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Foundation Year at the University of Otago, New Zealand

May 25, 2023

Foundation Year at the University of Otago : Rankings, Courses, Admissions, Fees, and Scholarships

The foundation year at the University of Otago is an entrance qualification course, also referred to as the Foundation Studies Certificate (FSC). This course was introduced to let the students gain confidence and academic skills to succeed in further studies at Otago.

What is a Foundation Course?

Foundation years are an initial or to be a precise extra year of study at the start of any course. This is a boon for students who lack entry requirements for a degree. A foundation year could be used to enter straight on to a degree study within the same university. Also, there is an option to get yourself transferred to a different university on completion of the foundation year. 

Sometimes, you might see phrases like foundation degree and a foundation year used interchangeably. While both of them are very much different. Foundation year is a preparatory year for your desired degree, foundation degree is more of a qualification in itself. It is considered equivalent to the first two years of a 3-year degree course. 

How will the Foundation Course at The University of Otago be beneficial?

A foundation year acts as a bridge, filling the gap between higher education and future education. Wondering who might need a foundation course? You might get your solution here. 

  • You want to acquire study skills and feel like you are not fully prepped for the chosen subject of a specific university
  • You couldn’t manage the entry requirements for the degree course you wish to pursue, but still, stay strong on the path to get yourself enrolled for the same.
  • You have been on a break and need to fill the education gap, more of a preparatory crash course.
  • Want to have a taste of the university you are about to get a degree from and need a starter before the commitment.
  • You want to switch subjects and thus want to have a brief knowledge before enrolling full time.
  • You lack the required grades but still are determined for the degree course. 

Why study at University of Otago as an international student?

Is giving an extra year worth it?

Filling the education gap for you, a foundation year also equips you with skills like communication, teamwork and enhances all your social skills to adjust to a new environment. 

Also, you will get add-on benefits in your degree as these courses leave you with high success rates for future endeavors. 

The University of Otago Foundation Year will not only get you into the University of Otago but also other New Zealand Universities. It provides an entry-level qualification for students seeking undergraduate admissions.

About the University of Otago

The University of Otago was established in 1869. With a 52% acceptance rate, The University offers a large number of Graduate, postgraduate and doctoral programs in several fields like, business, medicine, law, arts, social sciences, biological sciences, to name a few. More than 22,000 students are members of this family with a large portion of this being international students. The university has created a global niche for itself with one lakh plus alumni all over the globe. 

University Rankings

The University of Otago is one of the top Public universities of New Zealand.

World University Rankings 2022: 201-250

QS World University Rankings 2022: 194

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: 14

US News Best Global Universities: 226

Foundation Course Details

The foundation course provided by the university is a massive step in giving a warm welcome to the international student community.

Duration: 8 months

Intakes: February, June, and October

            ( *Exception – Health Sciences does not have October intakes)

Academic streams which provide foundation courses: 

  • Business
  • Health Sciences
  • Arts/Humanities 
  • Applied Science 
  • Life Science 

Mode: Both Offline and Online available

The study is designed to get you acquainted with both lectures and laboratory skills. Working and studying individually and in groups is a major get back from the foundation course. There are various other skills that you would get handy with like communication, time management, problem-solving, writing, and research skills. 

Admission Requirements for International students

  • Applicants copy of passport
  • Applicants must have GCE O-levels with 20 points and below in 5 subjects or any other overseas equivalent qualifications.
  • English Proficiency Test Scores Requirements
Test Score
IELTS 5.5 (no band below 5.0)
iBT TOEFL 70 (with a writing score of 15)
TOEFL(Paper-Based) 525
TOEFL (Computer-Based) 196

Foundation Year Program Fees 2021/2022

Tuition Fee for International Students

Foundation Studies Certificate – Arts / Commerce 17160 USD / 63034 AED
Foundation Studies Certificate – Sciences 18604 USD / 68337 AED

Miscellaneous fees

Student Services fee – Foundation Studies Certificate full program 609 USD / 2236 AED
Late enrolment / Course change fee 21 USD / 76 AED
Health / Travel Insurance 193 USD / 710 AED per term

Scholarships for Foundation Course

Otago International Pathway Scholarship 2022

Eligibility: International students enrolling in Foundation Studies Certificate), on-campus or online from outside of New Zealand 

Value: 2077 USD/ 7631 AED

Duration: 8 months

University of Otago Pathway │ Te Huarahi Scholarship

Eligibility: Excellent Academic abilities, Financial need, and potential to succeed at the university

Value: 3462 USD/ 12719 AED  

Whether online or offline, The Foundation Courses are managed at the utmost level of perfection to bridge all the gaps required for a student. It’s all required to prepare you for a degree ahead. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

The foundation program is suitable for those who want to acquire study skills and feel like they are not fully prepared for the chosen subject of a specific university. It is also suitable for those who have taken a drop year for exploring different subjects and want to learn more about a new subject/specialization.

Applicants must have GCE O-levels with 20 points and below in 5 subjects or any other overseas equivalent qualifications. For English proficiency, a minimum of 5.5 in IELTS or 70 in TOEFL iBT is required.

The University of Otago has student dormitories within the campus. The rooms are fully furnished and come with all basic amenities. Students can choose the sharing option at their convenience.

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