2012 Annual Report published
31 May 2013
The University's 2012 Annual Report has been tabled in the NSW Parliament and published on the University's website.
The report is prepared in line with the University's reporting requirements under federal and NSW legislation and includes an account of progress during 2012 towards the objectives in the University's 2011-15 Strategic Plan. It also includes an overview of the University's financial position and the University's audited accounts.
The University was required to report an operating surplus of $136.1 million for 2012, although this was largely due to a policy change relating to the reporting of investment income. Without this change in policy we would have reported a surplus of $74.5 million for 2012, compared to $92.6 million for 2011.
However, as in the past much of this surplus consisted of income that cannot be spent on day-to-day operations, for example unspent research funds, philanthropic funds allocated by donors to specific purposes and funds that must be spent on specific capital investment projects.
After allowing for these and other factors, the University ended 2012 with a negative net available operating margin of $46.3 million. This was, however, a substantial improvement on the 2011 deficit of $77.4 million and the 2013 budget anticipates further improvement.
These formal accounting requirements mask the real state of the financial affairs of the University: the University is not a business in the conventional sense because it does not make a profit, and all available net funds are reinvested in the University's teaching, research and facilities for the benefit of students and staff. The best the University can ever do is break even, and, for the first time in a long time, the University is in a position that is both financially sustainable and means that we can meet our longstanding infrastructure needs.