UC student numbers increase for 2018

01 March 2018

The University of Canterbury’s campus is buzzing with new students as 2018 enrolments increase across all five of its Colleges.

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    The University of Canterbury’s campus is buzzing with new students as 2018 enrolments increase across all five of its Colleges.

The University of Canterbury’s campus is buzzing with new students as 2018 enrolments increase across all five of its Colleges.

The latest figures indicate a total increase in new-to-UC enrolments of 15% compared to the same time last year.

With a week to go before the last day to withdraw from courses, the year-on-year comparison should be seen as positive but still indicative, UC Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr says. It appears that the increase in enrolments includes more local school-leavers choosing to remain in the city, as well as more students moving to Christchurch, he says.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the number of new UC students enrolled this year. A variety of factors drive student choice, including a range of attractive programmes, affordable accommodation, student experience on campus, and a re-emerging CBD.

“It’s too early to know whether it’s the fees-free policy that is encouraging school-leavers to stay in Christchurch and study at UC, or inspiring out-of-towners to come to Canterbury. We don’t capture data during enrolment that answers that question, however later in the year when we survey students on why they chose UC, we may get some indication of the impact free fees have had on enrolment numbers,” Dr Carr says.  

“It’s also important to remember that the new-to-UC category is not just made up of school-leavers in their first year of study who may be eligible for free fees. It includes transferring students and adult students, as well postgraduates and PhD students coming to UC for the first time.”

Dr Carr notes that a post-quake trend of local students leaving town to attend university elsewhere seems to have lessened dramatically in the last few years. The University has also made significant efforts to attract and retain students with a diverse range of study options and over 100 qualifications, including several new ones.

“The new School of Product Design has already proven popular and the first intake of students has far exceeded expectation with more than 130 students enrolled in the Bachelor of Product Design degree,” he says.

“The College of Education, Health and Human Development also appears to be recovering its numbers well with an increase in students enrolling in teaching qualifications, and there’s been an increase in Arts students enrolling. The new Mathematics and Statistics department’s Data Science postgraduate degrees have increased again, growing from 13 students in 2017 to 74 students in 2018, showing that new specialties are meeting the community’s needs. The College of Business and Law has also seen an increase in international students.”

Dr Carr noted that renting in some cities was increasingly difficult on a student budget, even with the increased access to loans and allowances.

“Living on or near the UC campus, with the ability to go from home or hall to lectures in less than ten minutes, to the beach in 20 minutes or to the ski-fields in 90 minutes, is much more appealing and affordable than many other places.”

The latest 2018 UC enrolment figures (as at date of publication):

New-to-UC enrolments (domestic and international) are up 15% on 2017

Domestic students:

  • Total current enrolments for Domestic students are up 6% on 2017
    • Enrolments for Domestic first-year students are up 12% on 2017
    • Enrolments for Domestic returning students are up 4% on 2017 

International students:

  • Total current enrolments for International (full-fee) students are up 24% on 2017
    • Enrolments for International first-year students are up 29% on 2017
    • Enrolments for International returning students are up 19% on 2017 

Māori & Pasifika students:

  • Māori student enrolments are up 11% on 2017
  • Pasifika student enrolments are up 3% on 2017

For further information please contact:

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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