A global–civic university

A civic university is one that values close involvement with the social, cultural, and economic life of its city and region.

This is the mandate upon which Victoria University of Wellington was founded approximately 120 years ago. It remains just as important today and is central to the University’s Strategic Plan.

Consistent with the civic university tradition, the University engages closely with New Zealand’s capital city. Our staff and students enjoy privileged access to the nation’s archived heritage, its cultural taonga, and they benefit from our strong and unique links with government departments and agencies, business, iwi, the judiciary, research organisations, cultural and environmental organisations, and the diplomatic community.

In the twenty-first century, however, the University of Wellington now views civic engagement in a contemporary, global context. As well as engaging with the Wellington region we also contribute to New Zealand, to the Asia–Pacific region and to the world.

Global-civic universities are those in which:

  • the virtuous cycle connecting great universities with healthy communities is actively fostered in a sustainable and intergenerational manner
  • community engagement is a core function alongside teaching and research and is seen in both a local and global context
  • the university’s international agenda is one of partnership—linking the local to the global and the global to the local—and the provision of knowledge to enhance global governance and the global commons
  • public good values dominate over market values
  • securing the intellectual potential put at risk through experience of disadvantage is a collective priority
  • research quality and research impact are co-priorities and intellectual property processes foster innovation and partnership
  • ranking with the world’s best universities is the shared expectation.

As such, our University is committed to civil society and global citizenship, contributing to the resolution of international challenges and preparing critically informed, globally confident, civic-minded graduates.

To strengthen evidence-based global governance, we have established the Capital City Universities Initiative, which allows its members to harness the advantages capital city universities gain through their trusted, non-partisan relationships with leaders, influencers and decision makers.