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Financial statements were still being finalised, but growth in domestic and international students and returns from other revenue streams had exceeded predictions.
"Our 2018 Otago Polytechnic group unaudited surplus is expected to be ahead of budget and forecast," Mr Ker said.
Applications for the institution's degree level programmes had risen markedly, and the number of students attempting to enrol increased 18%.
Overall, applications to study at Otago Polytechnic had increased by 3%.
"The budget for 2019 is for total enrolments to increase by 2.4% over the 2018 actuals," Mr Ker said.
"Domestic enrolments are budgeted to increase by 4%, and more than 10% over the previous two years."
More than 1400 international students were expected this year - a 12% rise since 2017.
"The number of students reflects the attractiveness of our programmes, the quality of our teaching and our innovative approaches to learning," Mr Ker said.
A recent economic impact report has suggested Otago Polytechnic provided more than $300million a year to the Otago economy.
"We contribute to our communities ... through student projects, sponsorships, and making our resources, including buildings and equipment, freely available," Mr Ker said.