SIT chief confident despite student shortfall

19:17, Jul 16 2014

The Southern Institute of Technology needs almost 300 more students to meet its government target this year.

The polytechnic is 285 equivalent fulltime students (EFTS) short of its 2014 target, heading into the second semester.

SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds said if the targets were not met by the end of the academic year, the polytechnic would be required to pay back government funding for the EFTS they did not deliver.

Student targets and funding levels are set by the Tertiary Education Commission. However, as enrolments were more than 200 EFTS ahead of where they were this time last year, Simmonds expected the polytechnic to "overachieve" its target.

SIT is chasing a target of 4637.2 EFTS.

Although Simmonds was confident SIT would reach the required numbers, she said she did not expect the polytechnic to do so until later in the year.

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Further enrolments for the SIT2LRN and on-campus programmes were still expected for this semester.

Total EFTS numbers would not be known until October, when intakes for shorter courses and programmes running across years were finalised, Simmonds said.

In 2013, the polytechnic managed to reach its target despite being well short mid-year.

At the end of June last year, SIT was 1000 EFTS short of its 2013 target, but numbers increased as the second semester got under way. It achieved its EFTS target, but failed to meet additional priority trades targets, set to support Christchurch, Simmonds said.

The targets did not include international students. So far this year, there are more than 700 international students enrolled at the polytechnic, translating to about 550 EFTS.

The Southland Times