2021 Annual Report released
The University of Melbourne’s 2021 Annual Report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on Tuesday 21 June 2022. The Annual Report covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2021 and is available here.
The Annual Report demonstrates the University’s progress and achievements throughout 2021 and underlines its commitment to supporting the community, maintaining research excellence, and providing a high-quality educational experience for our students locally and internationally.
The Annual Report details the University’s financial performance in 2021, reporting an underlying operating result of $147 million. This result would not have been achieved without an unexpected $111 million funding grant that was included in the 2020 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, and a reduction in spending of $254 million. Without the grant and the necessary action taken to reduce costs, the University would have faced a considerable operating loss.
Despite the cost pressure, the University maintained its support for students during the pandemic with a further $116 million spent on student support grants. In recognition of the commitment of our staff during an extended and challenging period, the University provided continuing and fixed-term employees with five ‘recharge days’ to help them prioritise their wellbeing. In May this year the University provided all staff covered by the enterprise agreement – continuing, fixed-term and casual employees – with a 2.5 per cent salary increase.
The University’s 2021 financial result, which was consistent with trends across the sector, will enable the University to continue to invest in our teaching, learning and research, support our students and ensure the University is well-positioned to contribute to tackling global challenges.
For reporting purposes, endowment income and the movement in the value of investments are added to the operating result to produce a net result. In 2021, the University reported a net surplus of $584 million. This amount is in the main not available to fund the University’s day-to-day teaching, research and operations, as much of it is tied to specific purposes and unrealised gains. These valuations are also subject to change as markets fluctuate. To illustrate this point, the current market value of the University’s investments is approximately $200 million less than that reflected in the 2021 surplus.
University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell said, “The University’s achievements during 2021 and its financial result are due to the efforts of our staff who worked tirelessly during a difficult year to deliver our teaching, learning and research activities during the pandemic.”
“We have stabilised the University from the effects of the pandemic, but we continue to face a number of challenges. We expect that revenue will be down $1.4 billion between 2020-2024 compared to pre-pandemic estimates, and we anticipate a large operating deficit for 2022. This expected downturn will be helped by the strong 2021 financial result, but the University must continue its careful and prudent approach to financial management.”