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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2010   
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Contents >> Education and training >> Higher education

HIGHER EDUCATION

Public and private providers of higher education that receive funding from the Australian Government include both self-accrediting and non-self-accrediting institutions. Self-accrediting providers, like universities are generally established under state and territory legislation, are autonomous bodies, and operate in accordance with the requirements for Australian Government funding.

Non-self-accrediting higher education providers are accredited by state and territory authorities. They are mainly private providers of varying sizes, and include theological colleges and other providers that offer courses in areas such as business, information technology, natural therapies, hospitality, health, law and accounting.

Higher education providers offer a range of undergraduate and post-graduate courses including traditional academic areas of learning and research, as well as more practical courses with a vocational orientation. Courses may vary in form, entry requirements, duration and method of assessment. For instance, courses can be full time or part time, delivered on-campus, by distance education, or a mix of these modes. In addition, some institutions offer courses which associate full-time study with periods of employment. Courses cover many disciplines such as the humanities, social sciences, education, environmental education, science, mathematics and computing, visual/performing arts, engineering and processing, health sciences, business, economics, law and agriculture.


Students and courses

In 2008, there were 1.1 million students enrolled in higher education courses, of whom 63% were aged less than 25 years and 55% were female (graph 12.18 and table 12.19).

12.18 HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS - 2008
Graph: 12.18 HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS—2008


Table 12.19 shows a 4% increase in the number of higher education students from 2007 to 2008. Male student numbers increased by 3% (13,800 students), and females by 4% (22,449 students), between the two years. The number of students choosing multi-modal tuition, that is a mixture of face-to-face and external study, increased by 7% (4,899 students). Internal (on-campus) students increased by 4% (29,327 students). There was a 5% increase (an addition of 18,700) in full-time female students overall.

12.19 HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS, By mode and type of enrolment(a)

2007

2008

Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons

Internal
Full time
291.2
332.1
623.3
304.2
347.0
651.2
Part time
95.0
109.9
204.9
94.9
111.4
206.3
Total
386.2
442.0
828.2
399.2
458.4
857.5
External
Full time
9.3
14.5
23.8
9.2
15.6
24.8
Part time
43.0
63.5
106.5
42.3
65.2
107.5
Total
52.3
78.0
130.3
51.5
80.8
132.3
Multi-modal
Full time
18.7
34.3
52.9
20.2
37.0
57.2
Part time
6.3
12.1
18.5
6.4
12.7
19.1
Total
25.0
46.4
71.4
26.6
49.7
76.3
Total
Full time
319.1
380.9
700.0
333.6
399.6
733.2
Part time
144.3
185.5
329.8
143.6
189.3
332.9
Total
463.5
566.4
1 029.8
477.3
588.8
1 066.1

(a) This relates to the delivery of education to the student. 'Internal' is where the delivery of education is done entirely within the institution, 'external' refers to delivery of course material to students off-campus, and 'multi-modal' is where at least one, but not all units, are provided at the institution.
Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), data available on request, 'Students: Selected Higher Education Statistics'.


The basic undergraduate course at most institutions is a bachelor degree of three or four years duration. In 2008, 67% of higher education students were enrolled in bachelor degree courses. Most institutions also offer postgraduate level study ranging from one to two years of full-time study for a master's degree and three to five years for a doctoral degree. In 2008, 27% of higher education students were enrolled in postgraduate courses.

In 2008, higher education enrolments were most commonly in the fields of: Management and commerce; Society and culture; Health; and Education (table 12.20). These four fields accounted for 74% of all higher education course enrolments.

12.20 HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS, By level and field of education - 2008

Level of education of study

Field of education
Post-graduate
degree
Graduate
diploma/
Graduate
certificate
Bachelor
degree
Advanced
diploma/
Diploma
Other
education
Total courses

Natural and physical sciences %
6.1
3.0
8.6
1.2
0.4
7.3
Information technology %
6.5
2.5
4.4
5.4
0.2
4.6
Engineering and related technologies %
6.2
3.4
7.8
5.2
1.0
6.9
Architecture and building %
2.1
1.6
2.6
0.8
-
2.3
Agriculture, environment and related studies %
2.0
1.4
1.5
1.1
0.3
1.5
Health %
9.5
15.1
15.1
3.6
0.6
13.2
Education %
8.9
20.6
9.0
0.8
4.9
9.4
Management and commerce %
38.2
23.6
28.1
60.4
2.6
29.8
Society and culture %
17.3
25.7
23.0
9.7
10.4
21.3
Creative arts %
3.4
3.4
8.2
9.1
2.6
6.7
Food, hospitality and personal services %
-
-
-
2.8
-
0.1
Mixed field programs %
-
-
-
-
12.5
0.4
Non-award %
-
-
-
-
64.4
2.1
All students(a) no.
215 692
73 566
716 776
25 393
34 668
1 066 095

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Students undertaking combined courses are counted in each field they are studying. Because of this, the sum of the field of education components may add to more than 100%.
Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), Selected Higher Education Statistics Staff 2008.



Staff

Higher education staff may be classified as academic or non-academic. In 2008, there were more non-academic than academic staff. The most frequent classification of academic staff was at the lecturer level.

Table 12.21 shows a declining ratio of male to female higher education staff between 2003 and 2008. Males comprised 48% of all staff in 2003, but only 45% in 2008. Males outnumber females at and above senior lecturer levels of academic staff while females are higher at lecturer levels and below. In 2008, 58% of all academic staff were male, compared with 61% in 2003.


12.21 HIGHER EDUCATION STAFF(a)

MALES
FEMALES
PERSONS
PERSONS
Staff classification
%
%
%
000

2003
Academic staff
Above senior lecturer
80.9
19.1
100
7.8
Senior lecturer
66.3
33.7
100
8.8
Lecturer
53.6
46.4
100
12.3
Below lecturer
46.8
53.2
100
7.0
Total
61.3
38.7
100
35.9
Non-academic staff
37.8
62.2
100
48.6
All staff
47.8
52.2
100
84.4
2008
Academic staff
Above senior lecturer
75.5
24.5
100
10.5
Senior lecturer
60.9
39.1
100
10.2
Lecturer
49.8
50.2
100
14.4
Below lecturer
45.0
55.0
100
8.4
Total
57.7
42.3
100
43.6
Non-academic staff
35.4
64.6
100
54.8
All staff
45.3
54.7
100
98.4

(a) Includes full time and fractional full time staff.
Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), Selected Higher Education Statistics Staff 2008.




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