29/04/2021 - 14:00

UWA finishes 2020 in the black

29/04/2021 - 14:00


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UWA overcame a loss of international students and lack of federal wage subsidies to report a $55.1 million operating surplus in the year to December.

UWA finishes 2020 in the black
UWA's net result dropped by $66 million this past calendar year. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The University of Western Australia overcame a loss of international students and lack of federal wage subsidies to report a $55.1 million operating surplus in the year to December.

That was despite a $22 million reduction in international student revenue and a one-off cost of $5 million associated with the university’s pandemic response.

The final result, which equated to a significant drop on the $121 million surplus reported in the 2019 calendar year, came against a $94.2 million drop in operating revenue and a $28.3 million reduction in overall expenses.

A $70 million drop in investment income was the biggest contributor to the drop in revenue, with investment revenue down $9.3 million and total investment gains shrinking by $60.4 million.

* Business News would like to acknowledge an earlier error in this article that reported remuneration of the university’s executives and senate members remained stable over the calendar year, at $4.4 million and $1.6 million respectively. In fact, members of the University’s senate do not receive remuneration for being a member of the senate. In 2020, 15 members of Senate received nil remuneration. The remaining eight members, who were University employees during the year, received remuneration for the services performed in their substantive position at the University.

These results come alongside the university’s stated goal of growing revenue by $80 million per annum and addressing an underlying structural deficit of $70 million by 2025.

The report states that $12 million of that deficit was address this past calendar year, leaving a $58 million shortfall to be addressed over the next three-and-a-half years.

UWA's final result represents a better finishing position than three of WA's four other major universities.

Edith Cowan University is the only other university in the state to report an operating surplus this past calander year, with $23.3 million; Curtin University and Murdoch University reported operating defecits of $1.1 million and $6.3 million, respectively.

The University of Notre Dame Australia has yet to report its final results with a lodgement due with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission by the end of the financial year.


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