UTS expects to lose $50m-$60m this year – it could be $200m plus next
VC Attila Brungs yesterday briefed staff on a “deteriorating revenue outlook.”
the good news: “we are beginning to see signs of increased enrolment in postgraduate coursework and our new online courses have enrolments well above initial estimates.”
the bad news: “each month that passes without a pilot of the secure corridor for international students to return to Australia raises the likelihood our intake will be significantly diminished.”
revenue: “the increasing likelihood of a significantly diminished Autumn 2021 international student intake, and other worsening external actors, have led us to conclude that the impact will be on the upper end of that scale, likely $200m plus.”
non-staff savings: “we have continued to successfully defer or reduce our spending on capital, travel, recruitment, consulting and in other areas of discretionary expenditure.”
people: a voluntary separation programme,” designed to be very attractive to staff” will run from now to year end.
“The scale and success of this program will also be critical in determining financial projections for 2021 and 2022, and in determining what additional measures may be required, including additional job losses beyond the VSP.”
Professor Brungs also urges staff to reduce their leave balances. “I cannot emphasise enough how every dollar we save through leave balance reductions will also directly reduce the number of jobs impacted.”
jobs will go: “Over the coming months, we will also begin planning and consulting, guided by the lens of our strategy, in preparation for broader organisational impacts and targeted redundancies which will need to be implemented throughout 2021.”
quite a few jobs: Perhaps double the 200-250 FTE previously estimated. “Until we get a clearer indication of the take-up of the voluntary measures and greater financial clarity, we cannot be more precise about the impact on jobs,” the VC adds. This will not matter much to those already gone. “We have already seen some impact on jobs in 2020 arising from a reduction in teaching load and the inability to rehire fixed-term positions where workloads or budgets have reduced due to COVID-19.
not happening: The vice chancellor does not mention temporary reductions in staff pay and conditions as a way of reducing job losses.