Margins of safety: the 2021 international fee drops unis could cope with

In Features this morning Frank Larkins and Ian Marshman estimate public uni income streams and how institutions would cope with a decline in international student fee results for this year. (Looking good ANU)

They base their prediction on investment income returning to 2019 levels, the known distribution of the federal government’s $1bn in emergency funding for research and a 5 per cent rise in government grant income, HECs payments and related income streams.

With such income lifts the system as a whole could absorb a drop in fee and charge income (mainly earnings from international students) and still match 2020 income. The system-wide buffer is 30 per cent.

This completes a CMM trilogy by the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education pair.

Their analysis of the states and institutions which took the hardest pandemic hits is here.

And last week they analysed 2020 financials and concluded the worst could be over.