The bad news continues for Aoraki Polytechnic, with new data
showing it is losing students faster than any other New
Zealand university or polytechnic.
The steep decline at Aoraki comes as other tertiary
institutions in the South, including Otago Polytechnic and
the University of Otago, grew, bucking an overall decline in
numbers across New Zealand.
The figures were included in Tertiary Education Commission
data comparing Government-funded equivalent full-time
students (Efts) at New Zealand's tertiary institutions as of
The data included only ''student achievement component''
(Sac)-funded places, which did not count international
students, non-Government funded places and students part of
other Government schemes, such as the youth guarantee
The numbers painted a dire picture for Aoraki Polytechnic,
whose student numbers dropped 27.4% from 915 at the end of
April last year to 664 at the end of last year.
This was a steeper fall than at any other New Zealand
polytechnic and comes as Aoraki, which has campuses in
Timaru, Oamaru and Dunedin, ran a deficit of $3 million last
year and after a string of redundancies.
Chief executive Alex Cabrera said the figures were
''partially distorted'' by the discontinuation of
sub-contracted delivery, which involved the administration of
courses taught outside the region.
It was in the process of moving into areas of priority for
the region, such as primary industries and trades.
As it worked through this process its student numbers would
look ''different'', Mr Cabrera said.
''We are concentrating on the areas where students have the
most likelihood of being able to walk into a job at the end
of their studies, and that have the greatest impact on, and
demand within, our local regions.''
In comparison to Aoraki's troubles, Otago Polytechnic and
Southern Institute of Technology were among the
best-performing institutions in the country when it came to
Sac-funded numbers grew from 2425 to 2647 at Otago
Polytechnic, while student numbers at Southern Institute of
Technology grew from 2695 to 2924.
Otago Polytechnic communications director Mike Waddell said
the increase was a reflection of ''quality of the programmes
and the quality of the staff'' at the institution - the good
reputation held by Dunedin institutions, which he called the
Numbers at the University of Otago increased by a small
fraction from 16,526 last year to 16,547 this year.
It was the only university outside Auckland, which is home to
AUT and the University of Auckland, to grow over the period.