The University of Canterbury believes it has lost only a few hundred enrolments as a result of last month's earthquake.
Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr says that so far the equivalent of 14,200 full-time students have enrolled for the year.
Dr Carr expects the roll will be only 3% below normal.
Dr Carr says about 1000 students are interested in half-year exchanges to other New Zealand universities and about 160 are going to the University of Adelaide in Australia for half of the year.
The university's students association says it is amazing how many students are returning because immediately after the quake many said they would not be back.
He says the university will progressively resume classes from Monday, and because many of its buildings are not yet usable, marquees and temporary buildings will be used for some lectures and tutorials.