Victorian and New South Wales Auditors-General have reported on the financial health of the higher education sectors of their respective states, finding that universities are in good financial shape after hearings in the states’ parliaments.


The reports, issued to the respective state parliaments on May 25, found that the combined universities had recorded a surplus of over $1 billion.


The Victorian auditor-general’s office found that the state’s higher educational sector had reported a surplus fall of 5.6%, but still maintained a healthy financial outlook.


The New South Wales sector has recorded a substantial increase in its surplus, showing a growth of $123 million, bringing the total surplus for the state’s tertiary education area to $582.


New South Wales Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat found that of the $7.5 billion in revenue from the state’s universities, nearly 20%, or around $1.5 billion, is generated from foreign students.


However, the Victorian report found that the international student market is becoming unstable due to a number of pressures.


"The international student market has become volatile as a result of recent social issues, government reforms, the volatility of the Australian dollar and legislative changes to student visa requirements," the Auditor-General’s report said.