Western Australia’s universities are counting the cost of COVID-19.

University of WA and Curtin have estimated a combined loss of $124 million due to the pandemic.

UWA is facing a shortfall of $64 million in core revenue for 2020.

“We need the return of our international students as soon as it is safe to do so,” UWA vice-chancellor Jane den Hollander said.

“This will save many jobs — inside and outside universities.”

Curtin University estimated its revenue will be $60 million lower than budgeted - a 6 per cent drop.

“Approximately 40 per cent of the expected revenue loss relates to onshore international student enrolments,” she said.

“We continue to work closely with the Federal and State Government to ensure we are well prepared and positioned to welcome back our international students as soon as it is safe for them to return,” she said.

Curtin University vice-chancellor Deborah Terry says the university will protect as many jobs as possible.

“As part of this commitment a number of strategies have been employed, including a freeze on all recruitment, harnessing savings from travel and events, all WA-based members of the senior executive team taking a 10 per cent pay cut until at least the end of September, and the expectation that no bonuses will be paid for 2020,” she said.

“In addition, all staff have been asked to take their annual leave and any excess leave.”

WA’s University of Notre Dame, which is less reliant on overseas students, estimates COVID-19 related income losses of approximately 14 per cent.

Edith Cowan University says it is still assessing the impact of the pandemic on its finances, while Murdoch University has not revealed its specific financial loss data.