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Otago records enrolment gains in humanities, commerce and science

Students outside of St Davids Cafe

Wednesday 10 April 2019 3:55pm

University of Otago campus view image

The University of Otago has secured another year of enrolment growth, with 2019 enrolments currently totalling 17,633 EFTS (equivalent full-time students), which is 166 EFTS up on the same time last year.

Within this 166 EFTS total, which equates to a 1.0% gain, domestic and international enrolments are both up on the same time last year, by 104 EFTS (0.6%) and 62 EFTS (4.6%) respectively.

There has been significant growth at Otago in both undergraduate and postgraduate enrolments. Māori and Pacific enrolments are also up again this year by 3.9% and 5.7% respectively.

First-year school-leaver domestic enrolments are up by 49 students, with the University’s residential colleges at full capacity for another year. On the other hand, enrolments from mature-aged first-year students are down slightly. The University believes this could be due, in part, to the very strong job market.

The University’s Commerce, Humanities and Sciences divisions have all secured enrolment growth for 2019. Health Sciences is down slightly, though this is entirely due to changes to the Health Sciences First Year curriculum that have resulted in an increased proportion of Humanities and Sciences input into the programme.

“Following on from growth of over 370 EFTS in 2018, this represents another very positive year for Otago,” says Vice-Chancellor, Professor Harlene Hayne.

“It is particularly pleasing to see Humanities secure a second successive year of growth, and also to see Commerce return to growth after a couple of years of decline. I’m also delighted by our further gains in Māori and Pacific enrolments.

“In other areas, it is encouraging to report that the re-design of our physical education curriculum appears to have had its desired effect in stabilising enrolments in our School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences.

“As has already been reported earlier this year, we have also seen strong enrolment growth in our College of Education,” says Professor Hayne.

Division of Humanities Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Tony Ballantyne says enrolment growth for a second year confirms both the strength of some long-standing subject areas at Otago as well as the benefits that come from the Division co-operating with other parts of the University.

“I am very pleased to see some strong growth from Geography and the College of Education in addition to a notable uptick in the enrolments in Languages and Cultures. This data is a further sign that the Division is heading in a very positive direction,” Professor Ballantyne says.

International full-fee enrolments are up 62 EFTS (4.6%). This is mainly driven by increased recruitment from the United States, China, India, and Vietnam.

“I’m delighted with the growth in international enrolments. We continue to value the diversity that our international student community brings to the University and our campuses. We will continue to support our international students across our campuses and who were affected by the tragedy in Christchurch on March 15th.

“We are not aware of any cancellations or withdrawals of current or prospective international students as a result of the tragedy. Our staff who have travelled overseas in recent weeks have received feedback that the national response, led by the Prime Minister, has largely reassured the international community that New Zealand continues to be safe and welcoming for students from all parts of the world,” Professor Hayne concludes.

Enrolments at a glance (figures as at 31 March, 2019)

  • The University currently has enrolments totalling 17,633 EFTS. This is 166 EFTS (1.0%) more than the same time last year.
  • Overall growth in Commerce (35 EFTS), Humanities (74 EFTS) and Sciences (75 EFTS) has been partly offset by a decline in Health Sciences (18 EFTS).
  • Undergraduate enrolments are up 81 EFTS (0.6%) on the same time last year, and postgraduate enrolments are up 85 EFTS (2.8%).
  • Māori enrolments are up by 77 students (3.9%), and Pacific enrolments are up by 64 students (7.1%). Commencing Māori and Pacific enrolments are also well up on the same time last year, by 6.3% and 16.9% respectively.
  • International full-fee enrolments are up 62 EFTS (4.6%), mainly due to an in increase in international school leaver recruitment and strong postgraduate growth in Commerce.

Note: The above figures are exclusive of enrolments though the University’s Foundation Studies subsidiary, which currently stand at 195 EFTS.

For more information

Mark Hathaway
Senior Communications Adviser
University of Otago
Tel +64 3 479 5016
Mob +64 21 279 5016