Canterbury University embraces sports tactics for enrolment crusade

University of Canterbury vice chancellor Rod Carr thinks a partnership with the Tactix netballers and Crusaders rugby team will help drive student recruitment.

The university lost about 25% of its enrolled students after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and there have been smaller declines since then to around 11,000 students.

Staff members say many Christchurch students have gone to other universities such as Otago partly because of a perception about social life in Christchurch generally and partly because of the massive post-earthquakes rebuilding programme on campus.

Mr Carr says the partnerships approach is a change of direction, and is supported by stakeholder research.

The “modest” programme will help drive University of Canterbury engagement with the Christchurch and Canterbury community and schools, using existing redirected promotional budget, he says.

A community initiative and arts initiative are still being developed.

About 2500 students participate in sports clubs and societies and around 8000 are members of the university’s recreation centre.

“Partnering with these two leading participatory sports will help us begin a conversation with young people and their parents about UC and the wide range of academic options available here through schools engagement activity involving players, and match day activities,” he says.

Part of the Crusaders partnership will see first 15 boys’ secondary school rugby teams competing for the UC Championship, and girls’ rugby teams for the UC Cup.