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March 11, 2013 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Canterbury in the Red

University waves goodbye to days in black

Canterbury University has recently recorded a $67 million deficit, making a Government bailout increasingly likely. Earthquake damage has hit the University hard, with $40 million of the sum being attributed to earthquake-related costs. “As with everyone, the full effects on the buildings are becoming more apparent as further inspections and reports are carried out and we are still in the thick of it,” said Group Manager for Corporate Services Murray Dickson.

Despite $4.5 million having being spent to attract students, enrolments are decreasing. Students on campus cited uncertainty about the safety within Christchurch and want of a better social scene as reasons possible students aren’t choosing Canterbury. Due to the earthquake, buildings and facilities are shut down, making campus life less appealing. “I don’t think I’d want to go back because I’d be scared there’d be more earthquakes. They cut a lot of classes too, apparently,” said one student Salient spoke to. University of Canterbury vice-Chancellor rod Carr described the need for help as “critical” and said that the money needed to be available by October.According to Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce, taxpayer funding would be available to the University. “Certainly that would be our intention. rod’s working to a timeline and we’re working to a timeline. It is our intention to provide it by October,” said Joyce.

The University’s deficit is in sharp contrast to their $28 million surplus in 2011. As well as their current deficit, the University has an
additional $3 million increase in insurance premiums. victoria has also faced rises in insurance premiums following the earthquake.
Lincoln University has also been hit with earthquake damage and is expected to post a deficit later this year. “The Government’s lack of urgency on the funding plan for the University means it cannot move forward”, says Labour Tertiary Education spokesperson Megan Woods. Canterbury University had 15,608 students as of 2012, with 14 per cent more students than expected enrolled for 2013.


Sofia Roberts


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