Annual report

The annual report provides an overview of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s financial performance and a look back on the highlights of 2020.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington achieved many successes in 2020.

We were in the top 1 percent of the world’s universities for 19 subjects, the top 100 universities for 12, and the top 2 percent of universities overall.

We awarded nearly 5,000 qualifications during the year.

Our teaching and research showed strong resilience in the face of the pandemic, with the hard work and talent of academic and professional staff minimising disruption.

Our academics were prominent in conducting COVID-19-related research and providing analysis and commentary to keep the public informed, including about mental health issues and economic and legal implications.

Outstanding efforts by staff also helped to reduce COVID-19’s financial impact on the University.

Since the pandemic, most of our courses have been offered online as well as face-to-face, and despite COVID-19’s challenges scores have improved for student evaluations of courses and teachers.

In 2020, Wellington Uni-Professional was established to ensure growth in non-degree teaching, including short courses, micro-credentials, and professional development, and our Trimester 3 offering continued to expand.

Underlining our No.1 ranking for intensity of high-quality research in the most recent Performance-Based Research Fund assessment, research thrived during the year. It was our best year ever for both number and value of Marsden Fund grants for blue-skies research, and our Robinson Research Centre received more than $26 million from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for its ground-breaking research. Total external research income was more than $86 million.

The University’s sustainability leadership was reflected in our ranking among the top 40 universities in the world for Sustainable Development Goals social impact and commitment.

That commitment was evidenced through teaching, research, emissions reductions, and a partnership with Wellington City Council to plant carbon-removing new native forest on the city’s Outer Green Belt.

Years of planning came to fruition with a resource consent granted for the University’s Living Pā marae complex. Redevelopment and construction will begin in 2021.

Our commitment to increasing the number of our Māori and Pasifika students has seen increases of 21% and 24% respectively since 2013.

In 2020, we secured philanthropic funding and launched the Ngā Hoe a Kupe Pathfinder Scholarships aimed at growing the participation and success of Māori and Pasifika students, and those from refugee backgrounds and from low socio-economic backgrounds in decile 1–3 Wellington schools.

We developed a Māori Language Plan for the next five years to increase the visibility and use of te reo Māori across the University.

During the year, many University staff received prestigious medals, awards, and other recognition.

Our graduates remain in demand, with 95 percent in employment, further study, and not seeking work in their first year post-graduation.

The quality of our research and teaching makes Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington the university of choice in New Zealand and further afield, with students from more than 100 countries part of our community in 2020.

By reflecting on our progress each year, we will continue to improve the education and experience we offer those students, while also conducting research and introducing innovations that respond to the challenges of our time.

Architectural drawing of new Living Pa building on Kelburn Parade.

Year in review

How research is thriving and the University is working to ensure a sustainable future are among the things captured by our review of the year.

A group of students climb the stairwell in Rankine Brown, with a view of Wellington city out the windows behind them

At a glance

Key facts about the University's performance on the national and world stage.

2020 annual report

Download the full 2020 annual report pdf 2.7MB including audited financial statements for the year to 31 December 2020.