University of Sydney’s better than expected 2021 financial result

Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Sydney, Professor Mark Scott, today announced that the University had recorded an underlying operating result of $454 million in 2021.

This strong operating result reflects better than predicted student recruitment and retention along with savings in delayed repairs and maintenance, hiring and travel associated with the COVID-19 disruptions experienced in 2021.

Scott expressed gratitude to the University’s academic and professional staff for adapting quickly and effectively to the difficult circumstances of 2020 and 2021 and to its students, both domestic and international, for their resilience in continuing their studies.

The University’s reported 2021 financial result included a series of one-time returns, including a strong investment yield of $466 million, which is tied up in endowment income that can only be spent as stipulated by donors, along with property sales of $100 million.

“We’ve performed well across a difficult couple of years. While this is a strong result, it is also a one-off result. We are not immune from the continuing uncertain future of international higher education and the growing cost pressures currently affecting the global and Australian economies,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

“Our priority in investing these funds will be on safeguarding our institution against future pressures and investing in our community, including the recruitment of more continuing academic and professional staff. We could not have returned such a strong result without the contributions of our staff. As we work to finalise our 10-year strategy, we are looking at how we can better recognise and reward our staff for the critical role they play in attracting, retaining, and supporting our students and delivering on our research excellence.”

The Vice-Chancellor paid special mention of the University’s donors as the investment of their funds delivered a 24.8 percent return in 2021.

“Thanks to the generosity of our incredible donors and our investment team’s long-term strategy, we’ve seen above benchmark returns. Although these funds cannot be used for day-to-day operations, they support research, teaching and student scholarships,” the Vice-Chancellor said.