Better financial times for UNSW and UoW

Rating agency S&P lifts its ratings for UNSW and Uni Wollongong

S&P (as in Standard and Poors) states the outlook for the pair is now stable, an improvement on the previous negative ratings.

UoW lifts due to “diminishing pandemic-related risks” and “a plan to begin paying down its elevated debt burden.” (UoW got itself into strife with an overly optimistic student accommodation deal).

UNSW repaid and terminated lines of credit totalling $150m and had larger surpluses.

S&P also rates ANU and Uni Melbourne.

Uni Melbourne’s AA+ rating is unchanged although S&P reports it increased debt (including lease liabilities) by $600m this year, including a $200m green bond in August.

ANU also stays AA+ – not borrowing $243m as anticipated. However if it does borrow money it might be to refinance a $200m bond due in 2025.

Overall, S&P is cautious about finances improving for universities in general, from the return of Chinese students. And the agency is watching to see what happens from the feds.

The government, “may be more ideologically sympathetic to universities than its conservative predecessor, but we are watching to see if this translates into any material shift in funding S&P states.

Isn’t everybody?