In 2018 it was announced that Auckland University of Technology (AUT) would join the other seven universities in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in offering a higher doctorate qualification. As part of this process it became apparent that new academical dress would need to be designed and created. Working in the university’s Graduate Research School gave me an opportunity to provide input, and as a result, I designed a new set of academic dress for these qualifications in conjunction with the university’s official robemaker, Paul Fielder (FBS).

This provided a prompt to examine what academical dress exists for existing AUT doctorates – so that the new qualifications (a DLitt and a DSc are being offered as of 1st January 2019) could be sympathetic to the existing ones; and also what the relationship is between different doctoral academical dress at the other universities in Aotearoa – so that the design of the new dress was not reinventing the wheel. This research project builds on this examination to examine the history and development of doctoral academic dress across Aotearoa.

This study found that there is a range of similarity across doctoral dress in universities across New Zealand, with the six universities that were originally constituents of the University of New Zealand being the most similar (as at one point they shared a common academic dress).

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New Prairie Press

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