The University of Sydney’s 2022 financial statement has recorded an operating result that is significantly down on 2021’s ‘one-off’ result. The University’s parent operating result for 2022 was $749.6 million lower than that generated in 2021, which Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Mark Scott confirmed was in line with expectations.
“Our 2022 result still provides us with financial sustainability but there is no question we are navigating the challenges currently facing a volatile higher education sector,” Professor Scott said.
He said 2021’s extraordinary result was a one-off due to several significant non-recurring factors. Gains made from the compulsory acquisition of University lands in 2021 were reversed in 2022, and funding received under the government’s one-off Research Support Program in 2021 was not continued. 2022 also recorded a reduction in investment income, primarily the result of changed market conditions.
The University recorded an underlying margin of $381.5 million, compared to $453.7 million in 2021. This margin excludes non-recurring items such as gains and losses from asset sales. It reflects non-operating quarantined items such as unspent funds relating to specific research grants, philanthropic funds allocated by donors to certain purposes and funds that can be spent only on specified capital investment projects.
All universities face the challenge of rising costs and we are not immune to inflationary pressure, but are fortunate to be able to reinvest our surplus to support our core activities of teaching and research.
Declining Commonwealth financial support in real terms for teaching and learning operations continues to place financial pressure on the University and has made it critical to broaden alternate revenue sources.
“The overall decrease in our operating revenue was partly offset by the continued willingness of our international students to study with us and we’re delighted the vast majority are able to be with us in person once again,” Professor Scott said.
“All universities face the challenge of rising costs and we are not immune to inflationary pressure, but are fortunate to be able to reinvest our surplus to support our core activities of teaching and research.
“This includes long-term capital expenditure on strategically important projects such as the development and construction of the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator and support for students such as those enrolled under the University’s new MySydney entry and scholarship scheme for underrepresented students. Both of these immediate commitments were made as part of the University’s 2032 Strategy.
“We also know our most important asset is our staff, and we are committed to providing the best overall conditions, including maintaining the highest salaries in the sector and expanding our academic workforce.”
The University is incredibly grateful for the continued substantial and valuable support of our generous donors, with $142.3 million pledged and investments generating an additional $27.9 million last year.
The University’s domestic undergraduate enrolments for first semester 2023 are similar to 2022, while domestic postgraduate numbers are 19 percent lower following a surge during the pandemic.
International enrolments for Semester 1 are 2 percent higher than our 2023 undergraduate international target, and 10 percent higher than our postgraduate international target.
The University’s 2022 financial statements have been audited and approved, and will be tabled in Parliament in May, at which point they will be made publicly available.