Student increase ups SIT surplus

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 03/07/2014

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An increase in student enrolments has paid off for the Southern Institute of Technology, which has recorded a $1.7 million surplus.

Deputy chief executive corporate Bharat Guha, speaking at a SIT council meeting this week, said the polytechnic reported the surplus of $1.7m to the end of April, against a budgeted deficit of $422,000.

A surplus of $22,000 was recorded at the corresponding time last year.

One of the main causes of the larger surplus was an increase in the number of equivalent fulltime students (Efts) enrolled this year, he said.

Figures presented at the meeting show more than 400 extra students have enrolled at SIT this year.

To date, there are 3957.5 Efts enrolled, compared with 3534.9 Efts in June 2013.

Chief executive Penny Simmonds said enrolments at the Christchurch campus and on the SIT2LRN distance programme were well ahead of last year, while there had also been "a bit more activity" at the Queenstown campus.

However, the polytechnic was still almost 700 students short of its 2014 target, she said.

Plans to streamline the polytechnic's property portfolio were also discussed at the meeting.

The Government had approved the transfer of all Crown assets managed by SIT into the institute's legal title, Simmonds said.

At present, buildings bought after the introduction of the Education Act in 1990 are owned by the polytech, while older buildings are owned by the Crown and managed by SIT.

This system had created complications, Simmonds said. For example, the polytechnic had to get dispensation from the council to carry out work on buildings bordering Crown-owned properties, because they officially had different owners, she said.

"It caused us an awful lot of grief . . . this will make our life a lot easier."

A memorandum of understanding for the transfer would now be drafted, before the Ministry of Education could begin the process.

SIT lodged the application to transfer assets in 2012.

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