Universities Australia is the peak body representing the university sector. Universities Australia represents Australia's thirty nine universities in the public interest, both nationally and internationally. We wish to make the following comments regarding the discussion paper Measuring the Socio-Economic Status of Higher Education Students.
Universities Australia agrees that a more robust measurement is required for socio-economic status (SES) than the current over simplistic postcode measure, which has been demonstrated by various studies to be an inaccurate reflection of SES. A multivariate index which takes account of several markers would provide a more accurate overall measure.
Correspondingly, we are disappointed that the discussion paper appears to downplay the work done by the joint DEEWR/Universities Australia technical reference group on SES, which has been meeting since 2008 and which has previously canvassed many of the options included within the discussion paper. The views developed by that reference group are outlined below.
To read the full submission, download the PDF below.