20 years as a university

When AUT became a university in January 2000, it had a clear vision: to provide its students with exceptional learning experiences, and send them into the world as outstanding graduates. This student-centred vision has guided AUT’s development over the past 20 years.

Read the story of AUT's 20 years as a university

Milestones since becoming a university


AUT becomes a university: Auckland Institute of Technology (AIT) becomes Auckland University of Technology (AUT).


$32 million Library and Learning Centre is officially opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark.


New Zealand’s first Doctor of Health Science offered at AUT.


AUT’s first PhD graduate is Dr Debbie Blake from the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Dr John Hinchcliff retires as AUT’s first Vice-Chancellor.


Derek McCormack is welcomed as the new Vice-Chancellor.

The Office of Pasifika Advancement is established – the first of its kind in New Zealand.

Derek McCormack
Derek McCormack becomes AUT’s new Vice-Chancellor.


The new Business School building is opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark.

The University’s commercial arm, AUT Enterprises Ltd (AUT Ventures), is established.

Dr Hinematau McNeill from Te Ara Poutama becomes AUT’s first Māori PhD graduate.


The Business School wins the Supreme Award from the New Zealand Institute of Architects.


60 Vice-Chancellor Doctoral Scholarships are introduced, each worth around $90,000.

AUT installs New Zealand’s first research radio telescope in Warkworth.

Radio Astronomical Observatory
The launch of the Radio Astronomical Observatory is an important step towards New Zealand’s participation in the Square Kilometre Array project.


The Law School is established and the first intake of students to the Bachelor of Laws degree are welcomed.


AUT partners with the Millennium Institute of Sport and Health to open AUT Millennium in Mairangi Bay.

AUT Millennium
AUT Millennium opens and soon becomes New Zealand's premier training and research centre for high-performance sport.


AUT celebrates its 10th birthday.

The AUT South Campus is opened by Prime Minister John Key.

Opening ceremony of AUT's new campus
The AUT South Campus opens for business.


The Business School gains international AACSB accreditation, placing it within the top 5% of business schools worldwide.

The International Centre for Language Revitalisation is launched at the United Nations in New York. AUT is the first New Zealand university to present at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.


AUT gains a place in the world’s top 500 universities (top 3%) for the first time in the QS World University Rankings.


City Campus is transformed by the opening of the Sir Paul Reeves Building (WG) by Prime Minister John Key.

AUT talenthub, a new initiative offering graduates the opportunity to gain work experience in the United States, is launched.

Through the AUT talenthub programme, AUT graduates can experience working life in the USA.


AUT becomes the first university in New Zealand to be certified with the Rainbow Tick, recognising its commitment to gender diversity and inclusion.

The Woolf Fisher Trust funds scholarships for new AUT students who are the first in their family to go to university, with a commitment of more than $2 million over 10 years.


AUT becomes New Zealand’s second largest university. Total enrolments reach 28,628 students.

UniPrep, a six-week summer programme at South Campus, is launched, providing school students with an introduction to university life, 85% of the 136 participants go on to study at AUT.


The AUT Edge Award, a co-curricular programme designed to increase students’ leadership and employability skills, launches. More than 800 students register.

AUT becomes a five-star university (QS Star ratings).

AUT is recognised as one of the world’s top young universities (under 50 years old) by the Times Higher Education.


The Mana Hauora Building (MH) is officially opened by Prime Minister Bill English as the new hub of the South Campus.

AUT's MH Building
The Mana Hauora Building becomes the new hub of the South Campus.


Ngā Wai Hono Building (WZ) at City Campus is officially opened by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

AUT is named in the top 350 institutions worldwide and ranked third in New Zealand by Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

AUT is placed first in New Zealand for global research impact by Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

AUT is ranked first in New Zealand for international outlook in the QS World University Rankings.

AUT's new engineering building
The Ngā Wai Hono Building (WZ) is the new home for engineering, computer and mathematical sciences students.


We reach over 1,000 doctoral students.

Ngā Wai Hono Building wins the Education Award at the 2019 New Zealand Architecture Awards.

Construction starts on the new A1 building on the North Campus. It is the final part of the University’s $370 million capital works programme.

AUT’s Oceanian Voices choir perform with Hugh Jackman at the Auckland leg of his The Man. The Music. The Show world tour.


AUT celebrates 20 years as a university and 125 years as a teaching institution.

Our stories
Blanche Carnachan
Senior Lecturer Julie Douglas
Rainbow Community Coordinator Jessie Lewthwaite
Alumni from AUT
Edwina Pio
News pattern
Blanche Carnachan
Historic AUT womenInternational Women’s Day is a good time to celebrate some of our unsung, inspirational women.
Senior Lecturer Julie Douglas
The history of Out@AUTSenior Lecturer Julie Douglas talks about the history of the network and how it has developed over the years since its establishment.
Rainbow Community Coordinator Jessie Lewthwaite
The first: Rainbow Community Coordinator and Rainbow TickRainbow Community Coordinator Jessie Lewthwaite talks about her role and why it matters, and we look back at how we got our Rainbow Tick.
Alumni from AUT
Pride of placementPart of the Bachelor of Business since 1993, Co-operative Education gives students invaluable work experience, helping them launch their chosen careers.
Edwina Pio
The first: Professor of DiversityWe spoke to Professor Edwina Pio, the first Professor of Diversity and University Director of Diversity in New Zealand, about AUT’s work in the diversity space.

World-class teaching and learning

We’re proud to be one of the world’s best modern universities.

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