Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
1308.8 - In fACT - Statistical Information on the ACT and Region, Aug 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/08/2008   
   Page tools: Print Print Page RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> People >> Education

EDUCATION

Introduction

The current Australian Capital Territory school system consists of pre-school, primary school (years K-6), high school (years 7-10) and college (years 11 and 12), which can be followed by university or Technical and Further Education (TAFE).

Statistics about education in the ACT are obtained from a number of sources. As well as the ABS, statistics are produced by the ACT Department of Education and Training (twice-yearly census of all government and non-government pre-school, primary and secondary schools), the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research. This article focusses on schools and higher education in the ACT.

Key information about the education sector in the ACT:

  • By comparison with Australia, education contributes more to the ACT local economy. In dollar terms the education industry contributed 5.3% ($1.1b) of the ACT's gross state product in 2006-07, compared with 4.5% of gross domestic product nationally ($41.8b)
  • There were 3,772 students attending preschool in the ACT, at February 2008.
  • There were 59,841 students attending primary or secondary school in the ACT at February 2008, including 327 students in special schools.
  • Approximately 24,000 students were enrolled in vocational education and training courses in the ACT in 2007.
  • There were 28,574 students at higher education institutions in the ACT in 2006.


Schools and students

SCHOOLS, By sector - Australian Capital Territory

Government
Non-government
Total
no.
no.
no.

February 2003
95
43
138
February 2004
96
43
139
February 2005
96
44
140
February 2006
95
44
139
February 2007
88
44
132
February 2008
84
44
128

Source: ACT Department of Education and Training: ACT Schools Census, February 2007 and February 2008; Census of ACT Government Schools, February 2004 to February 2006; Census of ACT Non-Government Schools, February 2004 to February 2006.


There are currently 84 government school locations, 12 fewer than in 2005. There are currently 44 non-government school locations, one more that in 2005.

SCHOOL STUDENTS ENROLLED, By school sector and level - Australian Capital Territory

Primary school(a)
High school
College
Special school(b)
Total

Government
February 2003
20 266
10 349
6 261
316
37 192
February 2004
19 668
10 317
6 035
313
36 333
February 2005
19 241
10 237
5 903
340
35 721
February 2006
19 033
10 095
6 013
322
35 463
February 2007
18 686
9 998
5 998
338
35 020
February 2008
18 467
9 816
5 848
327
34 458
Non-government
February 2003
11 418
9 004
3 336
-
23 758
February 2004
11 650
9 146
3 370
-
24 166
February 2005
11 754
9 274
3 526
-
24 554
February 2006
11 815
9 342
3 522
-
24 679
February 2007
11 982
9 449
3 519
-
24 950
February 2008
12 265
9 482
3 636
-
25 383
Total
February 2003
31 684
19 353
9 597
316
60 950
February 2004
31 318
19 463
9 405
313
60 499
February 2005
30 995
19 511
9 429
340
60 275
February 2006
30 848
19 437
9 535
322
60 142
February 2007
30 668
19 447
9 517
338
59 970
February 2008
30 732
19 298
9 484
327
59 841

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes the Jervis Bay School.
(b) Only includes special students in special schools.
Source: ACT Department of Education and Training: ACT Schools Census, February 2007 and February 2008; Census of ACT Government Schools, February 2004 to February 2006; Census of ACT Non-Government Schools, February 2004 to February 2006.


In February 2008 the majority of school students attended government schools. The propensity towards government schools was most pronounced in the primary school sector where 60.1% of school students attended government schools and 39.9% attended non-government schools. In the high school/college sector just over half (54.4%) of all students attended government schools at February 2008, while 45.6% attended non-government schools.

Figures shown in the table below show a steady decline in student numbers in the government sector, down 7.4% between 2003 and 2008. In contrast there was an increase in enrolments of 6.8% in the non-government sector over the same time period. Government primary schools experienced the largest decline in enrolments of the three school levels (primary, high school and college), down 8.9% from 2003 to 2008. Government high school enrolments fell 5.2%, and colleges 6.6% over the same period.

Overall, primary and secondary school student numbers declined by 1,109 (1.8%) between 2003 and 2008.

APPARENT RETENTION RATES, Full-time students - Year 7/8 to Year 12 - 1997 and 2007
Graph: APPARENT RETENTION RATES, Full-time students—Year 7/8 to Year 12—^1997 and 2007


Apparent retention rates measure the number of students in Year 12 as a percentage of their secondary schooling commencing cohort group (Year 7 for NSW, Vic., Tas, and the ACT and Year 8 for Qld, SA, WA and the NT). To calculate the rate, the total number of full-time students in Year 12 is divided by the number of full time students in the base year. The resultant figure is converted to a percentage. Care should be exercised in the interpretation of these results, as this method of calculation does not take in to account a range of factors, including students repeating a year of education, migration and other net changes in the school population. In small juristictions such as SA, Tas., NT and the ACT relatively small changes in student numbers can create apparently large movements in retention rates.

The ACT has historically exhibited higher than average apparent retention rates than Australia as a whole. The graph above shows the apparent retention rate declined by 6.4 percentage points between 1997 and 2007 for the ACT

(from 91.6% to 85.2%). Comparatively, all other states and territories, as well as Australia as a whole, have exhibited steady or increasing apparent retention rates over the same time period. Factors which could explain this decline in the ACT include more students choosing vocational education as a means of completing secondary schooling, students moving interstate between Year7/8 and Year 12, repeating a year of education and other net changes to the school population.

STUDENT/TEACHING STAFF(a), Australian Capital Territory

2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007

Primary schools
Teaching staff(b) FTE
1 931.7
1 980.3
2 049.6
2 076.7
2 070.1
2 079.7
Student/teaching staff ratio(c) Ratio
16.7
16.1
15.4
15.0
15.0
14.8
Secondary schools
Teaching staff(b) FTE
2 291.0
2 321.1
2 323.0
2 322.6
2 328.9
2 288.5
Student/teaching staff ratio(c) Ratio
12.4
12.3
12.2
12.3
12.3
12.5

(a) Includes ACT and Jervis Bay Territory government and non-government schools.
(b) Full-time equivalent.
(c) FTE student/teaching staff ratios are calculated by dividing the number of FTE students by the number of FTE teaching staff. Student/teaching staff ratios should not be used as a measure of class size. They do not take account of teacher aides and other non-teaching staff who may also assist in the delivery of school education.
Source: Schools, Australia (cat. no.4221.0).


The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) primary school teaching staff in the ACT increased by 148 FTE teachers over the period 2002 to 2007. Over that period the student/teaching staff ratio fell, from 16.7 FTE students per FTE teacher in 2002 to 14.8 in 2007. Teaching staff numbers in secondary schools remained relatively constant over the same period, as did the FTE student to FTE teacher ratio. There were 12.5 FTE students to each FTE teacher in ACT secondary schools in 2007. Comparatively, student/teaching staff ratios for Australia as a whole were 15.9 for primary and 12.1 for secondary.


Higher education

STUDENTS, Enrolled in higher education, by course type - Australian Capital Territory - 2006

Higher degree(a)
Other post-graduate
Bachelor
Other under-graduate(b)
Enabling courses(c)
Non-award courses
Total

Australian Defence Force Academy
823
402
995
-
-
263
2 483
Australian National University
4 445
1 144
8 533
81
-
350
14 553
University of Canberra
2 148
928
7 652
4
16
110
10 858
Australian Catholic University (Signadou campus)
105
119
451
-
-
5
680
Total
7 521
2 593
17 631
85
16
728
28 574

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Comprises Doctorate by Research, Doctorate by Coursework, Master's by Research and Master's by Coursework.
(b) Includes Associate degree.
(c) A course of instruction provided to a person for the purpose of enabling the person to undertake a course leading to a higher education award. It does not include a course leading to a higher education award.
Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2006 Students: Selected Higher Education Statistics; Australian Catholic University, unpublished data.


In 2006 the Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Canberra (UC) accounted for 89% of the total tertiary student body of the ACT. UC also had the highest proportion of undergraduate students (71%). The university with the highest proportion of postgraduate students was the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), with just under half of its student population undertaking postgraduate courses (49%). The only university offering enabling courses in 2006 was UC, and the university with the highest proportion of non-award course students was ADFA, with 11%.

STUDENTS, Enrolled in higher education, by full-time/part-time status and sex - Australian Capital Territory - 2006

Full-time
Part-time
Males
Females
Persons
psns
psns
no.
no.
no.

Australian Defence Force Academy
1 087
1 396
2 042
441
2 483
Australian National University
10 500
4 053
7 187
7 366
14 553
University of Canberra
7 065
3 793
4 681
6 177
10 858
Australian Catholic University (Signadou campus)
334
346
171
509
680
Total
18 986
9 588
14 081
14 493
28 574

Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2006 Students: Selected Higher Education Statistics; Australian Catholic University, unpublished data.


In 2006, nearly three quarters of ANU students were full-time (72%), whereas over half of ADFA students were part-time (56%), the highest proportion of all higher education institutions in the ACT. ADFA had the highest proportion of male students (82%), and the Signadou campus of the Australian Catholic University (ACU) had the highest proportion of female students (75%).

INDIGENOUS STUDENTS, Enrolled in higher education - Australian Capital Territory

2002
2003
2004
2005
2006

Indigenous students
Australian Defence Force Academy (psns)
19
27
28
11
6
Australian National University (psns)
75
70
88
90
90
University of Canberra (psns)
101
98
97
93
85
Australian Catholic University (Signadou campus) (psns)
7
5
3
4
7
Total (psns)
202
200
216
198
188
Proportion(a)
Australian Defence Force Academy (%)
1.0
1.3
1.3
0.5
0.2
Australian National University (%)
0.6
0.5
0.6
0.6
0.6
University of Canberra (%)
1.0
0.9
0.8
0.8
0.8
Australian Catholic University (Signadou campus) (%)
1.2
0.8
0.5
0.6
1.0
Total (%)
0.8
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7

(a) Proportion of total students.
Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Students 2006: Selected Higher Education Statistics; Australian Catholic University, unpublished data.


The overall proportion of Indigenous students in each of the ACT universities remained steady over the 5 years from 2002 to 2006, with the exception of ADFA, where there was a decline from 19 students in 2002 (and a peak of 28 Indigenous students in 2004) to 6 students in 2006. In proportionate terms, this represents a decline from 1.0% in 2002 to 0.2% in 2006. Changes in Indigenous student numbers at ADFA was the main driver of changes to total Indigenous student numbers in the ACT from 2002 to 2006.

OVERSEAS STUDENTS, Enrolled in higher education by sex and onshore/offshore status - Australian Capital Territory - 2006

Males
Females
Onshore(a)
Offshore(b)
Total overseas students
Overseas proportion of all students
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
%

Australian Defence Force Academy
156
14
170
-
170
6.8
Australian National University
1 833
1 413
3 246
-
3 246
22.3
University of Canberra
1 224
1 141
1 234
1 131
2 365
21.8
Australian Catholic University (Signadou campus)
-
3
3
-
3
0.3
Total
3 213
2 570
4 652
1 131
5 783
20.2

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Students undertaking programmes of study conducted in Australia by Australian universities.
(b) Students residing overseas for the term/semester who are undertaking programmes of study conducted by off-shore campuses of Australian universities.
Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Students 2006: Selected Higher Education Statistics; Australian Catholic University, unpublished data.


Overseas students accounted for 20% of all higher education students enrolled in the ACT in 2006. ANU had both the highest number of overseas students (3,246) and also the highest proportion of the total student body (22%). ANU and UC both had an almost even distribution of males and females among overseas students, with males in the ANU accounting for 57% of overseas students and in UC, 52%. All the overseas students at Signadou campus of ACU were female in 2006, and 92% of ADFA's overseas students were male. These proportions were similar to those of the total overall student bodies of each university.

UC was the only university with offshore overseas students, and these students accounted for 48% of UC's total overseas students. The university offered joint programs at 13 overseas tertiary education providers in China, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China), Singapore and Vietnam, with courses including Masters in Business Administration and Economic Law and Masters in Education and Leadership. Students undertake these programs overseas, and when completed receive a UC course award.


Previous PageNext Page


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.