In the money: the universities with billion dollar incomes (and all the others)

Cash up, earnings down: Australian universities earned $30.147bn in revenues in 2016, up 5.4 per cent on 2015. Their adjusted operating margin was 4.7 per cent, or $1.422 bn according to figures released yesterday by the Department of Education and Training. Standout revenue increase was international student fees, which grew by 16 per cent. Staff costs across the system grew by 5.6 per cent. The system surplus was $1.6bn, down from $1.7bn in 2017.

Billion dollar earners: The big-income unis in 2016 were: UniMelb ($2.277bn), UniSydney ($2.167), Monash U ($2.065bn), UNSW ($1.819bn), UoQ ($1.751bn), ANU ($1.181bn) and RMIT ($1.107bn).

Above average returns: Universities with adjusted per centage operating margins above the system average (4.7 per cent) were:


UniNewcastle (9.1), UNSW (8.1), UTS (8), UniSydney (6.5), Charles Sturt U (5.3), UniWollongong (5.1), UniSydney (6.5), Macquarie U (5)


UniMelb (6.5), RMIT (6), Latrobe U (5.1), Monash U (4.9)


USQ (7.3), QUT (5.2), USC (11.6)


Murdoch (10.7) ECU (5.8)

South Australia

UniAdelaide (6.7), UniSA (6.6), Flinders U (5.8)


ANU (5.7)


Australian Catholic U (6.2)

In the red: Institutions in the red were, Federation U (-03 per cent), UoQ (- 0.7 per cent), James Cook U (1.2 per cent), UTas (- 1.6 per cent), Victoria U (-3.1 per cent), Charles Darwin (-8.8 per cent) and Batchelor Institute (19.3 per cent).

The University of Queensland loss was due to a methodology change, which increased depreciation expense by $35m and a one-off expenditure growth ahead of revenue. James Cook U says its loss was due to “a decline in student load due to increased competition, and reduced Commonwealth funding.”


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