No ANU surplus surprise but management is working on revenue

The expected 2020 deficit happened

“There is not a surprise surplus as seen at other universities – we will unfortunately see a deficit for 2020 as we expected,” VC Brian Schmidt told staff Friday.

Professor Schmidt provided no details, as financials have not been cleared by university council, which precedes their going to the federal minister of education.

However, he warned the impact of COVID-19 is worse than at other, unnamed universities because of ANU’s decision to reduce its 2020 intake, “to improve the student experience.”  (In 2018 the university announced it would not increase domestic or international student numbers above 20 000 (CMM July 25 2018) ).

“So despite having a very large surplus in 2018 and 2019, our fractional decrease in student numbers is amongst the largest in the sector.”

Professor Schmidt added, “we remain confident that over the next several years we are amongst the best placed universities to regain our revenue, but we need to be prudent with our expenses while we stay focused on rebuilding our income.”

Which neatly linked to mention of a $17m purchase of land from the ACT Government, which could be converted into an “income-stream.”  University council had approved capex for investment the VC said, but not for operating costs, “like salaries.”