unsw quadrangle
University of NSW (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

The University of NSW (UNSW) has announced it will be cutting nearly 500 jobs, in the latest sign of the carnage inflicted on the higher education sector by the pandemic.

Facing a budget shortfall of $370 million, vice-chancellor Ian Jacobs said that despite cutting discretionary spending and some management salaries, the university still had to find further savings. UNSW will lose about 7.5% of its academic staff, and merge three faculties, in what could be a sign of things to come for universities. 

Why are universities struggling?

For years, Australian universities had become increasingly dependent on international students, mostly from China.