Universities Extend Access To ABS Data, Dec 2001

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Universities Extend Access To ABS Data

CANBERRA. - The Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will on Thursday sign two agreements to extend the university sector's access to an extensive range of ABS statistics.

The first agreement is for the AusStats service which provides unlimited, online, desktop access by staff and students of 38 Australian universities to ABS data for academic and teaching purposes.

AusStats delivers timely access to more than 2,000 ABS publications, time series data and tables (over 90,000 series in spreadsheet format), metadata (documentation of surveys, concepts and data items) and 1996 Census Basic Community Profiles. New data, including from the 2001 Census, will be added as it becomes available.

The second agreement is for use of Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs) by the 32 universities participating in this agreement for research projects.

The CURF agreement allows universities to access CURFs which contain the unidentifiable record data from most of the key ABS social and labour household surveys. Under the original agreement, participating universities have used more than 480 files over the past three years.

The ABS and the AVCC believe the extensive use of ABS data and product services demonstrates the value these agreements have provided in scholarship to universities and also to social and economic planners.

The Chief Executive Officer of the AVCC, John Mullarvey, said the extensions of the agreements to 2004 provided an excellent opportunity for universities to continue to utilise ABS data to support academic and teaching endeavours and to minimise the costs to each university through the shared sector arrangements.

"This in turn would support more informed decision making within the university sector, government and the community," he said.

"The AusStats agreement also demonstrates the university sector's innovative response to the dynamic web technology environment.

"Continued access to this greatly increased range of data will generate important opportunities for high quality academic research and teaching projects.

"In turn, this should underpin a better informed planning process. Joint action by universities under this agreement significantly lowers the cost of providing desktop access to all staff and students using the latest technology."

The Australian Statistician, Dennis Trewin, said that the new agreements represent the next logical step towards the ABS goal of making data more accessible to university staff and students for academic and teaching purposes.

The universities that will benefit from the AVCC/ABS agreements are:

AusStats and CURFs:
    Adelaide University
    Australian National University
    Australian Catholic University
    University of Canberra
    Central Queensland University
    Charles Sturt University
    Curtin University of Technology
    Deakin University
    Edith Cowan University
    Flinders University
    Griffith University
    La Trobe University
    Macquarie University
    University of Melbourne
    Monash University
    Murdoch University
    Southern Cross University
    University of New England
    University of New South Wales
    University of Newcastle
    University of Queensland
    Queensland University of Technology
    RMIT University
    University of South Australia
    Swinburne University of Technology
    University of Sydney
    University of Tasmania
    University of Technology Sydney
    Victoria University
    University of Western Australia
    University of Western Sydney
    University of Wollongong

AusStats only:
    University of Ballarat
    Bond University
    James Cook University
    Northern Territory University
    University of Sunshine Coast
    University of Southern Queensland

This media release may be found on this site and http://www.avcc.edu.au/news/public_statements/media_releases/index.htm