Universities 2016

The Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford released her report ‘Universities: 2016 Audits’ today. The report focuses on key observations and findings from the most recent audits of the ten NSW universities. No qualified opinions were issued on the universities’ financial statements and the quality and timeliness of financial reporting continued to improve.

The report found that all NSW universities recorded a surplus in 2016 with combined revenue growth exceeding expense growth by 1.1 per cent. Universities have diversified revenue sources and are now less reliant on government grants. Combined overseas student income exceeded domestic student income for the first time in 2016.

Some NSW universities are vulnerable to fluctuations in overseas students’ intake and need to manage this risk.

As reported in previous years, universities continue to face challenges in managing information security. These challenges expose universities to cyber security threats and intellectual property theft. Whilst there were no high-risk internal control deficiencies identified during the audits, information security needs improvement across all NSW universities.

'NSW universities need to review the design and effectiveness of their information security controls to ensure intellectual property, staff and student data are adequately protected,' the Auditor-General recommended.

Further information

Barry Underwood, Executive Officer, on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664 and email barry.underwood@audit.nsw.gov.au.