NMIT enrolment worry

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 12:58 28/03/2014

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Students are back to study at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, though there are concerns there are not as many of them as anticipated.

NMIT budgeted for a total of 2619.7 equivalent fulltime student (EFTS) but as of March 12 there were 1779. However, with some courses having altered start dates this gap could close later in the year.

The students that NMIT has enrolled are mostly under 25. There are 421 school leavers enrolled making up 16 per cent, while under 25s are at 67 per cent.

International enrolments are lower than anticipated at NMIT this year. Equivalent fulltime student numbers in the creative industries and those at the Blenheim campus were also lower than anticipated.

Overall enrolments were similar to last year's numbers.

Chief executive Tony Gray said they were concerned with recruitment in several programmes in Marlborough including carpentry (down from 12 to nine students this year) and foundation nursing, while on the Nelson campus there was "elevated" concern over numbers enrolled in the first year of Bachelor of Arts and Media.

Mr Gray put this down to a variety of factors. He said with the rise in under 25-year-old students, older students who had usually opted to do creative courses, had dropped off.

"It's a combination of things, the flow-off from the financial crisis, people putting jobs and earning money ahead of training. There's been changes to the student loans and allowances."

He also believed a Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment report released last year, which showed job prospects for bachelor or arts students were weak had discouraged people.

International student enrolments were also an issue at NMIT. The institute was dealing with an "extremely fickle market", he said.

A short programme aimed at New Zealand training for international nurses last month filled four of the 15 spaces, while a nursing programme recruited one international student when it budgeted for five.

Most international students came from India and China, and the institute was looking to recruit from Indonesia.

Most popular courses for international students were the bachelor of commerce and vita technologies, though this was not recruiting as well as expected with just three of six anticipated international students enrolled this year.

NMIT was ahead of targets in the sport and fitness programmes, aquaculture, and viticulture and wine. Enrolments for new courses interior design and the diploma of civil engineering were also going well.

NMIT's recent online Grab a Course deal "turned out to be a cracker" where courses were sold at a 93 per cent discount.

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