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Definitions and references
Basic vocational qualification - award for completion of a course lasting one semester to one year full-time (or equivalent) providing practical skills and knowledge for those wanting to work at the operative level in various fields. Prior to 1993, basic vocational qualifications were included with undergraduate or associate diplomas.
Bachelor degree or higher - a bachelor degree (including honours), a graduate or post-graduate diploma, master's degree or a doctorate.
Did not complete highest level of secondary school - a person without post-school qualifications who did not complete the highest level of secondary schooling available at the time they left school.
Full-time equivalent (FTE) - a measure of the total level of staff resources used. The FTE of a full-time staff member is equal to 1.0. The calculation of FTE for part-time staff is based on the proportion of time worked compared to that worked by full-time staff performing similar duties. Casual staff are excluded.
GDP (gross domestic product) - the current price measure which is the sum of all final expenditure, changes in stocks and imports less exports.
Government expenditure on education - government final expenditure, personal benefit payments, advances to persons for the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and other government expenditure.
Government school - one administered by the Department of Education in each State/Territory.
Higher education institutions - includes all institutions providing higher education courses e.g. universities and university colleges, institutes of tertiary education, agricultural colleges, and some institutes of technology.
Higher education student - a person for whom there is a full-time, part-time or external enrolment in a course at a higher education institution at the reference date. Data for proportion of 15-24 year olds attending higher education are from Transition from Education to Work (cat. no. 6227.0). State totals are based on the student's usual State of residence. Data for higher education students and overseas higher education students are obtained from Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs administrative data. State totals are the number of students enrolled at all higher education institutions within a particular State or Territory. Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Selected Higher Education Statistics.
Non-government school - any school not administered by a Department of Education, but including special schools administered by government authorities other than the State and Territory education departments.
Overseas higher education students - full-fee paying students at higher education institutions whose residence is usually overseas.
Post-school educational qualification - an award for attainment as a result of formal learning from an accredited post-school institution. Educational qualifications are classified according to the ABS Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ) (cat. no. 1262.0). The level of attainment includes higher degrees, postgraduate diplomas, bachelor degrees, undergraduate and associate diplomas, and skilled and basic vocational qualifications.
Primary education - full-time education which typically commences around age five and lasts for seven to eight years. It does not include sessional education such as pre-school education.
School - an educational institution which provides primary or secondary education on a full-time daily basis, or by radio or correspondence.
School student - a person who is enrolled in a school and active in a course of study, other than pre-school or Technical and Further Education (TAFE) courses.
School student/teaching staff ratio - number of full-time school students divided by full-time equivalent teaching staff.
Secondary education - education which typically commences after completion of primary education, at around age 12, and lasts for five or six years.
Skilled vocational qualification - an award for completion of a course lasting two to four years, and typically involving some on-the-job training, for those wanting to work in a specific vocation, recognised trade or craft that requires a high degree of skill in a range of related activities. Prior to 1993, skilled vocational qualifications referred to trade qualifications only.
Tertiary education - education provided by any institution offering post-school courses. Includes TAFE, higher education and other post-school systems.
Total expenditure on education - government expenditure on education plus private final expenditure on education.
Trainees and apprentices - persons undertaking vocational training through contract of training arrangements. Contracts of training are legal agreements entered into by employers and trainees who are engaged in employment-based training. Under the terms of the contract, the employer agrees to provide employment and training in a particular vocation (on-the-job training) and agrees to allow the trainee to attend the appropriate course of instruction, or other training, as determined by individual State and Territory training authorities (off-the-job training). In return, the trainee agrees to complete both the on and off-job components of the training to the best of his or her ability.
Undergraduate diploma - course lasting three years full-time (or equivalent) for those wanting to work as professionals or associate professionals.
Unemployment rate - the number of unemployed persons in any group expressed as a percentage of the labour force in the same group.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) client - a person aged 15-64 for whom there is a full-time or part-time vocational stream enrolment in a TAFE college or a course provided by some private or adult and community education providers in the reference year. Does not necessarily equate to individuals, as some people may have more than one enrolment.
Year 12 apparent retention rate - the percentage of full-time students of a given cohort group who continue from the first year of secondary schooling to Year 12.