The high cost of restructuring at RMIT

Overall revenues were down $61m last year on earnings of $1.4bn and the RMIT group was in profit before “net restructuring costs”

The university reports expenditure was down $109m but there was a $20m profit, before restructure costs of $76m.

“The combined effort of every staff member, across every campus, has made a significant difference and allowed us to look forward again as we start to frame our future strategy,” VC Martin Bean and CFO Kate Koch told staff in a message yesterday.

But there was no mention of the people who left RMIT as part of the restructuring. While the university is quiet on total departures, 355 VRS were approved by last September. A further 250 jobs to go was said to be possible then (CMM September 2018).

Revenue losses in 2020 were driven by a 12 per cent decline in income from on-shore international students. RMIT reports domestic enrolments “were essentially flat.” Student numbers in ELICOS and foundation studies were also down, due to international border closures and “challenges of remote learning for these groups.”

However, there was growth. FTE student enrolments in RMIT Vietnam were up 9 per cent on 2019 and RMIT On-line revenue was up 42 per cent.

Professor Bean and Ms Koch tell staff, “while we are currently tracking well to our 2021 plan, we need to ensure the costs we’ve worked so hard to reduce don’t creep back.”