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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Cash bonanza
AFR 04/06/2007
Rachel Lebihan


Australia's top universities have joined the profit boom with a 25 per cent increase in their combined surpluses last year despite continued calls for greater government funding.

Seven of the country's eight elite universities reported a combined surplus of $472.6 million for 2006, which was $130 million higher than in the previous year.

Education Minister Julie Bishop seized on the growing suprlus to discredit the universities push for more funding increases on top of the $5 billion endowment bonanza they won in the recent federal budget.

She said the elite Group of Eight's strong financial position reflected the federal Government's "record funding" and reforms to encourage greater efficiencies in the sector.

The University of Sydney led the field with a $190.6 million left in its coffers at the end of 2006, $80 million more than the previous year.

The University of Melbourne, reported a surplus of $90 million, followed by Monash University $59.7 million, University of Queensland $44.4 million, University of Adelaide $35.4 million, University of Western Australia $32.5 million, and the University of NSW $22 million.

The Australian Financial Review reported last month that the Go8 had a $1.3 billion maintenance backlog and future capital needs of about $2.5 billion.

The strong performance of Australia's elite universities has paid dividends for top managerial talent - one Queensland vice-chancellor has hit the million dollar salary jackpot.

The University of Queensland's longstanding vice-chancellor, John Hay, broke through the $1 million dollar market.

Professor Hay, widely considered to be one of the country's finest university leaders, was in the highest salary band of $1,049,999, which included a base salary of $470,000.

Under his leadership UQ has established a nationally unprecedented series of research institutes and centers, with funding in excess of $700 million - most of it from external sources.
 

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so you're saying that all universities are now essentially corporatised which are only thinking of profiteering? Good one, especially when Australian universities are in serious need for educational quality improvement. It is so easy to crank up profits when you cancel all courses which are financially enviable even if it is ethically right to support them. Doesn't cost much to combine several lectures into one cramming students into sardines. It doesn't cost much either to have tutors which are over 30 students per room and eventually many drop because of the lack of tutor's feedback in their learning.

It also doesn't cost much either to endeavour in text-book style regurgitation factories instead of independently stimulate research based learning. Just buy a fat book costing over 100 bucks and remember it all for the end of semester exam. Do that 6 times over 3 years and get a piece of paper saying how glorious it is to remember unstimulating facts of life from authors who are only there to profiteer itself.

Back before 1996, tertiary education was affordable with around 3,000 dollar cap for all courses including medicine and law. Now, look how much these students pay and for how many years? Easily pay over $100,000 for full fee medicine.

No wonder why all universities are scrambling for full paying students because it is now a lucrative business to do so. They get separately accessed and can gain entrance to their preferred courses at least 5UAI below usual HECS based placement's cut off.

With all these 'profits' how come so many students in this forum don't see a positive change? Most of these profits end up going in new buildings for lucrative courses such as business, law and medicine. It certainly does not go to low HECS based courses like psychology, arts, social science, criminology, nursing and education.

Take some initiative in surveying students, at least starting from this forum and see how well those profits turned into improving tertiary education.
 

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Australian Universities really are in a bad state.
 
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