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Australia La Trobe and RMIT universities facing significant financial challenges in coronavirus fallout

08:15  03 june  2020
08:15  03 june  2020 Source:   msn.com

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La Trobe University's Vice Chancellor has denied the institution is going broke amid reports Australia's university sector is facing billion-dollar losses.

Universities Australia released new modelling on Wednesday that predicted the sector could lose $16 billion in revenue between now and 2023.

Tertiary institutions across the country are grappling with a severe loss of income from international student fees as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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La Trobe University - in the top 100 modern universities worldwide. La Trobe will be matching any donations, dollar-for-dollar, throughout April until we reach the 0,000 required The implications of COVID-19 have had a significant financial impact on La Trobe University —as such all 11 members

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Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said before the coronavirus pandemic, universities were increasing their investment in research and innovation.

"The danger is that if universities are unable to continue funding this activity, Australia's ability to innovate its way out of the COVID-19 recession will be severely hampered," Ms Jackson said in a statement.

The modelling comes as Nine newspapers report La Trobe University is on the brink of financial collapse, a claim Vice Chancellor John Dewar said was "completely inaccurate".

Professor Dewar told the ABC La Trobe University, like all Australian universities, was "facing severe pressure by the pandemic".

"But we are not at risk of insolvency," he said.

La Trobe and RMIT universities facing significant financial challenges in coronavirus fallout

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RMIT University , Melbourne , Victoria, Australia. La Trobe University . The fund is designed for students living in Victoria who are enrolled in Victorian tertiary institutions, including RMIT , and who are experiencing financial hardship due to lost employment as a result of COVID-19.

And universities , concerned about the potential for shrinking enrollment and lost revenue, are making a Administrators anticipate that students grappling with the financial and psychological impacts of the virus The coronavirus forced campuses to shut down at a time when higher education, which

"We do face a challenge in weathering this financial downturn because we don't, unlike some universities, have large reserves on which we can draw.

"So that's why we are talking to the banks to see if we can borrow more money to see us through."

Last month, the Victorian Government announced a $350 million support package to go towards capital works, research, and industry partnerships for universities.

The Government also offered universities payroll tax deferrals valued at about $110 million.

Professor Dewar said the "underlying health" of La Trobe University was strong and it currently had cash reserves of $100 million.

He said the university had liquidated many investments to free up cash but reiterated there was "no question of any imminent insolvency".

"Revenue drying up is not the situation we are in, we are experiencing a revenue downturn of somewhere between 15 and 20 per cent."

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RMIT University , Melbourne , Victoria, Australia. Their online engagement program is in full swing, with fun daily updates, challenges and advice on getting active! Follow along at RMIT Sport Facebook and Instagram: www.instagram.com/rmitsport.

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He also said reports the university had been denied credit by banks were "completely inaccurate".

"We are seeking further finance from the banks and we are very optimistic we will be successful," he said.

La Trobe University's executives have taken a voluntary 20 per cent pay cut and are asking staff to also take a temporary pay cut to limit the number of redundancies needed.

The pay cuts will be voted on this week by the union and by all other staff next week.

"We hope it will get up because it will significantly help the university to weather the storm," Professor Dewar said.

"We estimate if staff agree to this measure we will be able to save 225 jobs that we would otherwise have to make redundant."

Professor Dewar said around 400 redundancies would still be necessary.

RMIT University predicts revenue drop of 22 per cent over next two years

RMIT University has issued a statement after releasing its 2019 annual report that says it forecasts a potential $175 million revenue gap in 2020.

International students studying in Australia accounted for about 22 per cent of RMIT's total student population in 2019, and 34 per cent of its total consolidated revenue.

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RMIT University , Melbourne , Victoria, Australia. La Trobe University . CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE: The health and safety of the RMIT community is our absolute priority and we are continuing to monitor the novel coronavirus situation closely.

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"Overall, we estimate RMIT revenue to be down roughly $300 million or 22 per cent over the next two years should our borders remain largely closed," the statement said.

The university received more than $280 million in income from overseas undergraduate students studying at its Australian campuses in the 2019/20 financial year.

It also said the prolonged closure of international borders and reduced student enrolments was likely to impact its financial position in future years.

"Our 2021 operating plan will reflect our reduced revenue expectations and we will be working hard to align our organisation for a sustainable future."

The university has reinvested more than $15 million towards its COVID-19 response, which included essential support services for students, technology innovation, cleaning and hygiene measures.

RMIT's Vice Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor's Executive have agreed to a 20 per cent pay cut to help with the university's economic recovery.

Senior leaders have also been asked to reduce their fixed salary by 10 per cent or reduce their hours worked.

Click here for up-to-date coverage of the COVID-19 crisis on the Microsoft News app — available on Windows 10, iOS and Android

Govt must 'stand firm' against increasing pressure from Beijing .
Labor MP Peter Khalil has told the government to “stand firm” amid increasing pressure from China after Beijing warned its students against returning to study in Australia, citing ‘racism and coronavirus’ concerns. The Chinese Education Ministry issued a statement which said "during the epidemic there were multiple discriminatory incidents against Asians in Australia". The Federal member for Wills told Sky News “it’s hard not to see this as part of the broader pattern of announcements on trade, barley and around the [coronavirus] inquiry”.

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