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Private universities increase profits after receiving JobKeeper

Bond University was one of the four private institutions eligible for the JobKeeper payment.

Image credit: Bond University.

Bond University’s annual accounts report boasted a net profit of $20.8 million in 2020 after receiving over $17 million in assistance from the JobKeeper program. 

The profit is a substantial increase from $14.3 million the year before.

Bond University was one of the four private institutions eligible for the JobKeeper payment, along with Notre Dame University, Torrens University, and the University of Divinity. 

The University of Divinity Annual Report showed a “balanced outcome” in 2020, partially attributed to “support provided by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments for business operations.”

“The Morrison Govt changed the rules 3 times to exclude public universities from JobKeeper. Over 17,000 uni jobs have been lost,” wrote Labor MP Andrew Leigh on Twitter. “But the Liberals let private universities get JobKeeper. We now know Bond Uni got $17m in JobKeeper and increased its profits for the year.”

Public universities were controversially made ineligible for the JobKeeper package as they had to show a 50% drop of revenue over six months, rather than just one month or quarter like other charities and businesses.

The private institutions were granted an exemption from the Government’s six-month requirement as they typically receive fewer Commonwealth contributions.

The lack of government support for public universities was broadly condemned at the time. Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi stated that continuing to exclude public universities from JobKeeper was “a disgrace” and “an act of pure malice.”

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