University shows growth in students, research funds

Thursday, 24 June 2004

Growth in student numbers and research funding helped the University of Adelaide to achieve an operating surplus in 2003, according to audited figures released by the University Council today.

"In order to sustain the range of quality services for students, the University needs to have an annual return of between 4 and 8 per cent of income," University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor Professor James McWha said.

"It is therefore pleasing that we have returned this range for 2003 with an operating result of $20.2 million, up from $12.4 million in 2002," he said.

In announcing the figures for 2003, Professor McWha said as with all universities, much of the result is tied up in pre-committed funds, such as research projects and capital funds.

"In achieving growth in our student numbers and research funding, we have further strengthened our financial situation, which means we are making an even greater contribution to the State and the country," Professor McWha said.

"It also means that we have been able to plan for future initiatives that will improve the quality of our educational experience and our research," he said.

Professor McWha said a number of factors contributed to the sound result, including:

· More than 1000 additional students enrolled bringing the total number of students enrolled in 2003 to 17,777
· 20% growth in competitive research grants
· 15% improvement in investment earnings.

The University of Adelaide also added to key infrastructure in 2003, with the acquisition of the National Wine Centre, completion of the Australian Plant Functional Genomics Centre at the Waite Campus, and refurbishment and redevelopment of the Elder School of Music.

"Australian universities are faced with one of the most competitive periods in their history, and this result is an important one for the University of Adelaide and the students we educate," Professor McWha said.

"Adelaide has been providing quality in education and research for 130 years now, but we are always looking to improve on what we offer. Last year's result is helping us to achieve that."


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