Investment market recovery & growth brings surplus

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The University of Adelaide has achieved an operating surplus for 2009 of $67.1 million, compared with $34.8 million in 2008.

This outcome is substantially a result of the recovery of the University's long-term endowment funds due to the improved global investment market conditions and additional committed funding such as NHMRC and ARC grants.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha says the recovery has been observed across the higher education sector as a whole and comes in addition to growth in student numbers and research portfolios.

Student enrolments in 2009 rose to 22,500 and research income increased to an estimated $148 million.

"This strong result, combined with increased enrolments and operating surpluses from previous years, has allowed us to further invest in our students, staff, facilities and resources. This will bolster the University's extensive research programs and support our students through a high quality learning experience," says Professor McWha.

"We have now established four world-class research institutes - the Robinson Institute, the Environment Institute, the Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing and the Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources - and another two research institutes will follow soon in agriculture and cancer research. These research institutes are bringing together a range of expertise to tackle some of the most significant problems facing our community at home and globally.

"The new School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at our Roseworthy Campus and the Plant Accelerator at the Waite Campus are key examples of the University's focus on research to address national and global priorities.

"An international team of scientists based at the Waite Campus is developing salt-tolerant plants using new types of genetic modification (GM), bringing salt-tolerant cereal crops a step closer to reality.

"Our investments in facilities and resources have delivered enhancements in teaching and learning right across the University."

"The development of opportunities and support for young South Australians has been particularly pleasing. For example we were proud last year to offer new scholarships to assist students in country areas whose families had been financially impacted by drought."

The surplus has supported the University's capital works program featuring the new 6 Star green rated Innova21 building, the refurbishment of the Business, Economics and Education facilities at 10 Pulteney Street, the Animal and Veterinary Sciences teaching areas and health centres at Roseworthy, the Plant Accelerator at Waite and the development of the Hughes Plaza Learning Hub.

Other highlights for 2009 included:

  • record number of offers made to potential students in January
  • the introduction of the University-wide Excellence in Education initiative
  • the announcement of plans to work with private education provider Kaplan to increase access
  • many staff and student accolades including: a National Teaching Fellowship, SA Scientist of the Year; a winner of Health and Science categories of the South Australian of the Year awards; five Australian Research Council Future Fellowships; four of the Prime Minister's Australia Asia Endeavour Awards
  • additional income to support groundbreaking research in areas such as surveillance and security, plant science and agriculture; and the development of new optic fibres.

For the full 2009 Annual Report please visit


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