University of Adelaide 2021 Annual Report published

Goodman cres

The University of Adelaide’s Annual Report for 2021 has today been tabled in South Australian Parliament.

The University’s 2021 Annual Report can be found here.

Legislation prevents South Australia’s universities from releasing their full annual reports until they are tabled in Parliament.

2021 financial results

The University operating surplus was $201 million for 2021 (compared with a surplus of $40 million in 2020).

The 2021 operating surplus included a number of large one-off items:

  • $11 million of "restricted use" donations and bequests which have been added to the University Endowment Fund;
  • $37 million of unrealised gains on the University’s tied Endowment Fund;
  • $60 million of tied research funding from the Federal Government to support the establishment of the South Australian ImmunoGENomics Cancer Institute (SAiGENCI); and
  • $42 million of once off tied Research Support Program funding from the Commonwealth Government to assist with mitigating the impact of COVID-19. $21 million of this funding remains unspent at the end of 2021 and is committed to projects to be completed in 2022.

Excluding the impact of these one-off items, the University is reporting a 2021 underlying surplus of $71 million compared to $8 million in 2020.

Student Revenue and Research Block Grants are projected to reduce by over $70 million this year, which will significantly impact the financial performance of the University for a number of years to come.

The University’s results for 2021 are better than expected, like many other Australian universities. There are several reasons behind this, including:

  • A one-off increase in research block grant amounts from the Federal Government;
  • A strong stock market, which has led to increased investment returns on our endowments;
  • Our ability to retain international students at a higher than expected rate during 2020 and 2021; and
  • The significant savings measures we have implemented over the last 12 months.

Whilst the 2021 results are positive, the University’s forecasts indicate that 2022 and beyond are likely to be much more challenging. There is still considerable uncertainty around international markets, and the fall in enrolments and commencements the University has experienced will have an impact over the coming years. The global financial situation continues to be uncertain, which is affecting the Australian stock market, and the University will need to take into account the effect of rising costs and inflation.

Ultimately, the University will need to reserve this surplus to help support its education and research efforts over the next few challenging years.

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