Kia ora koutou katoa,
We have reached that time again where we reflect on the year that’s gone by. It has been a busy year with much to celebrate. We will again graduate over 3,000 students, have published hundreds of articles and have undertaken over half a million hours of research.
In 2016 every College, for the first time since 2010, reported an increase in new to UC students – and early indications of student numbers for 2017 look promising. A record number of Doctoral students enrolled by mid-year, and there was unprecedented interest in UC Open Day this year, which was attended by more than 4,700 people – more than twice the previous record. Overall, more than 25,000 people attended more than 150 events on campus this year, and attendances generally were up across the board.
We’ve also had unparalleled success in attracting research funding. UC is on track to earn a record level of research income in 2016. For the sixth year out of seven, UC has a Rhodes Scholar. We have also awarded the rare title of Canterbury Distinguished Professor to Professor Roy Kerr, recognised internationally for Kerr’s solution – on which all subsequent work on black holes has depended.
UC rose in the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings to join Otago and Victoria in the same bracket, and was the highest QS ranked New Zealand university – the only one in the top 200 – for research intensity/impact. We also retained our relative QS ranking among New Zealand universities. The graduate profile has developed much further in 2016 and UC’s effort to record non-academic student experience through the Co-curricular Record, has had excellent student uptake with more than 700 students opting in.
We are progressing with the transformation of campus infrastructure and IT systems such as the Student Management System, which will help students transition through the various stages of their involvement with UC, from the first time they express interest in studying at UC, to after they graduate with a highly regarded qualification.
We also started to open our eagerly awaited new facilities – the Structural Engineering Laboratory opened, and there was significant although delayed progress with Canterbury Engineering the Future programme with practical completion of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Lab wing and the Chemical And Process Engineering Lab wing achieved and the Engineering core due for completion by year end. The Rutherford Science and Innovation Centre (RSIC) building is on programme and RSIC Stage Two – the demolition and rebuild of the Von Haast building – has been endorsed by Ministers and payment of the remaining $15 m of capital contribution received. The UCSA demolition has progressed and the business case for the new UCSA building has been approved. The Rehua/New Education Building is progressing. An 80 bed development at Dovedale will progress, along with the new 75 bed Kirkwood Hall student accommodation.
Fundraising efforts have seen more than $6.1m achieved so far in 2016 and are on target to achieve the goal of $8.5m, with Trust and Foundation funds at record levels. There was a record number (87) of Erskine programme visitors.
Alongside all this progress, we have also, of course, continued to deliver our core service – promoting a world-class learning environment and research-led teaching and learning. 2016 has clearly been a successful year. We have moved from response through recovery and as recovery merges with transformation, UC is increasingly well positioned for ongoing success.
For those of you whose research and teaching is on-going through the summer, thank you for that commitment.
I thank you all for your commitment and contribution to our achievements this year and wish you all a safe and relaxing holiday.
Ngā mihi nui,
Dr Rod Carr
Vice-Chancellor Tumu Whakarae