4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, July 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/07/2013   
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25 July 2013
Embargoed: 11.30 am Canberra Time

Party no more: Our healthier higher ed’s

The latest Australian Social Trends (AST) report, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), looks at the characteristics of higher education students in Australia – who they are, where they come from, where they live, and what they do.

ABS Assistant Director of Social and Progress Reporting, Jane Griffin-Warwicke, said that it appears the stereotypical student party lifestyle isn’t as true as we think.

"We found that higher education students are actually less likely to smoke or drink at risky levels, and more likely to exercise than other people their age," said Ms Griffin-Warwicke

The AST report found that the majority of students at higher education institutions go there directly from school or soon after, with three in every five students aged 15-24 in 2011. There were also more women than men studying, as has been the case since 1987.

“Business and management, and teaching were the most popular courses, followed by nursing, accounting and law,” she noted. “The most popular course for women in 2012 was teaching, with business and management being most popular for men.

“The report showed that it is common for higher education students to work while they study. In 2012, nearly half of those students aged 15-24 worked part-time and studied full-time, whereas older students did the opposite and were more likely to work full-time and study part-time.

“In regards to nationality we found nearly a third of higher education students were born overseas. In 2011, over half of these students were born in Asia. Overseas students were more likely to be living in overcrowded conditions than those born in Australia.

“Higher education students tend to study in a region similar to where they lived 5 years ago. The majority (86%) of students currently studying outside a capital city also lived outside a capital city five years ago,” said Ms Griffin-Warwicke.

All AST articles are available in full and for free online at www.abs.gov.au/socialtrends

Media notes:

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.