Higher education in the 80s

Document Type


Publication details

Williams, T, Long, M, Carpenter, P & Hayden, M 1991, Higher education in the 80s, Australian Council for Educational Research, Hawthorn, Vic.


This report presents a number of measures of educational outcomes for Australia in the 1980s: completion rates for Year 12, participation rates for higher education - presented separately for universities and colleges of advanced education, degree and non- degree programs - and graduation rates for degree and non-degree programs. The analyses are based on three national probability samples of young people. The oldest sample was born in 1961, the next sample in 1965, and the youngest sample in 1970. These samples entered higher education at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the 1980s respectively, allowing the authors to examine changes in participation in higher education during the course of the decade. Participation and graduation rates are presented separately by a number of categories - gender, family, educational, socioeconomic, and wealth backgrounds, ethnicity, rurality, schooling, and state/territory of residence. Together with analyses which look at these differences other things being equal, these are used to consider issues of equity and public policy. More general concerns about the efficiency of higher education are raised in the context of an examination of graduation rates and labour market returns for higher education qualifications.