Canterbury student numbers fall

Posted By TEU on Apr 11, 2013 |

The University of Canterbury will run out of money next year, according to the Press, forcing it to borrow cash to fund its day-to-day operations.

The university has already asked for government help, but vice-chancellor Rod Carr insists it is not facing an “imminent crisis”.

The Press reports that student numbers have fallen again, delivering another financial blow to the earthquake-stuck university.

“The university is now expecting its revenue from tuition fees to be between $5 million and $7 million less than it budgeted for after 942 full-time equivalent domestic students did not return this year.”

International student numbers are also down on budget.

Rod Carr told the Press he was “surprised” at the lower number of returning students.

The Press understood the university had asked the Government for between $200 million and $250 million in support, but that the government would not  announce its decision on this request until October.

“Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has already said the science and engineering facilities at the university will receive support. However, the university’s need was much wider than those two areas,” the paper reported today.

TEU national president Lesley Francey said the government needed to ensure that the University got the financial support that it needs to both survive and thrive.

The government will provide the university with $16 million in additional funding this year, the Press reports. However, the money will not cover the full cost of the loss of students and the $5 million to $7 million will be a direct loss to the university.

In a report to the university council, the vice-chancellor said “initiatives must be taken now to secure higher enrolments and spending must be adjusted to reflect the expected shortfall in tuition revenue in 2013 and beyond”.

Lesley Francey said the university must now be considering the wisdom of the government’s advice to specialise on a limited range of courses, whilst cutting back its broader curriculum.

“The university has followed the government’s plan and it has neither worked for staff and students nor brought the necessary government support to help the university.”

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