Vic unis’ 2022: the pandemic powered-down but the financial pain remained

Public universities annual report are tabled in state parliament

Deakin U:  reports $1.18bn in operating income for ‘22, down from $1.27bn the previous year (revised from the 21 annual report due to accounting change). There was a net deficit of $77.8m in ’22, compared to a net surplus of $79.7m in ’21).

Chancellor John Stanhope attributes the operating result to “inflationary cost increases” and “the on-going effects” of reduced international student numbers during the pandemic. He expects an (unspecified) operating deficit for 2023.

Federation U: revenue from continuing operations was $266.8m in ’22, down from $325.8 in ’21, for a net loss last year of $41m, compared to a prior year surplus of $33m.

Chancellor Terry Moran sets the scene in his forward to the report, pointing to “volatility in global financial markets, international student revenue not returning to pre-pandemic levels … and domestic student disengagement following long years of learning on-line.”

La Trobe U: released its 2022 financial results last month, reporting an operating deficit of $28m (3.7 per cent) – a large gift for research led to an overall surplus.

VC John Dewar stated then he expected the university to be at break-even by the end of this year (CMM April 26). His optimism may be based on what the annual report calls “a notable uptick” in international student numbers which were up 192 per cent in ’22  on pandemic-shaped ’21.

Monash U:  Vice Chancellor Margaret Gardner revealed the 2022 loss in March, (headline for the university $113m) and she simply states what happened in the annual report. A big hit to the Monash Group as a whole was a  drop in investment income from $232m in ’21 to a loss of $69m in ’23.

RMIT’s: states total revenues for its “consolidated entity” in Australia, SE Asia and Europe of $1.46bn in ’22, down from $1.55bn in ’21. The net operating result was a loss of $27.65m last year, against a positive $117.09m in ’21.

Swinburne U: Reports an operating deficit for the “consolidated entity” $42m last year, compared to $40.9m surplus in 2021. Total consolidated revenue from continuing operations was down $30m to $720m.

Uni Divinity:  reported an operating loss of just under $1m on $13.99m in revenue, down nearly $2m on ’21. The “most significant” cause was a 9 per cent drop in overall enrolments, driven by a 19 per decline in UGs.

Uni Melbourne: got the bad news out early, reporting a $104m operating deficit (CMM March 31). “The deficit result is largely driven by increased investment in student support … and spending linked to our return to on-campus teaching and learning, while revenue from student enrolments has remained below pre-pandemic levels,” the annual report states.

Operating incomes was up 2.3 per cent to $2.7bn.

Victoria U: “Less than expected” domestic student demand and investment market “volatility” made 2022, “our most challenging year since the of the pandemic” Chancellor Steve Bracks and VC Adam Shoemaker jointly state. Consolidated revenue and income from continuing operations for 2022 was $423m, for a loss of $73m, compared to break-even in ’21 on $464m