The student who lay dead for three days in a Victoria University hall of residence is believed to be Shaun Hopkins, who was studying for a PhD in Logic at the time of his death.

It was revealed on Thursday a body of an Australian man, aged in his 30s, was discovered in Education House three days after he died in January last year.

A Victoria University of Wellington Student Association (VUWSA) spokeswoman confirmed it was aware of Hopkins' death.

"It's a very unfortunate situation. Our condolences are with his friends and family," the spokeswoman said.


She said VUWSA believed that the university did the best they could and acted appropriately and proactively at the time.

"We can't comment any further than that."

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Hopkins was named as a 2015 Victoria doctoral scholar winner.

The university-run hostel, which he was staying in, is for older students and contains self-catered apartments.

Universities are coming under pressure to answer questions as this is the second case of a student's body going unnoticed at a university hostel.

Last month a Canterbury University student's body was found at the privately-owned Sonoda Campus weeks after his death.

Victoria University of Wellington vice-chancellor Grant Guilford said hostels like these have a lower number of RAs (resident advisers) than others, usually about 40 students to one RA.


"The older students, such as this young man, are not expected to sign in or sign out, we try and respect their privacy but we do keep an eye on things."

This death didn't raise questions about care in halls of residence, he said.

"This was an understandable situation, a sudden death of an adult student.

"In this particular case, in the middle of the holiday period, we were able to detect it three days within it occurring so I don't think I can ask more of my staff in this regard."

Guilford said the university reviewed its critical instance procedure after the death and the only change made was that the room of an absent student would now only be entered by a senior or manager.

There is a rising tide of anxiety and depression among first year students, he said, and in 2017, the university restructured the halls of residents so that younger RAs would not have to deal with some of the mental wellbeing issues facing students.