Founded in 1883, Auckland is the country’s largest university with over 40,000 students, nearly 10,000 of whom graduate annually.
The University of Auckland is the only one included in the Times Higher Education top 200 and, at 85th in the world, is the highest-ranked New Zealand university in the QS World University Rankings (2022). It is also in the Top 10 globally in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings (2021). Around 35 percent of the top-ranked academic researchers in New Zealand are at the University of Auckland.
At a New Zealand university you are expected to work by yourself and to be a self-motivated learner.
While you will have lectures, tutorials or seminars with a tutor, you are expected to work without their direct assistance. No one will follow up if you have not made a deadline for an essay – you will simply fail the paper. Nor will anyone check if you have read the relevant course material.
You have complete responsibility for your study. For many students, this requires a lot of self-discipline and good time management.
Any academic work that you do must be your own. Do not copy from your texts or use other people’s work as a quick solution. The University regards acts such as cheating and plagiarism as serious academic offences. Such behaviour may lead to a disciplinary penalty.
Tips for non-native English speakers
If English is not your first language, you may experience the following problems when you first begin studying at a New Zealand university.
Listening to lectures in English
At first you may have difficulty understanding the English spoken by your teachers and classmates. While this can be very frustrating for you, it is normal. Do not be discouraged; you simply need time to get used to listening to spoken English.
Solution: You need to improve your listening comprehension.
Socialise with other students who cannot speak your first language, including other international students.
Listen to the radio and watch English-speaking television and films.
Utilise the excellent resources provided by ELE (English Language Enrichment). ELE has a dedicated space in the Kate Edger Information Commons building where you can access language learning resources, or join a language learning group or workshop. ELE also offers online learning tools to help you with your English reading, writing, speaking and listening. Find out more at ELE.
Contributing to group discussions
The aim of academic experience in a New Zealand university is to explore a subject by listening to different opinions and discussing available information. The sharing of ideas and analytical thinking which takes place in seminars and tutorials may be uncomfortable at first and you may feel shy about making a contribution.
Solution: Overcome your shyness by contributing to class discussions as often as possible.
The more you contribute, the easier it will get. Discussions help you to think analytically in English.
Getting through the course reading material
The amount of English reading material you are expected to get through as part of your course can be extremely daunting. If you try to read every word, you’ll never get through it.
Solution: You can process texts rapidly by using a new set of reading strategies.
Learn how to skim read to extract the fundamental points. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand every single word; you just need to understand the main points.
It may be enough for you to study the introduction, abstract and conclusion of an article to get the essential ideas.
Your lecturers will draw your attention to the most important items on your reading list – quite often you do not have to read every single text
Check out the Student Learning Services website for workshops on reading strategies and make use of the resources at ELE (English Language Enrichment) to improve any reading strategies you already have. Go to Student Learning Services, and ELE.
Writing: 3000-word academic essays
Don’t worry if you get a relatively low mark for your first essay. You will probably find it difficult for a number of reasons.
You may not have written an essay of this length before.
You may not be familiar with the style (such as including a literature review or relating theory).
Correct use of English is expected.
Solution: Treat your first essay as a learning experience.
Follow your tutor’s advice.
Sign up for relevant workshops at Student Learning Services.
Use the resources available at ELE (English Language Enrichment).