The University of Newcastle's 2008 Annual Report, including its financial statements, has been tabled in NSW State Parliament by the NSW Minister for Education and Training.
The financial statements report a deficit of $1.4 million for 2008. The deficit is a result of a strong operating performance delivering a surplus of $27.8 million - significantly greater than the budgeted $18.3 million surplus - offset by a write down on investment of $29.2 million.
The University's revenue increased 15 per cent in 2008, primarily as a result of additional funding from the Commonwealth. Its total assets increased by $130 million over the previous year now reaching $1.1 billion in total, and operating activities generated cash of $64.6 million compared to $42.5 million in 2007.
Acting Vice-Chancellor, Dr Sue Gould, said the impact of the global financial crisis on investments for all organisations including universities had been significant, and Newcastle's experience was in line with the average for the sector.
"It is crucial to keep in mind that the decline in the value of the University's investments is a paper loss only."
The University's investment portfolio is a balance of cash, short-term deposits and investments in managed funds that are well diversified in line with good investing practices. The University's finance team and its external investment advisors expect investment values to recover within the five to seven year timeframe established by the organisation's investment policy.