2020 was a year of extraordinary challenges for UC, as it was for many, yet we found new opportunities and fast-forwarded plans to provide a more accessible, flexible education for our students, while contributing innovative research to the fight against Covid-19.
The UC community showed commitment and innovation as we navigated the unpredictability of the year, all while affirming our commitment to high-quality teaching and research.
When more than 18,000 students and over 3,000 staff stayed home for the health and safety of our community, UC academics stepped up to found new ways to teach online, and support our students.
UC also boosted accessibility education by launching a number of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other distance learning courses.
We were also able to launch new programmes to boost student wellbeing and success, such as the Takere scholarship programme for first-year Māori and Pacific/Pasifika students and the ACE (Analytics for Course Engagement) system to identify and assist first-year students needing extra help.
Despite disruption during the year, students gave the University a higher rating – 89% – for teaching quality in 2020, up from 87% in 2019.
Domestic student numbers were almost exactly on budget, and last year was UC’s most successful for securing external research income, with over $112 million awarded.
The pandemic led to a fall in enrolments of full-fee international students however, which triggered $1.9m in unplanned expenditure. This was balanced by UC’s efforts to make savings across the board and as a result, the University reported a deficit of just $575,000 for its 2020 core activities.