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UC student numbers tipped to climb in 2014

UC student numbers tipped to climb in 2014

December 27, 2013

For the first time in three years, student numbers at the University of Canterbury (UC) are tipped to climb in 2014, Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr says.

The Government announcement in October to invest up to $260 million in UC was a significant milestone for the university, Dr Carr says.

"This decision allows us to look forward to an exciting future with confidence and signals that a period of significant development and growth lies ahead of us.

"We are all proud of this achievement and of all the work that has been done over the past three years to get the University to where it is today.

"This year we were 2000 domestic full time equivalent students down on the 13,000 domestic students we had before the quakes. We also have around 400 fewer full time equivalent international students.

"Applications to enrol for new to UC international students have increased substantially compared with this time last year. Not all the applications will turn into enrolled students, but there is a renewed level of interest from international students.

"New to UC domestic applications are up about 1.7 percent year on year. It is very early in the cycle for the returning students. We will not know the exact number of students for next year until the first week of March, but signs are promising.

"We have graduated more than 11,000 students and enrolled nearly 9000 new students since the 2010 earthquake. Nearly a third of our students have gone on to study at postgraduate level at UC or universities around the world. We are in the top three universities in New Zealand for student course and programme completion rates and progression to higher levels of study.

"UC has retained its position in the top three per cent of the world’s universities and we continue to be the only New Zealand university to have a five-star rating from the international university ranking research company QS."

Dr Carr says the university has been working overtime to find extra accommodation for new students.

UC plans to take some pressure off the Christchurch housing market by building accommodation for students in partnership with the private sector.

Construction is expected to start next year on a new 240 bed hall of residence on the Dovedale campus, to be completed in time for the 2015 intake.

Dr Carr says the university is taking a positive approach and instead of contributing to the tight rental housing market in the city, it wanted to add to the housing stock as student numbers grow back to pre-quake levels.

"We have also addressed the urgent need for 2014 and have begun building 15 four bedroom houses on the Ilam campus, which will provide accommodation for 60 students from February next year.

"We are talking to neighbours and interested parties about our accommodation projects as they advance and, to help Christchurch, we are keen to provide more accommodation in future on the Dovedale campus as the University continues to contribute to the rebuild."

Dr Carr says an exciting highlight planned for 2014 will be the start of construction of UC’s $212 million new Regional Science and Innovation Centre.

The new science facility is part of the Government’s $260 million support for the university as it rebuilds and remediates following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

"We hope to occupy the first phase of the building at the beginning of 2017. Staff will be working in modern, well designed facilities which will enable them to engage in world-class research using the most modern equipment."

Science is one of the areas where UC is seen as having a strong international reputation. The centre will generate graduates and knowledge that will particularly assist the Canterbury region and New Zealand in coming years.

"We’re looking forward to a fantastic 2014 and an increase in student enrolments next year."

ENDS

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