Higher Education Student Statistics Collection
Higher Education Division
Department of Education, Science and Training
Telephone (02) 6240 9788
In 2005, there were 74 public and private higher education institutions that received Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) funding on behalf of students in the form of student HELP loans from the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST). The Higher Education Student Data Collection comprises information on enrolments and award course completions from these institutions.
Students enrolled in a higher education course who consume load in at least one unit of study.
The reference year for all Higher Education Student statistics from 2005 covers a calendar year period. Student enrolments data for the years 2001 to 2004 covered the period 1 September of the year prior to the reference year to 31 August of the reference year. Award course completions data have always been reported in calendar years.
Frequency of Collection
Method of Collection
Institutions receive detailed documentation about what information is required to be furnished in the form of an electronic help file. Universities design and produce their own statistical information (Enrolment) forms. These are designed to be used by institutions to collect the required information from students. DEST have provided institutions with suggested wording for questions relating to Indigenous status, language spoken at home and disability.
Institutions are provided with a software package (DESTPAC) to assist with the collection of data. Incorporated in the package is a data validation process. Institutions are required to validate statistical and other data prior to submission. This data are then provided to DEST and a further series of validation checks are undertaken.
Statistical publications are released in September of the following year.
Students: Selected Higher Education Statistics. DEST, Canberra.
Information is available for Australia and all states and territories.
Tables are available on the DEST website http://www.dest.gov.au, and other data may be available on request.
Summary of the details collected:
Country of birth
Location of residence
Other personal characteristics
Type of course
Level of course
Mode of attendance
Field of education of the course
Disciplines for units of study
HECS or FEE-HELP liabilities
Equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL)
The collection of higher education statistics in its current form commenced in 1987. Prior to that there were two separate collections of data relating to advanced education institutions and Universities. Data between the two collections is not strictly compatible and only limited comparisons can be made. Since 1987 there have also been changes to the existing collection. In 1989 a number of significant changes to the collection were made, resulting from the introduction of HECS. Since that time DEST has continuously reviewed the nature of information required and the timing of provision of the data.