SIT records $1.408m surplus

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 06/05/2014

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Strong international student growth has resulted in a surplus $800,000 over the amount budgeted for by the Southern Institute of Technology.

At the polytechnic's annual meeting last night, chief executive Penny Simmonds said it finished the year with an "acceptable " surplus of $1.408 million. It had budgeted for a surplus of $603,000.

There were 551 equivalent fulltime students (EFTS) international student numbers in 2013 were. The number of EFTS international students at SIT in 2012 was 496 and 453 in 2011.

The polytechnic had to meet capital expenditure costs towards completing the first two of four major student accommodation blocks in Invercargill and Queenstown.

Seismic reports were also completed.

The draft annual report, which was adopted at the meeting, says 11,188 students were enrolled at the institute last year.

Council chairwoman Sarah Brown said it had been another challenging year for SIT but the polytech continued to produce jobseekers with leading-edge qualifications.

In her foreword in the annual report, Mrs Brown says SIT's graduates were the ones who would support and sustain the region's economic growth.

The growth in international students also provided lasting benefits to the Southland community in economic and cultural ways, she said.

Southland's "enormous" increase in ethnic and cultural diversity could be largely attributed to the polytech.

"SIT's international students, either current or former, have remained in the area," Brown said.

Highlights in 2013 included accreditation and approval for a new Bachelor of Professional Communication and a 100 per cent pass rate in the external state New Zealand Nursing Council finals examination by SIT Bachelor of Nursing graduates.

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