With continued operating surpluses and low levels of debt, this report finds that Victoria's university sector remains in a relatively healthy financial position, but that active management is required given that operating surpluses have continued their decline since 2009.
This report covers the results of the 2013 financial audits of 64 entities, comprising eight universities and the 56 entities they control.
Clear audit opinions were issued on the financial reports of 59 entities. Two qualified opinions were issued, relating to the financial reports of Deakin University and The University of Melbourne, as a result of their accounting treatments of grants received in 2013. Three entities are yet to finalise their financial reports.
The eight universities generated a net surplus of $381.7 million in 2013, a decrease of $73 million from 2012. With continued operating surpluses and low levels of debt, the university sector remains in a relatively healthy financial position. However, active management is required given that operating surpluses have continued their decline since 2009.
While student revenue and the number of students enrolled in higher education continue to increase, they mask a significant decline in domestic and international vocational education and training student numbers during 2013.
Three universities were assessed as having a high risk to self-financing in 2013. The remaining five were assessed as having a medium risk. This indicates that some universities may be unable to fund asset replacement in future periods from cash generated from their operations.
In 2013 Monash University signed agreements with a private sector entity to assume control of its South African operations. From 2001 to 2013 Monash University provided $101.8 million in loan funding to its subsidiary entities associated with the South Africa campus. Monash University has incurred a net loss of $60.5 million in relation to the operation and disposal of this subsidiary, including debt write‑offs of $44.7 million.