The University of Sydney has joined UNSW in seeking voluntary redundancies, saying cost cutting, including a hiring freeze, won’t be sustainable in 2021.
The University of Sydney has joined UNSW in seeking voluntary redundancies, saying cost cutting, including a hiring freeze, won’t be sustainable in 2021.

Sydney Uni makes staff cuts and predicts fall in enrolments

The University of Sydney has told staff that the institution is seeking voluntary redundancies, despite recent cost savings measures.

In an email to staff on Tuesday, the university announced that although cost cutting measures such as a travel ban, cuts to discretionary spending and a hiring freeze have helped in the short term, the institution is predicting enrolments to plummet in 2021.

There is no target number on job losses at the University of Sydney.
There is no target number on job losses at the University of Sydney.

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The initial budget for semester one of 2021 predicted enrolments to be back to pre-pandemic levels, but as the long term effect of the travel ban became clear the budget was revised to a much starker projection.

In a statement the University of Sydney said they are expecting revenue from international enrolments to be at 65 per cent next year, which will effect the budget in the next three to four years.

 

Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, will be taking a 20 per cent pay cut. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, will be taking a 20 per cent pay cut. Picture: Jonathan Ng

 

This is despite student enrolments for 2020 semester two being "stronger" than the budget revision predicted.

The university hasn't announced a target number of roles to be made redundant, and the voluntary redundancy program is expected to run until November with staff leaving the university by the end of the year.

"Any resulting savings this program might provide will assist us in managing ongoing costs, mitigate against a reduction in student revenue and help better prepare us for uncertainties in the future," a University of Sydney statement said.

"It may also allow us to ease some of the savings constraints impacting critical areas such as research, student support and the hiring freeze."

In addition to the redundancy program senior members of the university executive board will take a 20 per cent pay cut for this year, including Vice Chancellor Dr Michael Spence.

In June the University of NSW announced a voluntary redundancy program with up to 500 jobs set to go, and the University of Technology Sydney has also announced up to 500 staff could go if international enrolments continue to drop.

Originally published as Sydney Uni makes staff cuts, predicts fall in enrolments