Canterbury University contemplates student cuts

Posted By TEU on Apr 2, 2009 |

TEU Tertiary Update Volume 12 Number 9

The University of Canterbury’s vice–chancellor, Dr Rod Carr, has suggested that, with increasing numbers of students not being matched by extra government funding, he could support tougher standards to keep student enrolments down.

Dr Carr told the Press last week that the university is forecasting a $3 million shortfall in 2009, with domestic enrolments up 5 percent on the same time last year.

While pleased about the increase in student numbers, he said that it would be unsustainable to take unfunded students on an ongoing basis.

Government requirements mean that the university could not restrict people from enrolling, but it could restrict numbers returning to study, Dr Carr told the Press. “Either quality will deteriorate or, at some point, you’ll have to say these ones are not keeping up to the standard required.”

While the university is seeking more funds from the Tertiary Education Commission. TEC spokesperson David Nicholson said Otago and Canterbury Universities’ expected growth is within agreed thresholds. “They can enrol additional students on an unfunded basis. International students who pay full fees are a common example of this practice.”

TEU president, Dr Tom Ryan, said that it would be unfortunate to see students excluded from study on such arbitrary grounds.  “It really is important that the government gets on top of the funding issue and provides our institutions with the amount needed to cover all domestic students, new and continuing.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. New chair for tertiary-teaching-award panel
  2. Otago University’s secretive council draws ire
  3. TEC today announces who’s to go
  4. Lower graduate salaries caused by high employment and rising wages
  5. MyMassey becomes YourMassey
  6. Six equity reviews finalised this month
  7. Education investment to ease economic crisis
  8. Gender pay-gap grows in UK universities
  9. US drug companies fund doctor education
  10. VCs paid less than football stars

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day, email:

Dr Tom Ryan, TEU President

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