Lincoln University is reaching out to the private sector in the hope of remaining financially viable.
The university has been in poor financial shape for a few years now, primarily as a result of the Canterbury earthquake, and last year reported a $6 million loss.
The university has awarded Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies a contract to deploy its flagship Agile Education Campus Network Solution to create a reliable, high bandwidth network, which will allow better internet connections for all users on the campus.
They will be building a network larger than needed, creating space for future commercial partnerships.
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Although Lincoln currently doesn’t charge third parties for the use of their network, infrastructure manager Royston Boot says it is possible.
An idea currently being floated by Lincoln’s vice-chancellor Robin Pollard involves selling some of the university’s high value assets, going as far as to say “thousands” of hectares of farmland owned by the university are at risk.
The university has also considered eliminating “unpopular courses” to cut costs.
It is likely that the university will “collaborate” with other institutions both inside and outside of the academic space to cut costs.
Tertiary Education Union organiser Cindy Doull says a full on merger with another university was also a possible option.
Despite the university’s grim financial situation, Lincoln has received some positive news, jumping up 30 places in its latest QS World University rankings.