Enrolments for Otago Polytechnic increasing

Enrolments for Otago Polytechnic are ''well ahead'' of last year, with the institution looking set to grow for the third year running.

Otago Polytechnic communications director Mike Waddell said as of yesterday 3427 equivalent full-time students (Efts) had enrolled, which was more than 10% up on the 3012 Efts enrolled at the end of February last year.

''We are naturally pretty excited about this,'' Mr Waddell said.

It was still ''too early'' to predict exactly where student numbers would end up, and how much of the increase was due to better enrolment processes resulting in students being entered into the system earlier.

''It's slightly early to say, given that the majority of students don't start till Monday and students often turn up with their enrolment forms.

''We do expect this figure to come back somewhat, and it is likely that we will be 5% up overall.''

Chief executive Phil Ker said at a polytechnic council meeting yesterday that it was a ''very pleasing start to the year''.

''This is an excellent result given that the level of employment opportunities are increasing.''

International student numbers were ahead of target for both the Dunedin and Auckland campus, but exact figures were not given at the meeting.

The polytechnic's growth has come at a time when student numbers have been falling at the University of Otago.