Graduate Centre ClockTower East Wing



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Graduate Centre

ClockTower – East Wing

The University of Auckland

Private Bag 92019

Auckland 1142

Tel: +64 9 373 7599 ext 81321




Guidelines for the Transfer of Doctoral Candidates



These guidelines outline the issues that should be considered and the processes that must be followed when a PhD candidate from another university indicates that they wish to transfer their enrolment to the University of Auckland. The Guidelines also cover former University of Auckland doctoral candidates who did not complete their doctorates and who now wish to commence a new doctorate.


Requests for doctoral candidates to transfer between universities or to re-register are considered on a case-by-case basis.
A candidate who has failed a doctorate at any university will not normally be considered for entry into the doctoral programme at the University of Auckland.
A candidate enrolled for a masters degree at another university may not apply to convert an unfinished masters thesis into a PhD thesis at the University of Auckland; the candidate must complete the masters degree and apply for admission in the usual way.



  1. Candidates currently registered in a PhD programme at another university

The PhD Statute allows for suitably qualified people who are registered at another university and who wish to transfer to the University of Auckland to be considered for admission. Guideline 7 of the PhD Statute and Guidelines provides the following information:


……These candidates are required to withdraw from registration at the other university and to provide the Board of Graduate Studies with a statutory declaration concerning the nature and extent of the research done and the supervision received at the other university. It is not expected that such candidates who have completed more than a year of full-time study at another institution would be accepted into the University’s PhD programme.
A template Statutory Declaration is attached (Appendix I).
PhD candidates transferring to Auckland are normally expected to do so in their first year of candidature and must be registered at the University of Auckland for a minimum of two years full-time (four years part-time). All transferring candidates will be registered provisionally and undergo the usual provisional year review. This includes meeting all of the University’s standard provisional year goals.


  1. Candidates whose supervisor has been appointed to the University of Auckland

If the candidate is within the first year of their PhD registration at the supervisor’s previous institution they may apply to transfer to the PhD programme at the University of Auckland. For such applicants, consideration should be given to:


  1. whether the research can be supported at the University of Auckland and whether appropriate facilities are available;

  2. any scholarship the candidate has, since no guarantee can be given that a candidate would be awarded a scholarship at the University of Auckland;

  3. whether appropriate co-supervisors or advisers are available to support the research.

It may be more appropriate for the candidate to remain at the other university, in which case the transferring staff member may be appointed as an external adviser to that institution. For more advanced candidates, this is likely to be the most appropriate course of action.


Candidates who transfer in order to follow their supervisor to the University of Auckland must complete a Statutory Declaration (see Appendix I) and must be registered at the University of Auckland for a minimum of two years full-time (four years part-time). All transferring candidates will be registered provisionally and undergo the usual provisional year review. This includes meeting all of the University’s standard provisional year goals.


  1. Candidates moving to Auckland who are not following their supervisor

PhD candidates registered at another university wishing to transfer to the University of Auckland will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The Board of Graduate Studies must be satisfied that appropriate supervision can be provided and that the research can be supported at the University of Auckland. Candidates who have completed more than one year of full-time study will not normally be considered. It may be more appropriate for the candidate to remain registered at their home university as an absent/distance candidate.
Candidates who transfer because they have moved to the University of Auckland from another university must complete a Statutory Declaration (see Appendix I) and must be registered at the University of Auckland for a minimum of two years full-time (four years part-time). All transferring candidates will be registered provisionally and undergo the usual provisional year review. This includes meeting all of the University’s standard provisional year goals.



  1. Candidates who have been registered for a doctorate previously at the University of Auckland

In some circumstances (e.g. health-related issues) candidates may be given approval to reapply for entry into a doctorate programme even though their previous registration was terminated. In such cases the application would normally be for a new research topic. In such cases the new thesis topic may be related to the topic of the previous candidature, but work undertaken whilst previously registered may not be presented as part of the new thesis.





  1. Candidates whose PhD registration at another university has been terminated

Before a candidate whose doctoral registration at another university was terminated can be considered for entry into the University of Auckland PhD programme, the reasons for the termination of the previous candidature must be investigated with both the candidate and the terminating university. If the termination was as a consequence of poor performance on the part of the candidate, they would not normally be considered for admission into the PhD programme at the University of Auckland.


If, however, the termination was a consequence of ill health, family relocation, or other circumstances beyond the control of the candidate, they may be considered for entry into the doctoral programme at the University of Auckland on a case-by-case basis.



  1. Candidates registered at the University of Auckland who are considering transfer to another university

Candidates who wish to transfer to another institution can terminate their registration at the University of Auckland at any time, but should note that acceptance at another institution is at the discretion of that institution.


If the candidate’s supervisor is moving to an appointment at another university or the candidate is in their provisional year, registration elsewhere may be the most appropriate option in which case the candidate should apply to terminate their doctoral registration. When a candidate is transferring to another university, consideration should be given to any IP interests the supervisor or the University of Auckland may have in the research already carried out.
If a candidate has to move elsewhere in NZ or overseas for reasons other than the supervisor moving (e.g. family relocation), consideration should be given as to whether it is feasible for them to complete their doctorate at the University of Auckland. If the candidate is nearing completion it may be appropriate to continue registration at the University of Auckland. In such cases the candidate must apply to be absent from the University. Information on absences can be found at Procedures and Guidelines for Periods of Absence of Doctoral Candidates (for absences of 2-12 months) and Guidelines for Off-Campus Registration of Doctoral Candidates (for absences longer than 1 year).
It is important to note that candidates who are international students (including Australian citizens) or NZ permanent residents may not be absent from New Zealand for more than 12 months whilst registered if they wish to pay domestic tuition fees. If they are, or intend to be, absent overseas for more than 12 months in total, full international fees will be charged.


Declaration for doctoral candidates with previous doctoral registration



Section 1. Candidate’s details

Candidate name:

Address in full:




University where registered previously:




Previous supervisor:




Dates of previous registration:




Section 2. Candidate’s declaration

I do solemnly and sincerely declare that:





  1. I have withdrawn from doctoral registration at …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………



  1. The nature and extent of the research I have completed towards a doctorate at my previous university is as follows:

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


  1. The supervision I received for my doctoral studies at my previous university was as follows: (please indicate whether there are any IP issues that need to be resolved)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the Oaths and Declarations

Act 1957.

Signed ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
DECLARED at …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
On …………………………… day of ……………………………………………………………………………… month ………………………………… year
Before me ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Signed ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(Justice of the Peace or Solicitor of High Court)





Approved by Board of Graduate Studies November 2013 Page of


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