While most NZ universities are starting to see declining student enrolments, the University of Canterbury is bucking the trend and growing their number new student numbers for 2017.
In the years after the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, enrolments at UC dropped by over 20%. In 2014, a total of 14,725 students were studying at UC, down from 18,783 in 2010. This trend turned around in 2016 with a 16% jump in new students over 2015, and this rise has continued into 2017.
The number of new international students enrolling at UC in 2017 has climbed even more significantly, with 20% more in 2017 bringing the international student numbers to over 1800 from more than 115 countries. The university has also grown its numbers of students studying at Masters and at PhD levels.
New facilities have helped
This year a record number of Engineering students will be the first to use the state-of-the-art Engineering precinct. Similarly, many new Arts students will be the first to experience and enjoy the new UC Arts City Campus based in the city’s Arts Centre. UC’s College of Business and Law has seen an 8 per cent increase in student numbers in 2017, while enrolments are up 5 per cent at UC’s College of Education, Health and Human Development.
The university has worked hard to address the slump in numbers. Accommodation has been a big focus, and they have even developed Go Canterbury scholarships designed to attract school leavers from Auckland and Wellington and which offer $5,000 towards student accommodation costs.
Acting UC Vice Chancellor Ian Wright emphasized the positives of attending UC when releasing the university’s 2017 numbers. “Living on or near the UC campus, and having a lifestyle that can take you from lectures to the beach or city centre in 20 minutes or the skifield in 90, is much more appealing and affordable than trying to live in Auckland or Wellington.”