The Swinburne University of Technology 2021 Annual Report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 3 May 2021.
The report highlights a number of the achievements and contributions made during 2021, which was another challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university finished 2021 with a modest surplus of $11.8 million despite volatility in global markets, nationwide lockdowns and the inability for international students to enter the country. As part of its strategic investment portfolio, and due to favourable market conditions, Swinburne recorded an unrealised gain of $29.1 million, which contributed to an overall net operating surplus of $40.9 million.
Removing the unrealised investment gain, the otherwise modest surplus reflects the measured financial management approach Swinburne has taken during an extremely challenging period for the tertiary education sector.
Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pascale Quester, said the 2021 financial result was a good foundation for continued recovery after a disrupted two years.
“The result will allow Swinburne to continue with its planned operations and the delivery of its Horizon 2025 strategic initiatives,” Professor Quester said.
“Our vision is set for the future and we are committed to build Swinburne as the prototype for a new and different university. Swinburne remains focused on pursuing world-leading research and driving innovation. We are co-creating our courses and programs with industry and employers, and infusing technology into everything we do,” she said.
Swinburne and the higher education sector continued to experience the crippling effects of the global pandemic in 2021.
Professor Quester said sound financial management and an unwavering focus on implementing its new five-year plan were key factors behind the result, but the overall impact of the past two years remained significant.
“Ensuring a reasonable financial buffer while we reinvest in our operations and education will be a critical and delicate balancing act, but one we are well placed to make as we continue to implement our Horizon 2025 strategic plan.
“Horizon 2025 is the essence of our tech, education and research identity. As we commenced this necessary strategic transformation in 2021, we will continue to focus on bringing people and technology together to build a better world in the years ahead.
“It was another challenging and disruptive year, but as it culminated in seven stunning graduation ceremonies held in person for more than 2,000 graduates. I am deeply grateful to each and every member of our community for the persistence and resilience that they showed,” Professor Quester said.