CANBERRA, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- More than a quarter of Australian universities' revenue in 2019 came from international students.
According to data released by the federal government on Wednesday, universities turned a 2.3 billion Australian dollar (1.6 billion U.S. dollar) profit in 2019.
However, the result was underpinned by a heavy reliance on international student fees.
Of the university revenues in 2019, 10 billion AUD (7.3 billion USD), or 27 percent, came from international students.
It means that without international students, as has been the case in 2020 as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the industry would have posted a loss of 7.7 billion AUD (5.6 billion USD).
Australia's public universities have repeatedly called for more government assistance amid the pandemic but were excluded from the jobkeeper wage subsidy scheme, leading to more than 12,500 people employed at universities losing their jobs.
Universities Australia, the peak body representing those institutions, warned in June that the sector would lose up to 16 billion AUD (11.7 billion USD) in revenue between 2020 and 2023 as a result of the pandemic, devastating the country's research capacity.
In a virtual speech to a innovative technologies conference on Wednesday, Tanya Plibersek, the opposition Labor Party's education spokesperson, reiterated calls for the government to give greater funding certainty to universities and "actually back in science with consistency and credibility, not just when it's convenient, not just when we need a vaccine."
"We can guarantee long-term certainty to our researchers, not make them dependent on yearly deals in the budget," she said. Enditem