Victoria University of Wellington (Māori: Te Whare Wānanga o Te Ūpoko o Te Ika a Māui) is a university in Wellington, New Zealand. It was established in 1897 by Act of Parliament, and was a constituent college of the University of New Zealand.
The university is well known for its programmes in law, the humanities, and some scientific disciplines, and offers a broad range of other courses. Entry to all courses at first year is open, and entry to second year in some programmes (e.g. law, criminology, creative writing, architecture, engineering) is restricted.
Victoria had the highest average research grade in the New Zealand Government's Performance-Based Research Fund exercise in 2012, having been ranked 4th in 2006 and 3rd in 2003. Victoria has been ranked 221st in the World's Top 500 universities by the QS World University Rankings (2018).
Its main campus is in Kelburn, a suburb on a hill overlooking the Wellington central business district, where its administration and humanities & social science and science faculties are based. The law and commerce and administration faculties are in the Pipitea Campus, near Parliament Buildings, which consists of Rutherford House, the restored Old Government Buildings, and the West Wing of the Wellington Railway Station. A smaller campus in Te Aro is the base for the architecture and design schools. The newest facility, the Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory supports research programmes in marine biology and coastal ecology on Wellington's rugged south coast.
Day-to-day governance is in the hands of the University Council, which consists of 20 people: four elected by the Court of Convocation, three elected by the academic staff, one elected by the general staff, two appointed by the student union executive, four appointed by the Minister of Education, four selected by the Council itself, and the Vice-Chancellor. The Court of Convocation is composed of all graduates who choose to participate. Charles Wilson, at the time the chief librarian of the parliamentary library, was a member of the original council and its chairman for two years.
The library was established in 1899. The collections are dispersed over four locations: Kelburn Library, Law Library, Architecture and Design Library and Commerce Library. The library is also has a collection of digital resources and acquires full text material online. In addition to electronic resources, printed books and journals, the Library also acquires works in microform, sound recordings, videos and other media consistent with the University's academic programme needs.
Victoria offers Master’s degrees in more than 100 specialist subjects. Some programmes are research-based, others involve studying advanced courses.
The library holds approximately 1.3 million printed volumes. It provides access to 70,000 print and electronic periodical titles and 200,000 e-books. It is an official Depository Library (DL-296) of the United Nations System (DEPOLIB), one of only three in the country. The J. C. Beaglehole Room is the official repository of all archival and manuscript material, and provides a supervised research service for Rare Books, for fine or fragile print items, and for 'last resort' copies of University publications.
The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre (NZETC) is a digital library of significant New Zealand and Pacific Island texts and materials, and is arranged according to the library of Congress classification system. The library has two online repositories: the ResearchArchive is its open research repository, which makes the university's research freely available online and the RestrictedArchive, which is the university's private research repository and is accessible only to Victoria University staff and students.
Between April 2003 and February 2010 the library was home to two locally famous residents, Tessa Brown and Sandy Rankine, a pair of library cats