UNE flies high at dawn of 2012

Published 24 February 2012

The University of New England is looking forward to a successful year, with student enrolments up, colleges near capacity, increased research funding, and an improved financial position.

The Chancellor of UNE, Richard Torbay (pictured here), said that the University’s preparation in the lead up to the new demand-driven higher education market in 2012 had been extensive, and that as a result it appeared UNE was not just holding ground but improving its position.

“UNE’s reputation for offering a great student experience is resulting in strong interest in both our on-campus and distance education courses,” Mr Torbay said.  “Compared to the same time last year, student enrolments in Commonwealth-supported places are up almost 8% and the Equivalent Full Time Student Load (EFTSL) is up by 10%.”

UNE is also one of the few Australian universities where the number of international students continues to increase year after year. Enrolments are up around 3% in 2012. “This is a promising result, and we will be working hard to ensure these figures remain strong as we move towards the census date on March 31, when student numbers for Trimester 1 will be finalised,” Mr Torbay said.

“Our iconic colleges at UNE are being met with renewed interest, recording the highest number of new students in residence for the past decade,” he said. “We remain committed to the redevelopment of the colleges in 2012 and believe that, as they are modernised, the interest in the college system will remain strong.”

The college redevelopment forms part of the $38 million capital works program currently under way at UNE, which is aimed at improving the quality of the on-campus experience.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jim Barber, said that UNE’s aspiration to achieve international distinction in all its specialist fields of research had been given a boost, with the University’s research income having steadily improved since 2008.

Last year, UNE received more than $32 million for research projects, with much of the research carrying over into 2012.

“UNE also entered 2012 with an improved financial position, after recording a profit in excess of $10 million for 2011,” Professor Barber said. “This is an encouraging result compared to previous years when we have posted operational losses.”

“UNE’s Strategic Plan 2011-2015 will continue to strongly guide the priorities and strategies of the University in 2012,” he said. “We have started the year strongly, and we hope to finish 2012 in an even better position.”