University of Canterbury student numbers appear to be climbing for the first time in three years.
Vice chancellor Dr Rod Carr said applications from new students were up 1.7 per cent from the same time last year.
Before the earthquakes the university had 13,000 domestic students. This year it had 11,000.
Carr said the university had about 400 fewer full-time international students this year than in 2010.
"Not all the applications will turn into enrolled students, but there is a renewed level of interest from international students," he said.
Carr said exact numbers of students would not be known until the first week of March, but the signs were promising.
He said the government announcement to invest up to $260 million in the university was a significant milestone.
Work would begin this year on the construction of a new science innovation centre and a 240-bed hall of residence on the Dovedale campus. Construction has already begun on a 60-bed housing block on the Ilam campus.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Why are fewer teens learning to drive?Related story: Teen non-drivers lazy 'narcissists'