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National higher education statistics show sector diversity

17 May 2017

Media Release

Universities made up 24 per cent of registered providers in 2015 but catered for 91 per cent of students enrolled in tertiary education, according to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s (TEQSA) latest Statistics Report on Registered Higher Education Providers.

More than 1.4 million students were studying in Australian higher education courses in 2015, a three per cent jump compared to the previous year, according to the agency’s statistics snapshot which provides detailed sector insights.

TEQSA Chief Executive Officer Mr Anthony McClaran said the report highlighted the diversity of the vibrant Australian higher education sector by pulling together high-level information from providers, including data on students, academic staff and finances.

“This is the fourth report of an increasingly valuable series of snapshots of key sector statistics which gives us unique insights into both public and private providers,” Mr McClaran said.

“It is important for TEQSA to share this information to assist the sector in assuring quality and undertaking quality improvement activities.”

Despite the rise in online learning, TEQSA’s report showed 87 per cent of higher education students studied face-to-face at one of 176 providers registered with TEQSA in 2015.

Other findings include:

  • Domestic students accounted for 73 per cent of all students, with the biggest increase in students in 2015 at the undergraduate level
  • 76 per cent of all students studying in 2015 were studying at an undergraduate level and 24 per cent were studying at postgraduate level
  • Management and commerce, with a total of 249,702 students, had the largest number of students enrolled in any field
  • 65 per cent of academic staff were employed on a full-time basis.

For the first time, data from 2013 and 2014 has been included to enable trend reporting across providers, their finances, students and staff. Data has been drawn from information TEQSA holds as part of its regulatory activities and selected Department of Education and Training figures.

Financial data includes all sources of revenue within a provider’s operations, including revenue from VET and other activities – reflecting the breadth and diversity of a range of higher education providers.

More information

Media enquiries

  • Raphael May, Assistant Director Communications: email raphael.may [at] teqsa.gov.au or call 0437 143 012
  • Elisabeth Tarica, Media Advisor: email elisabeth.tarica [at] teqsa.gov.au or call 0417 507 269. NOTE: Works Thursdays and Fridays.