The University of Melbourne’s 2020 Annual Report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 4 May 2021. The Annual Report covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2020.
The report is available here.
The 2020 Annual Report showcases the many contributions made by the University’s community of researchers, academics, students, professional staff together with our partners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other global challenges.
The Annual Report shows the University recorded an underlying operating result of $8.6m, a drop of more than $65m compared to 2019. The main reason for the break even underlying result was a reduction in spending of approximately $360 million, offsetting a fall in revenue of $275 million and additional pandemic related costs including $60 million in student support grants.
Accounting standards require that endowment income and the movement in the value of investments are added to our underlying result for publication in the Annual Report. This means the University’s overall reported bottom line shows a surplus of about $178 million, that is $144 million less than 2019.
This amount is in the main not available to fund our day-to-day teaching, research and operations as much of it is tied to specific purposes. Measures that were also put in place to manage the cash flow impact of the pandemic included reducing capital expenditure by more than $300 million, drawing down on the University’s financial reserves by $120 million and increasing debt by $300 million.
The University acknowledges the contribution, dedication and commitment of all staff in achieving this financial outcome in what was a very challenging year for everyone.
University Vice-President (Administration and Finance) and Chief Operating Officer Allan Tait said: “The University’s sound financial management over many years has enabled it to manage the short term financial impacts from COVID-19.
“However, the future remains extremely uncertain as the effects of the pandemic will continue to be felt for a number of years, particularly as Australia’s borders remain closed to international students while competitor countries’ are open. The University is anticipating a continued shortfall in revenue at least over the next two years, resulting in the loss of almost $900 million over the three years from 2020 to 2022. Many of the savings made in 2020 are not sustainable on a longer term basis and the University still has a long way to go in its recovery from the pandemic and achieving ongoing financial stability.”