A failure to meet forecast student numbers is hitting the
University of Otago in the pocket.
A report tabled at yesterday's university council meeting
showed the university's operating surplus of $2.671 million
for the three months until the end of March was $1.974
million below expectations.
Despite overall student numbers increasing by the slightest
of margins this year, the 0.1% increase did not match its
forecast for a 1.7% increase.
This failure to meet forecast student numbers cost the
university $177,000 in domestic tuition fees and $585,000 in
international fees for the period - with international
numbers declining 3.7% on last year against a forecast for a
Externally funded research was also $1.704 million (7.9%)
below budget, with the shortfall down to lower-than-expected
research activity, predominantly in the health sciences
Speaking at yesterday's meeting, chief operating officer John
Patrick said the university's surplus failed to meet Tertiary
Education Commission guidelines.
However, this was not unusual at the beginning of the year
and the university would be expected to ''catch up'' later in
It was not all bad news, with the university's cash flow, at
$107.571 million, $13.803 million (14.7%) higher than
budgeted for the period.
The university's cash on hand, which typically peaks in
March, was at $175.982 million, which was $14.363 million
(8.9%) above budget and $21.379 million higher than in the
corresponding period last year.