The University of Canterbury is confident student numbers will rise for the first time since earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
Applications to study at the South Island university this year from new and returning students are already up 5.5% to nearly 11,000 students.
With enrolments still open, the university expects several thousand further applications before classes start in February.
Vice-chancellor Rod Carr says the number of new domestic students applying to enrol is slightly up, while applications from new international students have surged by more than 50%.
Dr Carr says while not all students who apply go on to study, the rise in interest is reassuring.