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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2008   
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Contents >> Education and training >> Higher education

HIGHER EDUCATION

Public and private higher education providers, that receive funding from the Australian Government include: universities, other self-accrediting higher education institutions and non-self-accrediting providers. While universities are generally established under state and territory legislation, they are self-accrediting, autonomous bodies and operate in accordance with the requirements for Australian Government funding. Non-self-accrediting higher education providers on the other hand, are accredited by state and territory authorities. They are mainly private providers of varying sizes, and include theological colleges and other providers that offer courses in areas such as business, information technology, natural therapies, hospitality, health, law and accounting.

Higher education providers offer a range of undergraduate and post-graduate courses including traditional academic areas of learning and research, as well as more practical courses with a vocational orientation. Courses may vary in form, entry requirements, duration and method of assessment. For instance, courses can be full time or part time, delivered on-campus, by distance education, or a mix of these modes. In addition, some institutions offer courses which associate full-time study with periods of employment. Courses cover many disciplines such as the humanities, social sciences, education, environmental education, science, mathematics and computing, visual/performing arts, engineering and processing, health sciences, business, economics, law and agriculture.


Students and courses

In 2006 there were 984,100 students enrolled in higher education courses, of whom 61% were aged less than 25 years and 55% were female (graph 12.18 and table 12.19).

12.18 Higher education students, by age - 2006
Graph: 12.18 Higher education students, by age—2006

Table 12.19 shows a 3% increase in the number of higher education students from 2005 to 2006. Male student numbers increased by 2% (9,100 students), and females by 3% (17,900 students), between the two years. The number of students choosing multi-modal tuition, a mixture of face-to-face and external study, increased by 6% (3,400 students). Internal (on-campus) students increased by 3% (24,800 students), including 11,600 additional female full-time students (4% increase).

12.19 HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS, By mode and type of enrolment(a)

2005
2006
Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons

Internal
Full time
265.2
300.9
566.1
273.2
312.5
585.7
Part time
91.2
104.6
195.8
93.7
107.4
201.1
Total
356.4
405.6
762.0
366.8
419.9
786.8
External
Full time
10.7
14.2
24.9
10.0
14.7
24.7
Part time
46.1
62.7
108.8
44.7
63.0
107.7
Total
56.8
76.9
133.7
54.7
77.7
132.4
Multi-modal
Full time
17.2
28.7
45.8
17.5
30.6
48.1
Part time
5.5
10.2
15.7
5.9
11.0
16.9
Total
22.7
38.8
61.5
23.4
41.6
65.0
Total
Full time
293.1
343.8
636.9
300.7
357.7
658.5
Part time
142.7
177.6
320.3
144.2
181.5
325.7
Total
435.8
521.3
957.2
444.9
539.2
984.1

(a) Relates to the delivery of education to the student. 'Internal' is where the delivery of education is done entirely within the institution, 'external' refers to delivery of course material to students off-campus, and 'multi-modal' is where at least one, but not all units, are provided at the institution.
Source: Department of Education, Science and Training, 'Students: Selected Higher Education Statistics'.


The basic undergraduate course at most institutions is a bachelor degree of three or four years duration. In 2006, 68% of higher education students were enrolled in bachelor degree courses. Most institutions also offer postgraduate level study ranging from one to two years of full-time study for a master's degree and three to five years for a doctoral degree. In 2006, 28% of higher education students were enrolled in higher degree and other postgraduate courses.

In 2006, higher education enrolments were most commonly in the fields of: Management and commerce; Society and culture; Health; and Education (table 12.20). These four fields accounted for 73% of all higher education course enrolments.


12.20 HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS, By level and field of education - 2006

Level of education
Field of education
Post-
graduate
degree
Graduate
diploma/
Graduate
certificate
Bachelor
degree
Advanced
diploma/
Diploma
Other
education
Total
courses

Natural and physical sciences
11.6
2.0
61.5
0.1
0.3
75.5
Information technology
15.5
2.1
37.7
0.2
0.2
55.7
Engineering and related technologies
12.1
2.5
49.7
0.5
1.4
66.2
Architecture and building
2.6
1.1
17.2
0.1
-
21.0
Agriculture, environment and related studies
3.8
1.0
10.6
0.7
0.3
16.4
Health
17.6
10.0
90.8
0.3
0.3
118.9
Education
17.5
16.2
64.9
0.3
1.2
100.1
Management and commerce
76.3
17.5
187.3
2.2
0.7
284.0
Society and culture
36.4
15.8
155.3
2.2
6.5
216.2
Creative arts
6.8
2.4
52.8
0.5
1.1
63.6
Food, hospitality and personal services
-
-
0.1
-
-
0.1
Mixed field programmes
-
-
-
-
2.0
2.0
Non-award
-
-
-
-
22.7
22.7
All students(a)
200.0
70.5
669.8
7.2
36.7
984.1

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Students undertaking combined courses are counted in each field they are studying. Because of this, the field of education component will not necessarily add to All students.
Source: Department of Education, Science and Training, 'Students: Selected Higher Education Statistics'.



Staff

Higher education staff may be classified as academic or non-academic. In 2006, there were more non-academic than academic staff. The most frequent classification of academic staff was at the lecturer level.

Table 12.21 shows a declining ratio of male to female higher education staff between 2001 and 2006. Males comprised 49% of all staff in 2001, but only 47% in 2006. Despite this, men still outnumber women at all levels of academic staff except at below lecturer level. In 2006, 59% of all academic staff were male, compared with 63% in 2001.
12.21 HIGHER EDUCATION STAFF

Staff classification
2001
2006

MALES (%)

Academic staff
Above senior lecturer
82.8
77.1
Senior lecturer
69.5
63.4
Lecturer
54.4
51.3
Below lecturer
45.9
46.2
Total
62.5
59.1
Non-academic staff
38.5
36.7
All staff
48.8
46.5

FEMALES (%)

Academic staff
Above senior lecturer
17.2
22.9
Senior lecturer
30.5
36.6
Lecturer
45.6
48.7
Below lecturer
54.1
53.8
Total
37.5
40.9
Non-academic staff
61.5
63.3
All staff
51.2
53.5

PERSONS ('000)

Academic staff
Above senior lecturer
7.1
9.2
Senior lecturer
8.4
9.6
Lecturer
11.6
13.3
Below lecturer
6.4
8.0
Total
33.5
40.2
Non-academic staff
44.8
51.8
All staff
78.2
92.0

Source: Department of Education, Science and Training, 'Staff: Selected Higher Education Statistics'.





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