Polytech fund fall won't hit district

Last updated 05:00 22/12/2012

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Aoraki Polytechnic's budget for next year has dropped $2.6 million to $13.5m, with the cuts affecting out-of-region subcontracting courses.

Little change is expected in its campuses in Timaru, Christchurch, Dunedin, Oamaru and Ashburton, Aoraki council chairman Kevin Cosgrove said yesterday.

"The investment plan from the Tertiary Education Commission for 2013 is consistent with our programme portfolio and was expected. It reflects what Aoraki Polytechnic has actually achieved over the last two years in mainstream/core programmes.

"We have the required funding for planned core delivery using our campuses and our tutors, and that is good news.

"The Government has indicated it does not want us to be involved in subcontracting, especially in other regions."

An example of subcontracting courses affected next year include business, computing, film and television in Auckland. "The remaining subcontracting delivery is focused on regional need."

The polytechnic was funded for almost 2000 equivalent fulltime students (efts) this year, but attracted about 150 fewer than this.

Mr Cosgrove said enrolments for local courses for next year were positive, tracking 13 per cent up on the same time last year. "Inquiries for places across our campuses are also up, by 14 per cent.

"We need to attract the students from our region to study at the polytechnic to ensure we reach our targets. As always, it is important we get support from the community to enable us to achieve these targets," Mr Cosgrove said.

The polytechnic is projecting a $2.1m loss this financial year because of fewer students than expected being enrolled. Last year it lost $1.6m.

The losses prompted the polytech council to employ independent education adviser Malcolm Inglis to look at long-term options. He has met with various community groups, and will continue to do so in the new year.

Aoraki has a nest egg of $25m in the bank.

Programmes for 2013 are due to start on February 18.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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