and elsewhere in the country to attend next month's
Otago graduates also became good ambassadors for Dunedin,
passing on favourable comments about the city in their new
jobs throughout New Zealand and overseas, he added. Otago
students are graduating at five graduation ceremonies, at the
Regent Theatre, next month, spread across three Saturdays,
starting with two ceremonies this Saturday.
A total of 318 graduands in applied science, consumer and
applied sciences, physical education and surveying, including
about 50 in absentia, will graduate at the first ceremony, at
1pm. Prof Steve Jackson, of the Otago School of Physical
Education, will give the graduation address.
At total of 486 graduands in science and biomedical science,
including 160 in absentia, will graduate at the second
ceremony, at 4pm. Biochemist Prof Warren Tate will give the
More than 340 commerce graduands, including more than 60 in
absentia, will graduate at a single ceremony, at 3pm, on
Saturday, May 11. Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce
chief executive Peter Townsend will give the graduation
And about 400 graduands, including 125 in absentia, will
graduate with qualifications in arts, education, music,
teaching and theology, at the next ceremony at 1pm on
Saturday, May 25.
About 500 graduands, including in law, dentistry, health
sciences, medicine, pharmacy and physiotherapy- 265 in
absentia - will graduate at a second ceremony at 4pm that
day. Prof Helen Heslop, of the Baylor College of Medicine,
Texas, will give the address.