Educational attainment in Australia


The Australian Bureau of Statistics publication Education and Work (cat. 6227.0) reports annually on the type of educational qualifications held by Australians, and associated labour market outcomes.

Enrolled students and course completions

The Department Education's Students dataset provides enrolled student numbers and full-time equivalent load for all higher education providers, with a breakdown by institution, broad field of study, and various student demographics. DIISRTE also provide statistics on award course completions.

Universities Australia recommends the use of full year enrolment data for analysis as this includes mid-year commencements. Data on equity groups, raw attrition rates, and enrolments by Academic Organisational Unit is only provided through the full year tables.

Demand for undergraduate university places

The Department of Education report annually on the number of applications, offers and acceptances to undergraduate university courses, based on data from Tertiary Admission Centres. From 2010, this report has included data on applications submitted directly to universities. The level of 'unmet demand' is calculated based on a methodology prepared by Universities Australia, who were responsible for reporting demand for university places prior to 2009.

Student contributions (HECS and fees)

Students either pay a proportion of the cost of their studies through the HECS-HELP loan program or pay full tuition fees, depending on the type of course and their residency status.

Universities Australia maintains historical HECS-HELP  data by year and field of study. The Commonwealth Government also provides a contribution to universities for each Commonwealth Supported (HECS-HELP) place.

Tuition fees are set by individual institutions - check their websites for details.

International student visas and enrolments

International students are included within the Department of Education's Students dataset, both in overall count and as a separate category. Australian Education International also provide a rolling monthly summary of commencements and enrolments, which is more regularly updated.

In addition, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship produce data on the number of student visas granted. This is often a leading indicator of future commencements.