A government cash injection of $260 million for Canterbury
University will not lure students away from the University of
Otago, sciences pro-vice-chancellor Prof Keith Hunter says.
The comments come after Tertiary Education, Skills and
Employment Minister Steven Joyce announced the funding boost
this week as part of a campus-wide redevelopment programme at
Canterbury University, expected to cost $1.1 billion over 10
About $212 million of the Government money would go towards a
new Canterbury Regional Science and Innovation Centre,
scheduled for completion in 2017. Prof Hunter said he
believed the investment in Canterbury University would not
have a large impact on Otago University.
''I'm not worried about it. We are good friends with
Canterbury and we collaborate a lot and I was pleased to hear
the announcement for their sakes,'' he said.
Otago University was planning some large projects of its own
and had some competitive advantages over Canterbury.
''We have always competed well. We are a bigger university,
we have attractions that Canterbury doesn't have, like health
sciences,'' he said.
The investment in Canterbury was good for science in the
South Island, which could have suffered if nothing was done.
''The prospect that Canterbury might not recover, might not
get investment, was worrying for the South Island, and I
think this is a good thing.''
He believed the new facilities at Canterbury would help
return its student numbers to pre-quake levels.
''I would think that once their facilities are restored they
will probably go back to the catchments they normally get
students from - the upper half of the South Island.''