CENTRAL Queensland University has told all staff to cut budgets but redundancies are unlikely after finding itself $24 million in the red last year.

In an email to staff dated February 7, vice-chancellor Scott Bowman said the university would be "reporting a significant deficit financial result for 2012, hit by plummeting international students".

He said the university was still financially sustainable and had a strong cash position, but revenue from international students was down $6m.

"At the moment we have record numbers of domestic students; if we can turn around international, we will be in a very strong position," he wrote.

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