(8 Dec 2021) Two years into the pandemic, what impacts have COVID-19 really had on Australian university finances and staffing in 2020 and in 2021? Our recently published research shows the impacts varied greatly across the sector. However, staff cuts appear to have been disproportionate to overall financial losses.
About 10% of the university workforce (in full-time equivalent terms) lost their jobs. Although that broadly matches the loss of fees and charges income in 2020, overall revenue fell by only 5%.
The impacts of the pandemic on revenue have been generally less than predicted. About half of Australia’s public universities suffered medium to high financial impacts. Eight universities increased or had essentially the same total income in 2020 as in 2019.
Looking ahead, anticipated increases in other revenue provide a healthy buffer against any further fall in international student revenue.
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