University turns in a solid operating performance

Innova21, Australia's first 6-Star Green Star rated education building.
Photo by Dianna Snape.

Innova21, Australia's first 6-Star Green Star rated education building.
Photo by Dianna Snape.

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Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The University of Adelaide has achieved an operating surplus for 2010 of $64.1 million.

This outcome is attributed to the combination of prudent financial management, receipt of capital infrastructure grants and additional committed funding such as NHMRC and ARC grants.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha says the result reflects a year of consolidation in addition to strategic growth in student numbers and research portfolios.

Student enrolments in 2010 rose to 25,000 and funded research and research-related income increased to over $200 million.

"This solid result, combined with an increase in student enrolments and consistent financial performances in previous years, has allowed us to consolidate our investments across the University. It will enable us to further our growth plans in teaching and research and make the most of our investment in infrastructure assets," says Professor McWha.

"The University's strong performance in the first Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) process, confirmed its position as an Australian leader in research with 19 out of 22 research discipline areas assessed (86% of them) being rated at or above world standard.

"While we are not a large university, the quality of our research is such that we continue to attract one of the highest levels of per capita research funding in Australia."

The University has also focussed on enhancing the student experience on campus and developing its capacity to deliver online and blended education programs.

"As a testament to the work of our staff and their commitment to education and research excellence, the University achieved outstanding results in the 2010 Course Experience Questionnaire conducted by Graduate Careers Australia. The University has placed in the top echelon of Australian universities in each criterion including teaching quality, skills development and overall satisfaction," says Professor McWha.

"This long-term investment and focus on delivering an exceptional student experience is returning significant outcomes and further strengthens our reputation in the community."

The result has helped to underpin the University's capital works program which features the development of a 7-level purpose built science and research facility, adjacent to the new Innova21 building, and the student-centric Learning Hub in the heart of the North Terrace campus.

Other highlights for 2010 included:

  • Record number of offers made to potential students
  • Waite Research Institute launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, the Hon. Michael O'Brien
  • New $31 million ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Wall Biology to be headquartered at the University's Waite Campus
  • New Innova21 building achieves Australia's first 6-Star Green Star design environmental rating for an education building
  • Commemoration of 125 years of the University's Medical School
  • Anthropology student Rebecca Richards makes history as Australia's first Indigenous Rhodes Scholar

There were many staff and student accolades, including:

  • Physicist Professor Tanya Monro named South Australia's Australian of the Year 2011 and also wins Telstra Business Women's Award
  • Six University staff awarded Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citations for their outstanding contributions to student learning
  • Three University researchers named Young Tall Poppies of Science
  • Staff member Dr Eva Hornung wins Australia's richest literary prize, the $100,000 Prime Minister's Literary Award


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