Working with government

Our location in the capital city of Wellington means we have the unique advantage of close connections with government and the state sector.

The worlds of government, business, and academia are closely linked, and our university works to strengthen and enhance these relationships for a better society.

Located in the capital, we are well-positioned to engage with decision makers to promote well-researched, effective policy for all, and to encourage better government.

"Whether it is through our teaching programmes, our professional programmes, our research institutes or our sponsored Chairs, we connect with political and public sector leaders in a powerful way."
Professor Girol Karacaoglu, Head of the School of Government

We also provide students with unique opportunities to connect directly with government and the state sector to gain valuable practical knowledge of the way government works.

Learn about some of the ways our university engages with government.

School of Government

Victoria University of Wellington has the only dedicated School of Government in New Zealand. Located close to Parliament and among several government ministries and agencies, we have strong connections with the state sector. Our teaching and research focuses on public policy, management and administration and provides students with opportunities to study in a real-world environment.

We are one of a handful of schools in the southern hemisphere to have achieved NASPAA accreditation, and our university is ranked 50th in the QS World University Rankings for Social Policy and Administration.

Public sector qualifications and training

Many people working in the public sector complete postgraduate professional qualifications through Victoria Business School and the School of Government. We offer specialist professional programmes in areas such as e-Government, public policy, and public management. This is in addition to our full range of undergraduate and postgraduate subjects and qualifications related to public policy and government. We also offer a dual degree with the prestigious Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in Seattle.

The University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning provides short courses for professionals in areas ranging from Māori cultural competency to effective stakeholder engagement.

Research for government

We carry out research on behalf of government to help solve social, economic and environmental problems. Our academic chair roles are largely funded by state sector agencies and work to fill gaps in knowledge in areas such as restorative justice, sustainable energy, digital government, and public service ethics.

Policy advice

We convene think tanks that help shape government policy in areas such as employment, security, social policy and climate change.

The University also has more than 40 research centres, many of which have connections with decision makers that help ensure sound, evidence-based policy is made. These include the Antarctic Research Centre, the Health Services Research Centre, and the New Zealand Centre for Public Law.

Student internships

There are several internship programmes available at the University that connect students with government and state sector agencies.

The School of Government offers internships for students completing qualifications in Public Policy or Public Management. These provide an opportunity to observe the relationship between theory and practice.

Students studying towards a Masters or Honours in Political Science, International Relations or Strategic Studies have the unique opportunity to work as interns in Parliament. Parliamentary internships give students experience working with government departments or MPs and provide valuable insight into New Zealand parliamentary processes.

Connecting with other capital cities

We host the Capital City University Initiative that brings together academics and senior management from capital city universities from around the globe.

Each year we host a symposium on a theme of current importance and high public interest, and these have included security in Asia, carbon emissions, migration and populism, and fake news.

Our distinctive strengths

The University has eight distinctive themes that help shape our teaching and research. The themes identify our strengths and where we can best contribute to local, national and global challenges.

These strengths include advancing better government, enabling our Asia–Pacific trading nation, improving health and wellbeing in our communities, and enhancing resilience and sustainability.