2012 Annual Report.
RMIT University's Annual Reports cover the financial year from 1 January to 31 December. They are tabled in the Victorian Parliament and then published as a public record of the University's strategic direction, activities, achievements, governance and financial position.
RMIT University focused on implementing its commitment in its Strategic Plan to 2015, Transforming the Future, to be a global university of technology and design.
In 2012, RMIT faced a number of challenges including continued strong competition in international education and funding pressures in the vocational education sector. RMIT responded well to these challenges and achieved strong academic and financial results.
The Excellence in Research Australia results confirmed RMIT as producing "well above world standard" research in architecture, clinical sciences and human movement, and sports science. Our research was rated at "above world standard" in aerospace engineering, applied mathematics, artificial intelligence and image processing, building, condensed matter physics, cultural studies, design practice and management, electrical and electronic engineering, information systems, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, medical physiology, pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences, physical chemistry, urban and regional planning and visual arts and crafts.
These results show RMIT's research strengths, aligned with our aspirations in technology and design.
Our investments in improving outcomes in learning, teaching and research continued in 2012. The Learning and Teaching Investment Fund supported a range of initiatives across the University, including projects to enhance the student experience, to support pathways between vocational and higher education, and to improve the effectiveness of our teaching spaces and use of technology.
RMIT has maintained its position as a world leader in international education. In 2012 we had 12,000 onshore and 11,500 offshore international students. RMIT Vietnam saw more than 1700 students graduate this year, bringing the total number of graduates in Vietnam to more than 5000. RMIT's partnership with the Singapore Institute of Management, now with more than 6500 current students and 24,000 graduates, celebrated its 25th anniversary.
The Design Hub - supported by the Commonwealth through a grant of $28.6 million from the Education Investment Fund - was opened by Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, in November and will further enhance our design research and postgraduate education capabilities.
Construction of the Swanston Academic Building also finished, adding substantially to the range and quality of our teaching and students spaces on the City campus. While it opened for teaching in 2012, it will be formally opened in early 2013. RMIT Vietnam completed another major building known as AB2, providing new, environmentally sustainable classrooms, teaching and learning spaces, offices and student accommodation.
Our commitment to transforming the lives of our students was maintained in 2012 through our various equity and scholarship schemes. RMIT awarded more than 3200 scholarships to its students. A total of 1278 Schools Network Access Program students commenced across all three RMIT Colleges.
While achieving these outcomes, RMIT has maintained strong financial discipline. RMIT has again achieved a strong financial result with an overall surplus of $49.6 million on revenue totalling $965 million. With an EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) of 14.7 per cent, RMIT's performance enables it to continue investing in education and research.
With the capability of our staff and students, the increasing strength and focus in education and research and our financial performance, I am confident RMIT is well-positioned to continue to develop a strong position as a global university of technology and design.
Professor Margaret Gardner AO
Vice-Chancellor and President