1246.0 - Education Variables, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/12/2002   
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4. The name of the variable is 'Level of highest non-school qualification'.

5. This variable is one of several which supersede the variable 'Post-school educational qualifications'. The changes are a consequence of the development of the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no. 1272.0) to replace the ABS Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ), and better reflect the ASCED's capacity to show qualifications attained not just post-school, but at, or concurrently with, school as well.


Nominal definition

6. The variable 'Level of highest non-school qualification' is defined as:

  • The highest qualification a person has attained, other than qualifications associated with school education.

7. 'Level of highest non-school qualification' is an attribute of the counting unit Person.

Operational definition

8. Operationally, 'Level of highest non-school qualification' is defined as the highest completed non-school qualification reported for a person in any field of education except General Primary and Secondary Education Programmes. Data are obtained by direct question and often sequenced to follow a direct question on 'Highest year of school completed'. The question is worded in terms of qualifications attained and when information is not collected about multiple qualifications, the result is dependent on respondent perception of 'highest'.

9. For reasons of practicality, partial completion of or current participation in a course of study are excluded from 'Level of highest non-school qualification'. Statements of attainment awarded for partial completion of a course of study at a particular level are excluded. Level of highest non-school qualification is therefore defined operationally in terms of qualifications completed.

10. Qualifications generally associated with school education, such as the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, are excluded from this variable even if they are awarded as the result of study at a non-school institution.

Scope of the variable

11. The variable 'Level of highest non-school qualification' applies to all persons.


12. 'Level of highest non-school qualification' requires the supporting variables 'Year non-school qualification completed' and 'Main field of highest non-school qualification'.

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