In May 2011, there were 14.8 million people aged 15-64 years (Table 2) and 323,600 people aged 65-74 years in the labour force or marginally attached to the labour force (Table 15) who were in the scope of the survey.
Of those aged 15-64 years, 2.9 million (20%) were enrolled in a course of study. Approximately 1.1 million (39%) of these enrolled people were attending a higher education institution, 771,000 (27%) were at school, 599,900 (21%) were at Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions, and 410,100 (14%) were at other educational institutions (Table 1).
In May 2011, 53% of people aged 15-64 years enrolled in a course of study were female, 40% were aged 15-19 years, 64% were studying full-time, and 25% were born overseas (Table 1).
STUDY FOR A QUALIFICATION
The proportion of people aged 15-64 years who were enrolled in formal learning (study that is likely to lead to a recognised qualification) increased from 17% in 2001 to 19% in 2011. For females aged 15-64 years, approximately 17% were enrolled in formal learning in 2001, compared with 20% in 2011. Male enrolments in formal learning were 17% in both 2001 and 2011 (Table 2).
Over one-third (39%) of people aged 15-64 years who were enrolled in a non-school qualification were studying for a Bachelor Degree. Almost half of these people (48%) were aged 20-24 years and 26% were aged 15-19 years. Of the 1.1 million females aged 15-64 years enrolled in a non-school qualification, 42% were completing a Bachelor Degree, compared with 37% of 926,500 males (Table 3).
More females than males were enrolled in most non-school qualifications, with the exception of Certificates III and IV. Over one-quarter (28%) of males enrolled in a non-school qualification were studying for a Certificate III or IV compared with 20% of females (Table 3).
As in 2010, the most commonly reported main field of education of current study for people aged 15-64 years enrolled in a non-school qualification in 2011 was Management and commerce (27%), followed by Society and culture (20%). One-fifth (21%) of males aged 15-64 years enrolled in a non-school qualification were studying in the main field of Engineering and related technologies, compared with 2% of females aged 15-64 years. Of the 400,100 people aged 15-64 years enrolled in the field of Society and culture, 69% were female (Table 4). People studying in the main field of Society and culture increased from 17% of persons aged 15-64 years enrolled in a non-school qualification in 2001 to 20% in 2011 (Table 7). Of the 109,300 people aged 15-64 years enrolled in the field of Architecture and building, 84% were males and over three-quarters (79%) of the 138,700 people enrolled in Education were females (Table 4).