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2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/2007  Reissue
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Contents >> Short Definitions and Classifications - 2006 >> Non-School Qualification: Level of Education (QALLP) - Characteristics 2006

Non-School Qualification: Level of Education

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Description
Image of Question
Classification
Quality Statement


Description


This variable describes the level of education of the highest completed non-school qualification (e.g. bachelor degree, diploma). More Detailed Description


Image of Question

Figure 1. Highest Qualification Reached


Classification

Applicable to: Persons aged 15 years and over who stated a completed qualification.

1. Postgraduate Degree Level
2. Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate Level
3. Bachelor Degree Level
4. Advanced Diploma and Diploma Level
5. Certificate Level

Not applicable (@@@) category comprises
Persons who have a qualification that is out of scope of this classification
Persons with no qualifications
Persons still studying for a first qualification
Persons aged under 15 years

Total number of categories:
one digit level 5
two digit level 13
three digit level 11

More Detailed Description

Data Quality Statements - QALLP Non school qualification : Level of Education


There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on Non-School Qualification: Field of Study (QALFP).

Non-School Qualification: Level of Education (QALLP) is coded from written responses to question 29 on the household form and is coded in conjunction with Non-School Qualification: Field of Study (QALFP), question 30 on the household form. This process ensures that the level of qualification corresponds to the field of study and, for a small proportion of data where this is not the case, the level is amended.

Where possible, standard procedures are used to obtain a level of study code. However, the level of detail provided on the Census form, and therefore the ease with which responses can be coded, varies. Standard automated processes were used to obtain codes for 65.4% of all records presented for automatic coding. A further 12.6% of records presented for automatic coding were able to be coded in bulk at a later stage due to identified similarities in characteristics between groups of these records. More complex responses were coded using clerical procedures and this accounted for 21.9% of all records initially presented for the automatic coding process. All coding processes were subject to sample checks to ensure an acceptable level of quality.

Of the records sent for clerical coding, 74.8% were able to be coded in basic coding while the remaining 25.2% went to 'Best Fit'. 'Best Fit' enables the person coding the responses to determine whether it is appropriate for responses to be classified into a category when they are not an 'exact' fit.

Figure 1: Qualification Indicator Question
Figure 1.  Qualification Indicator Question

Table 1 provides proportions of responses to Non-School Qualification: Level of Education (QALLP) as they relate to the Qualification Indicator Question, which is question 28 on the household form (see Figure 1). While the Qualification Indicator Question is used in the derivation of Non-School Qualification: Level of Education (QALLP), Non-School Qualification: Field of Study (QALFP) and Level of Highest Educational Attainment (HEAP), it is not available as a standard data item.


As can be seen by Table 1, response rates for QALLP include a small number of people who did not indicate whether they had a qualification at the Qualification Indicator Question but went on to state their level of qualification at QALLP. Just over a third of these (33.3%) were coded to the Certificate Level. Of those coded to the Certificate Level, 60% were coded to the Certificate III or IV Level.

A large component of non-response for QALLP is due to people answering neither the Qualification Indicator nor the QALLP questions, including people who may not have seen the qualifications questions as relevant to themselves, and those people who were imputed into occupied dwellings from which no form had been returned. However, as it may not be appropriate to consider these groups of non-respondents when calculating non-response for the directly applicable population, further analysis was undertaken so that non-response could be considered only in relation to those people who were applicable, that is those who would be expected to answer the further qualification questions if they had followed the sequencing at the Qualification Indicator Question. For example, respondents who had indicated at the Qualification Indicator Question that they had completed a qualification (see Figure 1 for an image of the Qualification Indicator Question, and Table 2 for further non-response analysis.)

Table 1: Response/Non-Response derivation for Qualification Indicator
Question by QALLP, people aged 15 or over, 2006 Census


Qualification Indicator Questiona
QALLP
'000
%
Stated ('Yes' response)b
Stated
6,360.2
40.0
Not stated
247.9
1.6
Stated ('No' response)c
Not applicable
7,556.3
47.5
Not Stated
Stated
150.3
0.9
Not statedd
939.3
5.9
Non-response due to people (aged 15 or over) being imputed into dwellings:
664.1
4.2
Total Population aged 15 years or over:
15,918.1
100
a Question 28 on the household form, see Figure 1.
b
'Yes' responses only, indicating that the person had completed an educational qualification.
c
'No' responses only, indicating that the person had not completed an educational qualification.
d
This figure includes 909,190 people who did not respond to all three qualification questions
(Qualification Indicator Question, QALLP, QALFP).


As can be seen in Table 2, the non-response rate for QALLP was 3.8% for the 2006 Census. This compares with 5.5% for 2001. However these rates only apply to persons who stated at the Qualification Indicator Question (see Figure 1) that they had completed a qualification.

Table 2: Response/Non-response derivation for Qualification Indicator Questiona by QALLP, population
who indicated that they had completed a non-school educational qualification, 2006 Census


Qualification Indicator Questiona
QALLP
'000
%
Stated ('Yes' response)b
Stated
6,360.2
96.2
Not Stated
247.9
3.8
(non-response
rate)
Total
6,608.2
100
a Question 28 on the household form, see Figure 1.
b
'Yes' responses only, indicating that the person had completed an educational qualification.



Comparison with other ABS data sources

Level of Education data is also collected by the ABS in other household collections. One collection is the Survey of Education and Work (SEW) which was conducted as a supplementary survey to the Labour Force Survey in May 2006. Comparative data is included in the table below. There are a range of differences in the scope, coverage, timing, and collection methodologies of the two collections, and these are the major contributors to the differences in the counts in the table. SEW figures are generally higher as Census data is unadjusted for underenumeration and only includes those usual residents present in Australia on Census Night. SEW data is based on a sample of the population and is weighted to take account of non-response. It should be noted that the Survey of Education and Work and the Survey of Education and Training generally do not have non-response in the Level of highest non-school qualification question due to using an interviewer based collection methodology.

To enable better comparison across the collections, non-response in Census data for the question asking about Non-School Qualification: Level of Qualification (QALLP) and/or the question asking about Non-School Qualification: Field of Study (QALFP) has been removed from the table below. For further consistency with the SEW, the population of census respondents was restricted to include only people aged between 15 and 64 years.

As Table 3 shows, despite the differences outlined above, the proportions of persons in the broad level of study categories are quite similar, with the exception of the category 'Certificate Level I and II'. The discrepancy of +8.0% between the 2006 Census (2.9%) and the 2006 SEW (10.9%) may be partially due to a differences between the two collections in the coding of a small proportion of qualifications which were not fully defined, and were completed prior to 1998. While these responses were coded to 'Certificate nfd' in the 2006 Census, these same types of responses would have been coded to the more specific categories of 'Certificate 1 & 2 nfd' or 'Certificate 3 & 4 nfd' in the 2006 SEW. An edit to move these qualifications from the 'Certificate nfd' category in the 2006 Census was not applied to maintain comparability for this item with the 2001 Census item.

Table 3: Comparison of 2006 Census and Survey of Education and Work, May 2006 ('000s)

2006 Censusa
2006 SEW
Level of Education of persons with a non-school qualification
'000
%
'000
%
Level of education inadequately described/not determined
191.0
3.3
141.9
2.0
Postgraduate Degree Level
381.6
6.6
428.8
6.1
Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate Level
213.2
3.7
316.0
4.5
Bachelor Degree Level
1,708.4
29.7
2,008.3
28.6
Advanced Diploma and Diploma Level
990.7
17.2
1,075.7
15.3
Certificate Level III & IVb
1870.1
32.5
2,056.5
29.3
Certificate Level I & IIb
168.6
2.9
762.3
10.9
Certificate Level nfdb
232.3
4.0
230.0
3.3
Total of Persons with a non-school qualification
5,755.9
100.0
7,019.5
100.0
a For consistency with the SEW, the population of census respondents was restricted to include only
people aged between 15 and 64 years.

b
For information about differences in coding procedures for these categories between the 2006 Census
and the 2006 SEW, see the discussion in preceding paragraph.

The Census is not subject to the sampling error which can occur in household surveys for estimates below the national level, and can therefore provide level of education data for small geographic areas or population groups, together with a range of other demographic and social characteristics. However, users of Census data at this more detailed level should be mindful of the limitations of collecting information via a census self-completed paper or e-form questionnaire where the responses provided are sometimes not sufficiently detailed to obtain an appropriate field of study code. In comparison, ABS household surveys conducted as personal interviews (either in person, or via telephone) allow interviewers to clarify concepts and questions for respondents.

Additional sources of information regarding level and field of highest educational qualification can be found in other ABS publications and associated collections, including:

    • Education and Work, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 6227.0, various years), which presents information from the Survey of Education and Work about the educational experience of people aged 15-64 years, especially in relation to their labour force status
    • Education and Training Experience, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 6278.0, various years), which presents information from the Survey of Education and Training about the education and training experiences of people aged 15-74 years

The ABS aims to produce high quality data from the Census. To achieve this, extensive effort is put into Census form design, collection procedures, and processing procedures. More details regarding these efforts can be found in:
All are available from the ABS Website.


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