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Otago University vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne made that comment yesterday at the formal reopening of the Otago University Students Association centre, after a $2 million refurbishment and upgrade was completed.
American comedian Woody Allen had once joked that 80% of workplace success consisted of just ''turning up'' , but as far as university study was concerned that was no longer the case, Prof Hayne said.
And employers were looking for graduates who were not only good academically, but also had other key qualities, including communication skills, she said.
Otago University was the country's only truly residential campus, with about 80% of students coming from outside Dunedin.
And, accordingly, the university offered them an overall educational experience 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The building's extensive renovations included adding an improved entry and some reconfigured room spaces, association officials said.
The changes had resulted in a warmer, lighter facility complying fully with modern building safety requirements, officials said.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and Dunedin North MP David Clark were among other speakers at the opening.
University chaplain the Rev Greg Hughson blessed the redeveloped facility and emphasised its importance.