The future looks bright for Otago Polytechnic, as student
numbers are forecast to grow by 6% next year - its third year
of growth in a row.
The polytechnic's budget for next year, which was tabled at a
closed council meeting last week, said 4220 equivalent
full-time students (Efts) were expected to enrol next year.
The main increases were in trades and engineering, design and
hospitality, via the Food Design Institute, at both its
Auckland International Campus and Central Otago and through
its subsidiary Capable NZ.
Chief executive Phil Ker said he was ''very happy'' student
numbers were continuing to increase.
''I like to think it's a combination of two things. One is
the continuing good reputation of Dunedin as a plus to study,
but secondly, it is the reputation we have built for the
quality of our programmes.''
It also offered ''innovative'' programmes, which meant it had
carved out a ''little bit of a niche'' attracting more
''This hasn't come by accident. We have worked hard to build
our reputation. I guess it's paying off and long may it
continue to do so.''
Its new Auckland International Campus was also performing
''remarkably well'' and was forecast to return a surplus this
year, which was its first full year of operation. This was
''pretty good for any new business''.
He was confident it would be able to meet its budget for
''We have clearly got to wait until the students turn up, but
applications are very strong and well ahead of last year.''
The polytechnic was forecasting an operating surplus of $3.45
million next year, with a turnover of $68.3 million.
It had set aside $12.7 million for capital expenditure,
including $7.5 million for its ''Learning Link'' project,
which involved building an atrium linking the polytechnic's F
and H blocks and transforming the ground floor of both
buildings into a ''student hub''.
The final stage of the project was expected to be completed