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2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/11/2006  Reissue
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Contents >> Glossary >> Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED)

Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED)

The Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) has been developed to allow greater comparability of data on education and training. It is used for coding responses to questions on year of schooling completed and the level of education and field of study for completed non-school qualifications. It was used for the first time in the 2001 Census. Data on qualifications reported in the 1991 and 1996 Censuses were coded to the ABS Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ).

ASCED classifies education according to two elements: Level of Education and Field of Study. Level of Education is an hierarchical classification and comprises 9 broad levels, 15 narrow levels and 64 detailed levels. Field of Study refers to the subject matter taught in a course, unit, and modules of study. It is also an hierarchical classification and comprises 12 broad fields of study, 71 narrow fields and 356 detailed fields.

Where the respondent does not provide adequate information for the response to be coded to the most detailed levels of the 2 elements - Level of Education and Field of Study - the response is coded to the next highest classification level. Where this occurs, special 'Not further defined' (nfd) categories are used. These categories are represented by codes ending in a zero or zeroes.

Standard output for Level of Education is at the 2 digit level. However some data at the 3 digit level can be made available from ABS Information Consultancy. Standard output for Field of Study is at the 6 digit level.

For more information refer to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no. 1272.0), available in hard copy, and from the ABS web site <>.

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