University of Canterbury

Chancellor: Dr John Wood
Vice-Chancellor: Dr Rod Carr
Main Campus Key Main Campus
AQA Academic Audit
Whole institution audit timeline: 2014
Audit Report: August 2010
Funding by TEC
81.7% Teaching and Learning
0.3% Capability
17.9% Research
0.1% Scholarships/Learners
TEC Funding
Delivery by Level
0.0% Level 1–2
1.1% Level 3–4
0.2% Level 5–6
87.7% Level 7–8
11.0% Level 9–10
Delivery By Level
Delivery by Subject
30.3% Society and Culture
17.2% Education 
14.8% Engineering and Related Technologies
14.8% Natural and Physical Sciences
9.5% Management and Commerce
13.4% Other
Delivery By Subject

In 2012, the University of Canterbury’s educational performance was above the university sector average and had generally improved on the previous year’s performance.


In the Annual Report, Chancellor Dr John Wood described 2012 as the year in which tangible progress was made in the journey to recovery. In November, Cabinet gave in-principle support for a long-term post-earthquakes recovery programme. This programme was developed following wide consultation with the Government, industry, Ngāi Tahu and other regional education providers. It focuses on initiatives necessary to attract students back to the university including improving the learning experience and promoting opportunities for non-traditional learning. Cabinet also indicated it was willing in-principle to provide capital to modernise the university’s science and engineering facilities.

Both the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor highlighted major infrastructure developments in their reviews. These included the UCSA Events Centre, the Undercroft (student commons) and the Shilling Club. Remediation projects continued across the campus with the completion of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Library, Wheki Building and Student Services Centre and major progress on the main university library. Five further projects will be completed by the end of the 2013/14 summer. The number of graduates at the end of 2012 was the largest in the university’s history, which the Chancellor considered was a tribute to the calibre of the ‘earthquake cohort’.

Canterbury extended its proposed engagement with stakeholders in 2012, including Ngāi Tahu and, in the context of the central city revitalisation and new health precinct, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, Canterbury District Health Board and University of Otago. The university also entered into an agreement with Navitas that will result in the first joint venture between a major international education provider and a New Zealand university. Canterbury maintained its ranking among the top 3 percent of the world’s universities and its Quacquarelli Symonds five-star rating.

In 2012, Canterbury’s enrolments fell by 3 percent (342 EFTS). The majority of provision was at Levels 7–8 (88%) and Levels 9–10 (11%). Canterbury’s main fields of study were Society and Culture (30%), Education (17%), Engineering and Related Technologies (15%), and Natural and Physical Sciences (15%).

Participation of Māori (7%) and Pasifika (2%) students, which had been relatively unchanged over the past three years, remained below the university sector average. Participation of under-25-year-olds (75%) was above the university sector average and remained at the same level as the previous year. Canterbury had 832 full fee-paying international EFTS (1029 students) in 2012.


Despite challenging times, Canterbury improved its educational performance and achieved above the university sector average across all four educational performance indicators. Canterbury also improved its qualification completion (up from 76% in 2011 to 85% in 2012) and student retention (up from 81% in 2011 to 87% in 2012).

Performance for the TES priority groups (Māori, Pasifika and under 25-year-olds) was above the university sector average for all but Pasifika course completion. Qualification completion for Māori and Pasifika increased sharply, up by 13 and 16 percentage points respectively.


The university faced a complex financial situation as a result of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. In 2012, the university’s total revenue was $293.2 million, an increase of $2.5 million. Total operating expenditure increased by $36.4 million, which included a one-off adjustment of $20 million for a change to the methodology around depreciating library assets.

There was a decrease in the operating result, before the impact of the earthquakes was taken into account, from a $7.3 million surplus in 2011 to a deficit of $26.6 million in 2012. After the impact of the earthquakes was taken into account, the 2012 result was a deficit of $66.6 million (22.7%) compared with a $28.8 million surplus in 2011.

TES Priorities

2012 Performance Canterbury University
Students under 25 75% 73%
Māori 7% 10%
Pasifika 2% 6%
Course Completion
2012 Performance  Canterbury University
All  87% 86%
Students under 25 87% 86%
Māori 81% 80%
Pasifika 69% 72%
Qualification Completion
2012 Performance  Canterbury University
All 85% 80%
Students under 25 77% 72%
Māori 81% 68%
Pasifika 75% 60%
​1 In 2012, the university restated its equity as at 1 January 2012 by $17.8 million write-down for a prior period error in relation to the accounting treatment of subscriptions to electronic journals. The consequential impact of this adjustment on the reported results for 2010 has not been included here. The 2010 results are those disclosed in the annual report for that year.
Overview of Educational Performance – Formal SAC Funded EFTS only
Enrolments % of University sector 2010 2011 2012
EFTS 10% 14,107 12,523 12,181
Students 9% 16,907 15,028 14,520
Educational Performance Indicators University sector 2010 2011 2012
Successful Course Completion 86% 85% 88% 87%
Qualification Completion 80% 66% 76% 85%
Student Retention 82% 84% 81% 87%
Student Progression L1-4 62% 75% 88% 86%
Overview of Financial Performance*
Summary Financial Statements ($000) 2010 2011 2012
Total government revenue $142,716 $147,975 $151,521
Domestic student fees $63,444 $58,809 $59,580
International student fees $24,322 $19,403 $18,568
Other income (including research) $69,015 $64,529 $63,573
Total revenue $299,497 $290,716 $293,242
Personnel $178,921 $172,119 $175,351
Total expenses $287,374 $283,371 $319,801
Net surplus (after unusual and non-recurring items) $12,393 $28,841 -$66,600
Property, plant, equipment and intangibles $751,231 $634,494 $586,618
Total assets $870,608 $744,806 $688,355
Equity (net assets)1 $719,476 $584,711 $522,100
Net cashflow from operations $33,569 $33,296 $44,264
Purchase of property, plant, equipment and intangibles $37,612 $89,892 $71,362
Staffing FTE 2,074 2,023 1,954
Total EFTS to total staff FTE ratio 8 : 1 7 : 1 7 : 1
Total EFTS to teaching staff FTE ratio (academic and tutorial) 20 : 1 18 : 1 19 : 1