College use a financial boost

James Lindsay.
James Lindsay.
Increased use of residential colleges while students are away has given University of Otago’s finances a boost.

The boost helped contribute to the university’s operating surplus for the year to the end of April of $3.3 million, which was $5 million higher than the expected deficit of $1.7 million.

A report tabled at this week’s university council meeting said the division of campus and collegiate life services, which is responsible for colleges, which had $556,000 more income than expected.

The report said this was because of increased income in the summer period.

Campus and collegiate life services director James Lindsay said  the increase was down to greater than anticipated numbers of students needing accommodation for secondary student programme Hands-on Otago, science academy and the summer school.

In the report chief financial officer Sharon van Turnhout said the university’s better than expected financial result was  largely due to timing issues.

"Capital expenditure is lower than budget due to delays in some projects entering the construction phase as they have encountered adverse ground conditions.

"Liquidity remains strong as significant cash reserves were deliberately built up to fund the priority development plan," Ms van Turnhout said.

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