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Latest financial snapshot and analysis of sector released

12 December 2018

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has released the latest edition of its Key financial metrics on Australia’s higher education sector report, which offers a snapshot of the sector’s financial performance across provider groupings. 

TEQSA Chief Executive Officer Anthony McClaran said that the report was an important way of enhancing the publicly available information on the financial performance of Australian higher education, including and beyond the university sector.

“Our analysis has shown that Government grants continue to be the sector’s biggest revenue source, at 41 per cent of total sector revenue”, said Mr McClaran.

“Staff expenditure continues to be the largest expense for higher education providers, with the sector spending $20.6 billion on staffing in 2017”.

The report highlights that total revenue generated by higher education providers grew by 5.8 per cent to $37.9 billion in 2017. In particular, income from higher education domestic students increased by almost four percent in 2017, while international student revenue increased by almost 17 per cent over the same period. 

This year’s report also includes a special focus topic, which analyses the financial performance of providers operating in both the higher education and vocational education sectors. The analysis compares financial aspects of universities, not-for-profit and for-profit providers that operate as dual sector providers, and analyses how they compare with providers operating solely in the higher education sector.

The report’s analysis of dual sector providers found them to be less profitable than those operating solely in the higher education sector, reporting lower median net surplus/profit margins. Further, dual sector providers spent slightly more on employees as a proportion of revenue compared with non-dual sector providers.

The Key financial metrics on Australia’s higher education sector report is a demonstration of TEQSA’s commitment in ensuring its stakeholders have access to relevant information to support, and better inform, decision making.  

The agency intends to progressively expand the amount of information made publicly available over the coming operational year.

View the Key financial metrics on Australia's higher education sector report.

The sector at a glance


Sector revenue infographic

Sector revenue infographic