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Easing pressure on enrolments has allowed the University of Otago to reopen its courses to interest-only students from next year, academic and international deputy vice-chancellor Prof Vernon Squire says.
This comes after the university decided in 2010 to halt interest-only entry into papers to limit roll growth.
No interest-only students were accepted last year or this year.
"Offering interest-only in papers maintains and extends the community service and engagement aspects of activities allowing the university to engage positively with its wider community," Prof Squire said.
However, if enrolments in any particular course were at cut-off levels, preference would still be given to students who needed the paper for credit in their course, he said.
Vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said at yesterday's university council meeting that the original decision not to accept interest-only students was taken with "great sadness".
The university was pleased to again be able to offer the service, which was "important" to the Dunedin community, she said.
Interest-only students, who are required to pay standard tuition fees, but are exempt from paying student services fees, would first be able to take part in courses early next year as part of summer school.