Universities 2017

The Auditor-General, Margaret Crawford released her report today on the results of financial audits of NSW universities for the year ended 31 December 2017.

No qualified audit opinions were issued for any university and the quality and timeliness of financial reporting continues to improve.

NSW universities' revenues have grown over the last five years, notwithstanding decreases in government grants. Growth in revenue is largely due to increases in the number of students, particularly students from overseas. Revenue from overseas students increased by 23 per cent in 2017.

'NSW universities should assess their student revenue concentration risk where they rely heavily on students from a single country', the Auditor-General recommended.

The report makes further recommendations to NSW universities, aimed at strengthening financial reporting, performance and controls.

Information technology weaknesses were the most common source of deficiencies in our 2017 audits.

'Universities should ensure controls, including information technology controls, are properly designed and operate effectively to protect intellectual property, staff and student data, and assets', the Auditor General recommended.

Further information

Barry Underwood, Director, Office of the Auditor-General, on 0403 073 664 and email barry.underwood@audit.nsw.gov.au.