The University of Canterbury (UC) is situated on a large campus in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The University campus is quite beautiful, featuring large grass areas, many trees, and a small river. These have, unfortunately, been reduced somewhat by the need to fill growing parking requirements with concrete. Nevertheless, a real parking problem remains. It is unlikely that additional parking spaces will be created as there is a strong desire to preserve the significant aesthetic appeal of the campus, which is especially nice in spring.
Like many public institutions in New Zealand, grey monoliths show evidence of rapid growth during the 60's and 70's, as the postwar baby boomer children reached tertiary age. The best example of this is the 11 storey James Hight library, also known as Central Library, which sits in the middle of the campus. In the past 10 years, additional building projects have led to the construction of new Engineering, Maths & Computer Science, Law, and Commerce buildings, as the university becomes more attentive to tertiary subjects that are in demand by business (this trend is typical of New Zealand tertiary education).
The university is host to a large engineering school, the only one of significance in the South Island. Also of note is the law school, and the world-class philosophy department. Approximately 12,000 students attend the University, including quite a few international students, mainly asians (Christchurch has a thriving asian community).
There is a strong social life at UC, as is the case at most New Zealand universities. Social acitivities are strongly based around drinking, with most major societies hosting balls, barbeques and pub events. The latter usually take place at The Foundry, the campus bar. This is located in the UC students association building, which also houses a number of shops, including an excellent asian supermarket, and a 500 seat theatre.
There are 4 major halls of residence - Listed in order of socialness: Uni-hall, College House, Rochester and Rutherford, and Bishop Julius. Residents of the latter hall are not known for their attendence at the Foundry on friday nights, always the biggest night of the week.
Non-hall accomodation consists of a large number of flats in the area around the campus. Many of these are in Riccarton, as the other suburbs around the university, and particularly around the river, are some of the highest value properties in Christchurch, being the oldest part of the city, and near to a number of prestigious schools. The result is that a significant number of flats have land values in excess of 10 times the value of the actual structure. These flats are gradually being demolished.