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Statistics report on TEQSA registered higher education providers 2018

20 August 2018

ISSN: 2207-5917 (Online)
ISSN: 2207-5909 (Print)

With the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, TEQSA’s logo, any material protected by a trade mark and where otherwise noted, all material presented in this document is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence.

The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website (accessible using the link provided) as is the full legal code for the CC BY 3.0 AU licence.

The document must be attributed: Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, Statistics Report on TEQSA Registered Higher Education Providers – August 2018.

Contacts
More information about the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, including electronic versions of this report.

Comments and enquiries about this report may be directed to:

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency
Level 14/530 Collins Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
T: 1300 739 585
F: 1300 739 586
E: comms [at] teqsa.gov.au

Introduction

Background

The Statistics report on TEQSA registered higher education providers 2018 (the Statistics Report) is the fifth release of selected higher education sector data held by TEQSA for its quality assurance activities. It provides a snapshot and time series of national statistics from across the sector, bringing together data collected directly by TEQSA and data sourced from the main higher education statistics collections managed by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training (the Department). This includes data from TEQSA's National Register of Higher Education Providers (the National Register), and its annual Provider Information Request (PIR). The PIR gathers a limited set of key data from some providers not required to report, or only required partially to report, data in the Department’s Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS). This report also incorporates, for the first time in TEQSA’s annual statistics reporting, data from the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS).

About the report

The Statistics Report provides high-level information across four key areas: providers, students, academic staff and finance. This update of the Statistics Report focuses on data relating to 2016. Where available, data relating to 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 has been included to enable trend reporting. While the Statistics Report is focused on higher education data, the financial data includes all sources of revenue within a provider's operations, including revenue from VET and revenue from other activities, in order to reflect the breadth and diversity of operations within some higher education providers. The explanatory notes and glossary at the back of the Statistics Report provide further contextual information on the data and presentation. 

Special focus topic in this report – international sector 

This year’s report includes a special focus topic featuring additional analysis on a current topic of interest to the sector—overseas students. The number of overseas students has been growing over time. Most overseas students, 87 per cent, study in universities. However, the trend in growth has been seen across all provider types.

Provider groupings used in this report

There are a number of ways that higher education data can be presented to reflect different groupings of providers in the sector. This includes grouping providers according to different funding and legislative arrangements, or according to different data reporting requirements and collection mechanisms, or to reflect groups of providers with similar characteristics. 

For the purposes of this report, TEQSA has used the broad groups 'universities', 'non-university for-profit’ (for-profit), 'non-university not-for-profit’ (not-for-profit) and ‘technical and further education’ (TAFE). 

Data

The data within this edition of the Statistics Report relates to 2016, the most recent year for which comprehensive, comparable data is available. TEQSA has been able to provide a four-year comparison of provider, student, staff and financial data. Data across years may differ marginally to that in Statistics Reports released previously, due to a small number of institutions revising data since the release of previous Statistics Reports. Financial data in this report relates to providers’ most recently available financial reporting year as at the time of the 2017 collection. The relevant financial reporting years in the collection are those ended 31 December 2016 to 30 June 2017.

Enquiries

For enquiries relating to this report or to PIR data please contact TEQSA's Information Management team at collections [at] teqsa.gov.au.  For enquiries relating to HEIMS data please contact the Department of Education and Training's University Statistics Team at university-statistics [at] education.gov.au. For enquires relating to PRISMS data please contact the PRISMS Help Desk at prisms [at] education.gov.au.    

The National Register of Higher Education Providers is an important source of information, providing updated information about the status of registered providers and TEQSA-accredited courses.

Higher education at a glance

1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Infographic capture of the higher education sector

Higher education at a glance infographic notes

  1. TEQSA National Register; 2017 PIR; Finance Publication 2015; Higher Education Statistics Collection, Department of Education and Training.
  2. A small number of providers were not required to submit student, academic staff and/or finance data to the TEQSA PIR due to context—such as being a recently registered higher education provider, being in the process of merging with another entity, being in the final stages of teaching out courses (and withdrawing registration), or no longer being registered with TEQSA at the time of collecting 2016 data (i.e. in 2017).
  3. Includes students with a citizenship classified as ‘unknown’ or ‘unspecified’.
  4. Excludes staff with duties unspecified or duties classified as 'unknown'. Apart from the University of Divinity, data also excludes academic staff that teach higher education courses through a third party arrangement.
  5. Financial year relates to a provider's most recently available reporting year as at the time of the 2017 collection. The relevant reporting years in the collection include those ended 31 December 2016 to 30 June 2017. This refers to the 2017 collection year.
  6. Data derived from the broad field of education of the course, rather than the broad field of education of the unit studied.
  7. Includes Bachelor Honours students.

Providers [8]

The Australian higher education sector is large, diverse and stable in size, with 176 registered providers enrolling 1,482,684 students for all or part of 2016. Seven providers who were registered in 2015 were no longer registered at the end of 2016 (five not-for-profit providers and two for-profit providers). TEQSA also registered seven new providers in 2016 (one for-profit provider, four not-for-profit providers and two TAFEs) so the total number of registered providers was unchanged.

Forty per cent of providers are registered in New South Wales, of which 46 per cent are for-profit providers, and account for 33 per cent of the sector’s total EFTSL.

Universities continue to enrol the largest proportion of students in 2016. Ninety-one per cent of providers from the university group have 5,000 EFTSL or greater, while all bar two providers in other provider types have fewer than 5,000 EFTSL. For-profit providers are predominantly in the medium size group with 81 per cent of providers between 100 and 5,000 EFTSL, while around half of TAFE and not-for-profit providers are small with less than 100 EFTSL.

The total number of courses accredited by TEQSA has grown consistently each year.  The proportion of new courses accredited by TEQSA each year against various broad fields of education (BFoE) and Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) levels is largely consistent across the years 2013 through to 2016. The Management and Commerce BFoE features the largest number of course accreditations followed by the Society and Culture BFoE accounting for over 50 per cent of all courses accredited over this period. Information Technology and Engineering and Related Technologies BFoEs also recorded a large increase in courses accredited in 2016.

Provider demographics

Table 1: Providers by state, 20169

State

Universities

For-Profit

Not-for-Profit

TAFE

Total

%

NSW

11

33

26

1

71

40%

VIC

9

14

17

5

45

26%

WA

5

6

3

5

19

11%

SA

6

6

5

1

18

10%

QLD

8

6

1

1

16

9%

ACT

2

0

0

1

3

2%

TAS

1

0

1

0

2

1%

NT

1

0

1

0

2

1%

Total

43

65

54

14

176

100%

In 2016, 91 per cent of students (headcount) were enrolled with universities, despite the other providers making up 76 per cent of all higher education providers in Australia.

Table 2: Providers by self-accrediting authority (SAA) and TEQSA registration category, 201610

 

SAA

Non-SAA

Total

%

Higher Education Provider

10

123

133

76%

Australian University

40

0

40

23%

Australian University of Specialisation

1

0

1

1%

Overseas University

2

0

2

1%

Total

53

123

176

100%

In addition to universities, ten non-university providers had partial or full self-accrediting authority in 2016 (including three faith based providers that were granted full or partial self-accrediting authority in 2016).

Figure 1: Providers by size of student load (EFTSL), 201611,12

Figure 1. Bar chart illustrating providers by size of student load (EFTSL), 2016, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

Scale (EFTSL)

Universities

For-profit

Not-for-profit

TAFE

<100

1

10

24

7

100 - 499

1

25

14

3

500 - 999

1

11

3

3

1,000 - 4,999

1

14

6

1

5,000 - 19,999

17

2

0

0

20,000 - 40,000

16

0

0

0

>40,000

6

0

0

0

Total

43

62

47

14

Australian higher education providers are diverse in size—51 per cent of providers had fewer than 500 EFTSL in 2016, and a quarter had equal to or greater than 5,000 EFTSL. More than 50 per cent of the not-for-profit providers and 50 per cent of TAFEs had less than or equal to 100 EFTSL. 

Figure 2: Providers by dual sector status, 201613,14

Figure 2. Bar chart illustrating providers by dual sector status, 2016, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

 

Universities

For-profit

Not-for-profit

TAFE

Dual sector

17

40

18

14

Non dual sector

26

25

36

0

Over 50 per cent of registered providers are dual sector. That is, they are registered to deliver both higher and vocational education.

Figure 3: CRICOS-registered providers, 201615

Figure 3. Bar chart illustrating CRICOS-registered providers, 2016, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

 

Universities

For-profit

Not-for-profit

TAFE

CRICOS-registered

43

55

27

14

Not CRICOS-registered

0

10

27

0

Seventy-nine per cent of TEQSA-registered providers were also CRICOS-registered in 2016.

Provider course accreditation

To provide a higher education course of study, providers without self-accrediting authority must have a course accredited by TEQSA under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (TEQSA Act). If the application for accreditation of a course is successful, TEQSA will determine the length for which the course is accredited. Under the TEQSA Act, this period cannot exceed seven years.

Table 3: New courses (TEQSA-accredited) by AQF Level, 2013 – 201616

AQF

Course level

2013

2014

2015

2016

2013 to 2016 Total

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

5

Diploma

26

14

33

32

105

-3%

23%

6

Advanced Diploma

33

8

15

26

82

73%

-21%

Associate Degree

7

Bachelor Degree

54

41

26

21

142

-19%

-61%

8

Bachelor Honours

26

40

24

33

123

 

38%

27%

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Diploma

9

Masters by Coursework

19

24

16

23

82

 

44%

21%

Masters by Research

10

Doctorate by Coursework

0

2

3

1

6

 

-67%

-

Doctorate by Research

Total

158

129

117

136

540

16%

-14%

The number of new course accreditations increased in 2016. New courses made up 12 per cent of the registered courses in 2016.

Table 4: New courses (TEQSA-accredited) by broad field of education (BFoE), 2013 – 201617

Broad field of education

2013

2014

2015

2016

2013 to 2016 Total

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Natural and Physical Sciences

1

1

3

2

7

-33%

100%

Information Technology

5

7

2

15

29

650%

200%

Engineering and Related Technologies

7

2

3

14

26

367%

100%

Architecture and Building

2

1

1

0

4

-100%

-100%

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

0

1

0

1

2

-

-

Health

16

11

8

12

47

50%

-25%

Education

6

16

4

7

33

75%

17%

Management and Commerce

59

39

60

36

194

-40%

-39%

Society and Culture

23

30

22

31

106

41%

35%

Creative Arts

39

21

14

16

90

14%

-59%

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

0

0

0

2

2

-

-

Mixed Field Programs

0

0

0

0

0

-

-

Total

158

129

117

136

540

16%

-14%

Students [18,19,20]

The number of students studying in Australia has increased each year for the four years from 2013 to 2016. In 2016, there were over 1.4 million students studying a higher education course in Australia. Student numbers grew by three per cent and growth was observed across all provider types (university, for-profit, not-for-profit, and TAFE). Comparing 2015 and 2016, not-for-profit providers had the largest percentage growth in student numbers (by 8 per cent) despite a 6 per cent decline in provider numbers.

Universities continue to have the highest proportion of students. However, there has been a gradual increase in student enrolments at other provider types for the past four years. The overseas sector experienced the largest percentage growth in all provider types, with not-for-profit providers having a 23 per cent increase in overseas students from 2015.

Commencing students enter university and not-for-profit providers predominantly via secondary education, while a higher proportion of commencing students enter for-profit and TAFE providers via ‘other basis’. All provider types had a higher proportion of full-time commencing students.

Most students that completed a higher education award in 2016 had been studying internally (i.e. face-to-face). For-profit providers experienced the largest increase in students completing via flexible and external modes of attendance from 2015. Students completing via internal mode declined by 13 per cent for for-profit providers in 2016.

Total student enrolments

Table 5: Total students by provider type, 2013 – 2016

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between
2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

EFTSL

887,471

918,533

937,277

965,334

3%

9%

Headcount

1,234,210

1,283,508

1,310,226

1,349,733

3%

9%

Number of providers

42

43

43

43

0%

2%

For-profit

EFTSL

38,059

45,588

50,778

53,962

6%

42%

Headcount

58,943

69,067

77,918

82,485

6%

40%

Number of providers

59

59

62

62

0%

5%

Not-for-profit

EFTSL

17,107

17,892

20,383

22,041

8%

29%

Headcount

33,823

35,276

40,833

43,819

7%

30%

Number of providers

50

52

50

47

-6%

-6%

TAFE

EFTSL

3,791

4,114

4,566

4,922

8%

30%

Headcount

5,713

5,570

6,059

6,647

10%

16%

Number of providers

11

10

12

14

17%

27%

Sector

EFTSL

946,429

986,126

1,013,004

1,046,259

3%

11%

Headcount

1,332,689

1,393,421

1,435,036

1,482,684

3%

11%

Number of providers

162

164

167

166

-1%

2%

Enrolments increased for all provider types in 2016. This has been a consistent pattern for the last four years.

Figure 4: Student proportion (headcount) by provider type, 2013-2016

Figure 4. Bar chart illustrating student proportion (headcount) by provider type, 2013-2016, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

Provider Type

2013

2014

2015

2016

Universities

92.6%

92.1%

91.3%

91.0%

For-profit

4.3%

4.9%

5.3%

5.6%

Not-for-profit

2.6%

2.6%

2.9%

3.1%

TAFE

0.4%

0.4%

0.4%

0.4%

Table 6: Domestic and overseas students (EFTSL), 2013 – 201621,22

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Domestic

662,667

685,354

694,631

703,683

1%

6%

Overseas

224,804

233,179

242,646

261,652

8%

16%

Total

887,471

918,533

937,277

965,334

3%

9%

For-profit

Domestic

18,759

21,294

23,281

23,063

-1%

23%

Overseas

19,030

23,966

27,289

30,894

13%

62%

Total

37,788

45,260

50,570

53,957

7%

43%

Not-for-profit

Domestic

13,806

14,047

15,063

15,764

5%

14%

Overseas

2,972

3,507

4,907

6,012

23%

102%

Total

16,778

17,554

19,970

21,776

9%

30%

TAFE

Domestic

2,531

2,583

2,742

2,727

-1%

8%

Overseas

1,260

1,530

1,824

2,195

20%

74%

Total

3,791

4,114

4,566

4,922

8%

30%

Sector

Domestic

697,763

723,279

735,717

745,236

1%

7%

Overseas

248,065

262,182

276,666

300,753

9%

21%

Sector Total

945,828

985,461

1,012,383

1,045,989

3%

11%

Both domestic and overseas student EFTSL has continued to grow since 2013, with the highest percentage growth being in overseas students. From 2015 to 2016, there was a 23 per cent increase in overseas student EFTSL at not-for-profit providers, a 20 per cent increase at TAFE providers, and a 13 per cent increase at for-profit providers. Overseas student EFTSL at Universities increased by 8 per cent from 2015.

Table 7: Students (EFTSL) by aggregated course level, 2013 – 201623,24

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Undergraduate

680,412

692,379

703,956

719,319

2%

6%

Postgraduate

187,886

203,878

211,955

223,599

5%

19%

Other

19,173

22,276

21,366

22,416

5%

17%

Total

887,471

918,533

937,277

965,334

3%

9%

For-profit

Undergraduate

31,669

35,293

37,346

38,873

4%

23%

Postgraduate

6,175

10,144

13,321

14,941

12%

142%

Other

214

151

111

149

34%

-30%

Total

38,059

45,588

50,778

53,962

6%

42%

Not-for-profit

Undergraduate

8,790

9,486

11,262

12,175

8%

39%

Postgraduate

8,244

8,342

9,056

9,771

8%

19%

Other

74

64

65

94

45%

27%

Total

17,107

17,892

20,383

22,041

8%

29%

TAFE

Undergraduate

3,788

4,090

4,536

4,853

7%

28%

Postgraduate

<5

24

30

69

130%

2300%

Other

<5

<5 

<5

0

-

-

Total

3,791

4,114

4,566

4,922

8%

30%

Sector

Undergraduate

724,659

741,249

757,100

775,220

2%

7%

Postgraduate

202,308

222,387

234,362

248,380

6%

23%

Other

19,462

22,491

21,542

22,659

5%

16%

Sector Total

946,429

986,126

1,013,004

1,046,259

3%

11%

Figure 5: Students (EFTSL) by broad field of education (BFoE) and aggregated course level, 201625,26

Figure 5. Bar chart illustrating students (EFTSL) by broad field of education (BFoE) and aggregated course level, 2016, broken up into undergraduate and postgraduate. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

 

Undergraduate

Postgraduate

Natural and Physical Sciences

69,771

14,964

Information Technology

28,867

15,221

Engineering and Related Technologies

62,959

20,717

Architecture and Building

18,036

6,170

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

9,164

3,868

Health

139,767

34,569

Education

58,758

24,574

Management and Commerce

178,987

80,808

Society and Culture

149,315

40,335

Creative Arts

59,297

7,137

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

300

18

The Management and Commerce BFoE had the largest number of undergraduate and postgraduate students in 2016. Information Technology and Health courses had the largest increase for undergraduate students in 2016, while Engineering and Related Technologies, and Information Technology had the largest increase in postgraduate student EFTSL.

Table 8: Students (EFTSL) by AQF level, 2013 - 201627

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

AQF 5

4,870

5,578

5,679

7,974

40%

64%

AQF 6

8,195

7,605

7,972

7,638

-4%

-7%

AQF 7

649,640

645,265

623,860

619,917

-1%

-5%

AQF 8

44,827

60,508

87,713

104,751

19%

134%

AQF 9

118,184

133,768

146,631

158,605

8%

34%

AQF 10

39,842

40,654

41,215

41,178

0%

3%

Total

865,558

893,377

913,070

940,063

3%

9%

For-profit

AQF 5

9,470

10,974

11,139

11,101

0%

17%

AQF 6

887

903

941

464

-51%

-48%

AQF 7

21,271

23,369

25,198

27,247

8%

28%

AQF 8

1,533

1,708

3,423

3,702

8%

141%

AQF 9

4,640

8,461

9,914

11,276

14%

143%

AQF 10

19

15

32

10

-69%

-49%

Total

37,819

45,429

50,647

53,800

6%

42%

Not-for-profit

AQF 5

3,400

4,110

5,600

6,800

21%

100%

AQF 6

251

284

321

244

-24%

-3%

AQF 7

5,079

5,030

5,269

5,112

-3%

1%

AQF 8

6,928

6,878

7,478

8,046

8%

16%

AQF 9

1,267

1,400

1,499

1,579

5%

25%

AQF 10

67

79

93

110

18%

64%

Total

16,992

17,782

20,261

21,891

8%

29%

TAFE

AQF 5

19

13

20

34

70%

79%

AQF 6

692

653

640

712

11%

3%

AQF 7

3,077

3,424

3,876

4,107

6%

33%

AQF 8

3

17

15

17

13%

467%

AQF 9

0

7

15

52

247%

-

AQF 10

0

0

0

0

0%

0%

Total

3,791

4,114

4,566

4,922

8%

30%

Sector

AQF 5

17,759

20,675

22,438

25,910

15%

46%

AQF 6

10,025

9,445

9,874

9,057

-8%

-10%

AQF 7

679,066

677,089

658,204

656,383

0%

-3%

AQF 8

53,291

69,110

98,629

116,515

18%

119%

AQF 9

124,091

143,635

158,059

171,512

9%

38%

AQF 10

39,928

40,748

41,339

41,298

0%

3%

Total

924,159

960,701

988,543

1,020,676

3%

10%

Universities teaching AQF 5 courses increased by 40 per cent in 2016 from the previous year and not-for-profits increased by 21 per cent. This contributed to the 15 per cent growth in students studying at the AQF 5 level across the sector.

Figure 6: Students (EFTSL) by basis for admission, 201628

Figure 6. Bar chart illustrating Students (EFTSL) by basis for admission, 2016, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

 

Universities

For-profit

Not-for-profit

TAFE

Higher education course

162,719

9,869

8,733

209

Secondary education

116,367

7,414

4,408

633

VET award course

26,259

1,879

301

484

Mature age entry

9,784

458

575

67

Other basis

61,806

12,932

1,253

800

Table 9: Students (headcount) by type of attendance, 2013 – 201629

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Full-time

873,714

912,423

933,225

966,228

4%

11%

Part-time

360,496

371,085

377,001

383,505

2%

6%

Total

1,234,210

1,283,508

1,310,226

1,349,733

3%

9%

For-profit

Full-time

39,136

48,822

55,879

59,150

6%

51%

Part-time

19,821

20,254

22,048

23,344

6%

18%

Total

58,957

69,076

77,927

82,494

6%

40%

Not-for-profit

Full-time

12,551

13,520

15,434

18,035

17%

44%

Part-time

21,274

21,756

25,414

25,797

2%

21%

Total

33,825

35,276

40,848

43,832

7%

30%

TAFE

Full-time

4,136

4,215

4,660

5,285

13%

28%

Part-time

1,577

1,355

1,399

1,362

-3%

-14%

Total

5,713

5,570

6,059

6,647

10%

16%

Sector

Full-time

929,537

978,980

1,009,198

1,048,698

4%

13%

Part-time

403,168

414,450

425,862

434,008

2%

8%

Sector Total

1,332,705

1,393,430

1,435,060

1,482,706

3%

11%

The number of full time students at not-for-profit and TAFE providers grew by 17 per cent and 13 per cent respectively in 2016. The number of part-time students at TAFEs declined by 3 per cent from 2015.

Figure 7: Students (EFTSL) by mode of attendance, 201630,31

Figure 7. Bar chart illustrating students (EFTSL) by mode of attendance (flexible, internal, external), 2016, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

 

Universities

For-profit

Not-for-profit

TAFE

Internal

838,743

43,901

12,987

4,422

External

111,819

7,768

8,380

59

Flexible

14,772

2,293

674

441

Eighty-six per cent of students studying at a higher education provider were studying internally (i.e. face-to-face) in 2016.

From 2015, there was a 41 per cent increase in the number of students attending via a flexible delivery mode, specifically noting the 54 per cent increase in university students.

Commencing students

Table 10: Commencing students (EFTSL), 2013-2016

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

 

EFTSL

% change from 2012

EFTSL

% change from 2013

EFTSL

% change from 2014

EFTSL

% change from 2015

Universities

350,196

4%

366,648

5%

363,561

-1%

378,414

4%

For-profit

22,121

28%

26,621

20%

28,638

8%

29,779

4%

Not-for-profit

8,488

-2%

9,684

14%

11,374

17%

12,451

9%

TAFE

1,866

-12%

1,831

-2%

2,168

19%

2,195

1%

Sector

382,671

5%

404,783

6%

405,742

0%

422,839

4%

Table 11: Commencing domestic and overseas students (EFTSL), 2013 – 201632,33

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Domestic

257,336

266,226

263,275

266,438

1%

4%

Overseas

92,860

100,422

100,287

111,976

12%

21%

Total

350,196

366,648

363,562

378,414

4%

8%

For-profit

Domestic

10,276

12,308

12,081

11,717

-3%

14%

Overseas

11,614

14,051

16,420

18,059

10%

55%

Total

21,890

26,359

28,501

29,776

4%

36%

Not-for-profit

Domestic

6,333

7,094

7,473

8,184

10%

29%

Overseas

2,001

2,438

3,662

4,165

14%

108%

Total

8,334

9,532

11,135

12,349

11%

48%

TAFE

Domestic

1,255

1,150

1,312

1,190

-9%

-5%

Overseas

610

681

856

1,006

18%

65%

Total

1,865

1,831

2,168

2,196

1%

18%

Sector

Domestic

275,201

286,778

284,141

287,529

1%

4%

Overseas

107,085

117,591

121,225

135,204

12%

26%

Sector Total

382,286

404,369

405,366

422,733

4%

11%

Both the domestic and overseas commencing student EFTSL has grown over time with the highest percentage growth being in overseas students.

Figure 8: Commencing domestic and overseas students (EFTSL) by broad field of education (BFoE), 201634,35

Figure 8. Bar chart illustrating commencing domestic and overseas students (EFTSL) by broad field of education (BFoE), 2016, broken up into domestic students and overseas students. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

Domestic Students

Overseas Students

Natural and Physical Sciences

26,424

5,521

Information Technology

7,763

11,325

Engineering and Related Technologies

15,159

12,801

Architecture and Building

6,935

2,972

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

3,320

1,266

Health

57,318

9,088

Education

30,079

2,673

Management and Commerce

42,665

67,524

Society and Culture

66,938

9,818

Creative Arts

24,112

5,186

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

342

108

Mixed Field Programs

5,152

904

Fifty-two per cent of commencing overseas students were enrolled in Management and Commerce in 2016, while 23 per cent of commencing domestic students enrolled in Society and Culture.

Table 12: Commencing students (EFTSL) by aggregated course level, 2013-201636,37

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Undergraduate

242,398

248,509

250,559

259,196

3%

7%

Postgraduate

90,718

98,464

94,295

99,237

5%

9%

Other

17,081

19,675

18,707

19,980

7%

17%

Total

350,196

366,648

363,561

378,414

4%

8%

For-profit

Undergraduate

18,252

20,517

20,477

21,170

3%

16%

Postgraduate

3,701

5,988

8,082

8,492

5%

129%

Other

168

116

79

117

48%

-30%

Total

22,121

26,621

28,638

29,779

4%

35%

Not-for-profit

Undergraduate

4,528

5,279

6,632

7,035

6%

55%

Postgraduate

3,905

4,362

4,701

5,340

14%

37%

Other

55

43

42

76

81%

38%

Total

8,488

9,684

11,374

12,451

9%

47%

TAFE

Undergraduate

1,864

1,809

2,142

2,139

0%

15%

Postgraduate

2

22

26

55

112%

2650%

Other

0

0

1

0

-100%

-

Total

1,866

1,831

2,168

2,195

1%

18%

Sector

Undergraduate

267,042

276,113

279,810

289,541

3%

8%

Postgraduate

98,325

108,836

107,103

113,125

6%

15%

Other

17,304

19,834

18,828

20,173

7%

17%

Sector Total

382,671

404,783

405,742

422,839

4%

10%

Following a decline in commencing student (EFTSL) in the postgraduate and other course levels in 2015, 2016 has seen growth in both of these course levels.

Table 13: Commencing students (EFTSL) by broad field of education (BFoE), 2013-201638,39

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Natural and Physical Sciences

29,002

29,945

29,511

31,564

7%

9%

Information Technology

13,357

14,868

14,649

17,027

16%

27%

Engineering and Related Technologies

23,603

24,525

25,031

26,339

5%

12%

Architecture and Building

8,064

7,988

8,518

9,537

12%

18%

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

4,829

4,504

4,399

4,444

1%

-8%

Health

53,847

58,348

60,600

62,889

4%

17%

Education

34,337

36,495

32,813

32,097

-2%

-7%

Management and Commerce

81,605

84,180

82,551

87,437

6%

7%

Society and Culture

67,509

69,636

70,776

70,645

0%

5%

Creative Arts

22,781

22,535

22,122

22,866

3%

0%

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

0

0

34

351

932%

-

Mixed Field Programs

5,092

5,708

5,298

6,056

14%

19%

Total

344,028

358,731

356,301

371,252

4%

8%

For-profit

Natural and Physical Sciences

194

294

381

203

-47%

5%

Information Technology

734

899

1,122

1,675

49%

128%

Engineering and Related Technologies

610

816

783

741

-5%

21%

Architecture and Building

174

225

477

266

-44%

53%

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

0

0

0

0

Health

2,070

2,280

2,409

3,173

32%

53%

Education

76

110

107

26

-76%

-66%

Management and Commerce

12,613

15,422

17,904

17,658

-1%

40%

Society and Culture

1,343

1,936

1,631

1,665

2%

24%

Creative Arts

4,117

4,464

3,690

4,227

15%

3%

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

25

58

56

27

-52%

8%

Mixed Field Programs

0

0

0

0

Total

21,957

26,505

28,559

29,662

4%

35%

Not-for-profit

Natural and Physical Sciences

70

94

139

166

19%

137%

Information Technology

114

127

205

215

5%

89%

Engineering and Related Technologies

310

359

514

676

32%

118%

Architecture and Building

0

0

0

0

-

-

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

117

164

93

132

42%

13%

Health

182

187

207

117

-43%

-36%

Education

479

503

422

373

-12%

-22%

Management and Commerce

2,293

2,988

4,242

4,469

5%

95%

Society and Culture

3,441

3,574

3,716

4,408

19%

28%

Creative Arts

1,427

1,638

1,796

1,822

1%

28%

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

0

0

0

0

Mixed Field Programs

8

7

0

0

-100%

Total

8,440

9,641

11,335

12,377

9%

47%

TAFE

Natural and Physical Sciences

22

21

32

11

-66%

-50%

Information Technology

216

269

224

171

-24%

-21%

Engineering and Related Technologies

231

211

183

207

13%

-10%

Architecture and Building

68

70

85

105

24%

54%

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

50

18

8

10

25%

-80%

Health

112

152

186

227

22%

103%

Education

207

171

210

256

22%

24%

Management and Commerce

525

549

603

708

17%

35%

Society and Culture

0

4

11

44

300%

-

Creative Arts

363

274

535

383

-28%

6%

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

72

91

92

73

-21%

1%

Mixed Field Programs

0

0

0

0

-

Total

1,866

1,831

2,168

2,195

1%

18%

Sector

Natural and Physical Sciences

29,287

30,354

30,063

31,945

6%

9%

Information Technology

14,421

16,163

16,200

19,088

18%

32%

Engineering and Related Technologies

24,754

25,911

26,510

27,963

5%

13%

Architecture and Building

8,307

8,284

9,080

9,907

9%

19%

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

4,997

4,686

4,500

4,586

2%

-8%

Health

56,211

60,967

63,403

66,406

5%

18%

Education

35,099

37,279

33,552

32,752

-2%

-7%

Management and Commerce

97,036

103,140

105,300

110,272

5%

14%

Society and Culture

72,294

75,149

76,133

76,763

1%

6%

Creative Arts

28,688

28,910

28,142

29,297

4%

2%

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

96

149

181

450

149%

369%

Mixed Field Programs

5,100

5,715

5,298

6,056

14%

19%

Total

376,290

396,707

398,363

415,486

4%

10%

Table 14: Commencing students (EFTSL) by AQF level, 2013 -201640

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% hange between 2013 and 2016

Universities

AQF 5

3,358

3,742

3,671

5,959

62%

77%

AQF 6

4,550

3,862

4,378

4,219

-4%

-7%

AQF 7

226,344

225,895

212,107

215,368

2%

-5%

AQF 8

27,528

33,907

44,664

48,388

8%

76%

AQF 9

61,228

69,357

70,161

74,795

7%

22%

AQF 10

7,893

8,007

7,663

7,533

-2%

-5%

Total

330,900

344,769

342,645

356,261

4%

8%

For-profit

AQF 5

7,494

8,606

8,399

8,247

-2%

10%

AQF 6

544

619

563

276

-51%

-49%

AQF 7

10,174

11,247

11,454

12,602

10%

24%

AQF 8

941

1,183

2,697

2,528

-6%

169%

AQF 9

2,770

4,841

5,430

6,001

11%

117%

AQF 10

5

2

2

1

-50%

-80%

Total

21,928

26,498

28,544

29,655

4%

35%

Not-for-profit

AQF 5

2,496

3,065

4,364

4,944

13%

98%

AQF 6

165

187

194

139

-28%

-16%

AQF 7

1,820

1,974

2,014

1,942

-4%

7%

AQF 8

3,384

3,758

3,955

4,576

16%

35%

AQF 9

534

615

744

712

-4%

33%

AQF 10

11

16

27

32

19%

191%

Total

8,409

9,615

11,298

12,345

9%

47%

TAFE

AQF 5

17

11

18

31

72%

82%

AQF 6

445

281

313

395

26%

-11%

AQF 7

1,402

1,517

1,811

1,713

-5%

22%

AQF 8

2

16

12

14

17%

600%

AQF 9

0

6

14

41

193%

-

AQF 10

0

0

0

0

-

-

Total

1,866

1,831

2,168

2,195

1%

18%

Sector

AQF 5

13,365

15,424

16,452

19,181

17%

44%

AQF 6

5,704

4,949

5,449

5,029

-8%

-12%

AQF 7

239,739

240,633

227,386

231,625

2%

-3%

AQF 8

31,854

38,864

51,328

55,506

8%

74%

AQF 9

64,531

74,819

76,348

81,549

7%

26%

AQF 10

7,909

8,024

7,692

7,566

-2%

-4%

Total

363,103

382,713

384,655

400,456

4%

10%

The number of students commencing higher education at the AQF 5 level increased by 17 per cent from 2015. The growth can be attributed to the 62 per cent increase in university students and the 13 per cent increase in not-for-profit students.

Figure 9: Undergraduate commencing students (EFTSL) by basis for admission, 201641

Figure 9. Bar chart illustrating undergraduate commencing students (EFTSL) by basis for admission, 2016, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

Universities

For-profit

Not-for-profit

TAFE

Higher education course

67,176

3,160

732

163

Secondary education

112,725

5,573

4,340

631

VET award course

25,582

1,817

300

479

Mature age entry

7,691

437

534

67

Other basis

44,853

10,157

1,124

798

Table 15: Commencing students (headcount) by type of attendance, 2013 – 201642

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Full-time

366,540

387,405

388,198

406,333

5%

11%

Part-time

126,901

131,595

125,781

129,752

3%

2%

Total

493,441

519,000

513,979

536,085

4%

9%

For-profit

Full-time

24,451

30,199

33,943

34,864

3%

43%

Part-time

9,027

9,167

9,411

10,038

7%

11%

Total

33,478

39,366

43,354

44,902

4%

34%

Not-for-profit

Full-time

8,100

8,779

10,114

12,498

24%

54%

Part-time

7,251

8,231

10,336

9,561

-7%

32%

Total

15,351

17,010

20,450

22,059

8%

44%

TAFE

Full-time

2,214

2,073

2,399

2,637

10%

19%

Part-time

698

488

590

512

-13%

-27%

Total

2,912

2,561

2,989

3,149

5%

8%

Sector

Full-time

401,305

428,456

434,654

456,332

5%

14%

Part-time

143,877

149,481

146,118

149,863

3%

4%

Sector Total

545,182

577,937

580,772

606,195

4%

11%

Figure 10: Commencing students (EFTSL) by mode of attendance, 201643,44

Figure 10. Bar chart illustrating commencing students (EFTSL) by mode of attendance, 2016, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

Eighty-six per cent of students that commenced study at a higher education provider were studying internally (i.e. face-to-face) in 2016.

From 2015, there was a 39 per cent increase in the number of commencing students attending via a flexible delivery mode, noting in particular the 59 per cent increase in university students, and 13 per cent increase in for-profit students. The number of commencing students attending via a flexible delivery mode in TAFE and not-for-profit providers declined by 30 per cent and 19 per cent respectively in 2016.
 

Provider type Mode of attendance EFTSL
  Internal 329,618
Universities External 42,574
  Flexible 6,222
  Internal 24,994
For-profit External 3,681
  Flexible 1,104
  Internal 7,767
Not-for-profit External 4,235
  Flexible 449
  Internal 1,969
TAFE External 30
  Flexible 196

 

Completing students

Figure 11: Completing students (headcount), 2013 – 2016

Figure 11. Bar chart illustrating completing students (headcount), 2013 – 2016, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

Universities

291,486

295,946

297,974

303,175

For-profit

13,094

15,575

19,462

21,015

Not-for-profit

11,628

11,645

12,914

14,554

TAFE

730

902

1,070

1,166

Table 16: Completing students (headcount) by mode of attendance, 2013 – 201645,46

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Internal

227,176

226,722

226,761

228,276

1%

0%

External

34,259

35,145

36,215

38,907

7%

14%

Flexible

30,051

34,079

34,998

35,992

3%

20%

Total

291,486

295,946

297,974

303,175

2%

4%

For-profit

Internal

10,608

12,423

15,917

13,876

-13%

31%

External

1,818

2,023

2,371

4,793

102%

164%

Flexible

668

1,129

1,173

2,346

100%

251%

Total

13,094

15,575

19,461

21,015

8%

60%

Not-for-profit

Internal

6,596

7,929

5,846

6,976

19%

6%

External

4,504

3,143

6,360

6,828

7%

52%

Flexible

528

573

708

750

6%

42%

Total

11,628

11,645

12,914

14,554

13%

25%

TAFE

Internal

718

899

998

1,082

8%

51%

External

7

3

14

8

-43%

14%

Flexible

5

0

58

76

31%

1420%

Total

730

902

1,070

1,166

9%

60%

Sector

Internal

245,098

247,973

249,522

250,210

0%

2%

External

40,588

40,314

44,960

50,536

12%

25%

Flexible

31,252

35,781

36,937

39,164

6%

25%

Sector Total

316,938

324,068

331,419

339,910

3%

7%

Seventy-four per cent of students who completed a higher education award in 2016 were studying internally (i.e. face-to-face). The number of students completing an award via an external or flexible mode of attendance has been increasing. Completions via the flexible and external mode of attendance have been growing progressively over time (a 25% increase from 2013).

Table 17: Completing students (headcount) by aggregated course level, 2013 – 201647

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Undergraduate

180,245

180,357

182,053

185,590

2%

3%

Postgraduate

111,241

115,589

115,921

117,585

1%

6%

Total

291,486

295,946

297,974

303,175

2%

4%

For-profit

Undergraduate

10,295

11,201

12,590

11,587

-8%

13%

Postgraduate

2,799

4,374

6,872

9,428

37%

237%

Total

13,094

15,575

19,462

21,015

8%

60%

Not-for-profit

Undergraduate

3,476

4,145

6,024

6,075

1%

75%

Postgraduate

8,152

7,500

6,890

8,479

23%

4%

Total

11,628

11,645

12,914

14,554

13%

25%

TAFE

Undergraduate

729

900

1,060

1,149

8%

58%

Postgraduate

1

2

10

17

70%

1600%

Total

730

902

1,070

1,166

9%

60%

Sector

Undergraduate

194,745

196,603

201,727

204,401

1%

5%

Postgraduate

122,193

127,465

129,693

135,509

4%

11%

Sector Total

316,938

324,068

331,420

339,910

3%

7%

Table 18: Completing students (headcount) by AQF level, 2013 – 201648

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

AQF 5

2,851

3,216

4,564

4,828

6%

69%

AQF 6

3,457

3,214

3,680

3,681

0%

6%

AQF 7

161,245

159,429

156,314

157,898

1%

-2%

AQF 8

48,205

50,636

50,766

51,708

2%

7%

AQF 9

66,921

70,372

73,329

75,251

3%

12%

AQF 10

8,089

8,385

8,619

9,068

5%

12%

Total

290,768

295,252

297,272

302,434

2%

4%

For-profit

AQF 5

5,365

6,186

6,775

6,304

-7%

18%

AQF 6

409

383

346

289

-16%

-29%

AQF 7

4,502

4,600

5,427

4,951

-9%

10%

AQF 8

1,287

1,351

2,302

4,571

99%

255%

AQF 9

1,529

3,052

4,612

4,896

6%

220%

AQF 10

2

3

0

4

-

100%

Total

13,094

15,575

19,462

21,015

8%

60%

Not-for-profit

AQF 5

1,927

2,761

4,386

4,437

1%

130%

AQF 6

173

99

200

206

3%

19%

AQF 7

1,326

1,235

1,374

1,419

3%

7%

AQF 8

7,679

6,916

6,290

7,730

23%

1%

AQF 9

490

596

608

701

15%

43%

AQF 10

10

12

8

17

113%

70%

Total

11,605

11,619

12,866

14,510

13%

25%

TAFE

AQF 5

12

7

16

27

69%

125%

AQF 6

285

251

242

206

-15%

-28%

AQF 7

432

642

802

916

14%

112%

AQF 8

1

2

10

9

-10%

800%

AQF 9

0

0

0

8

-

-

AQF 10

0

0

0

0

-

-

Total

730

902

1,070

1,166

9%

60%

Sector

AQF 5

10,155

12,170

15,741

15,596

-1%

54%

AQF 6

4,324

3,947

4,468

4,382

-2%

1%

AQF 7

167,505

165,906

163,917

165,184

1%

-1%

AQF 8

57,172

58,905

59,368

64,018

8%

12%

AQF 9

68,940

74,020

78,549

80,856

3%

17%

AQF 10

8,101

8,400

8,627

9,089

5%

12%

Total

316,197

323,348

330,670

339,125

3%

7%

 

Academic staff [49,50,51,52]

The total number of academic staff across the sector increased by two per cent in 2016, to 61,235 FTE. Full-time academic staff remain the largest work contract type in 2016—however, the proportion of full-time (65 per cent), fractional full-time (11 per cent) and casual staff (24 per cent) at providers remained the same as the previous year. 

For-profit providers were the only provider type with less than 50 per cent full-time staff, although the percentage of full-time staff has increased between 2015 and 2016 for this provider type. 

The number of teaching and research, and teaching only, FTE academic staff for for-profit providers declined in 2016 by 7 per cent and 5 per cent respectively, while the other staff FTE increased by 26 per cent. For not-for-profit providers, the number of teaching only staff declined by 14 per cent while the number of other staff increased by 43 per cent in 2016. For-profit providers have the lowest percentage of research academic staff across the sector.

Table 19: Academic staff (FTE) by work contract, 2013 – 2016

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% of total in 2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Full-time

37,426

37,983

37,823

38,154

66%

1%

2%

Fractional full-time

5,676

5,934

6,018

6,350

11%

6%

12%

Casual

11,366

12,078

12,919

13,515

23%

5%

19%

Total

54,468

55,996

56,761

58,019

100%

2%

7%

For-profit

Full-time

513

567

627

816

41%

30%

59%

Fractional full-time

168

216

275

301

15%

9%

79%

Casual

951

792

1,132

864

44%

-24%

-9%

Total

1,633

1,575

2,034

1,981

100%

-3%

21%

Not-for-profit

Full-time

429

447

463

505

55%

9%

18%

Fractional full-time

133

119

119

171

19%

44%

29%

Casual

257

274

352

244

27%

-31%

-5%

Total

818

840

934

920

100%

-1%

12%

TAFE

Full-time

133

128

130

164

52%

26%

23%

Fractional full-time

23

27

34

51

16%

50%

122%

Casual

84

105

83

99

31%

19%

18%

Total

239

260

247

314

100%

27%

31%

Sector

Full-time

38,501

39,125

39,043

39,640

65%

2%

3%

Fractional full-time

6,000

6,297

6,446

6,873

11%

7%

15%

Casual

12,657

13,249

14,486

14,722

24%

2%

16%

Sector Total

57,158

58,671

59,975

61,235

100%

2%

7%

Full-time academic staff constitute 65 per cent of the staff at higher education providers, with a 30 per cent increase at for-profit providers in 2016. The number of casual academic staff (FTE) for for-profit and not-for-profit providers declined from 2015.

Table 20: Academic staff (FTE) by function, 2013 – 201653

Provider Type 2013 2014 2015 2016 % of total in 2016 % change between 2015 and 2016 % change between 2013 and 2016
Universities Teaching and research

27,602

27,191

27,123

27,397

47%

1%

-1%

Teaching only

12,547

13,919

15,115

15,968

28%

6%

27%

Research only

12,524

12,776

12,880

12,882

22%

0%

3%

Other

1,796

2,110

1,643

1,772

3%

8%

-1%

Total

54,468

55,996

56,761

58,019

100%

2%

7%

For-profit Teaching and research

83

162

178

166

8%

-7%

100%

Teaching only

1,438

1,326

1,727

1,649

83%

-5%

15%

Research only

11

7

10

17

1%

70%

50%

Other

100

80

119

150

8%

26%

50%

Total

1,633

1,575

2,034

1,981

100%

-3%

21%

Not-for-profit Teaching and research

175

214

224

263

29%

17%

50%

Teaching only

558

555

629

543

59%

-14%

-3%

Research only

5

7

6

8

1%

33%

60%

Other

81

64

75

107

12%

43%

32%

Total

818

840

934

920

100%

-1%

12%

TAFE Teaching and research

65

69

66

45

14%

-32%

-31%

Teaching only

166

184

172

254

81%

48%

53%

Research only

1

1

 

1

0%

 

 

Other

7

7

9

15

5%

67%

114%

Total

239

260

247

314

100%

27%

31%

Sector Teaching and research

27,924

27,636

27,591

27,871

46%

1%

0%

Teaching only

14,709

15,983

17,642

18,413

30%

4%

25%

Research only

12,541

12,791

12,896

12,908

21%

0%

3%

Other

1,983

2,261

1,846

2,043

3%

11%

3%

Sector Total

57,158

58,671

59,975

61,235

100%

2%

7%

 

Financial profile [54,55,56]

Figure 12: Revenue source, by provider type, 2017

Figure 12. Four pie charts illustrating revenue source, by provider type, 2017, broken up into TAFE ($3.7 billion), Not-for-Profit ($2.2 billion), For-Profit ($1.7 billion) and Universities ($30.3 billion). Total sector revenue is $37.9 billion.

Sector highlights

Universities

Generated the most revenue of any provider type in the sector. Key revenue sources were government grants and programs, domestic students and overseas students.

TAFE

Generated the majority of revenue from government grants and programs and non-higher education activities.

For-Profit

Had the most diversified revenue sources of any provider type. Overseas higher education students accounted for the largest revenue source.

Not-for-Profit

Heavily reliant on government grants and revenue from other sources such as donations and commercial activities.

Universities

Figure 13: Key revenue sources, Universities, 2014 – 2017

Figure 13. Bar chart illustrating key revenue sources for universities, 2014 – 2017, broken up into Government grants and programs; Higher education, domestic students; Higher education, overseas students; Non-higher education; Other sources.

Table 21: Key revenue sources, Universities, 2014 – 2017

 

2014
($’M)

2015
($’M)

2016
($’M)

2017
($’M)

%
Change
2016 to 2017

Government grants and programs (including Commonwealth Grants Scheme, Commonwealth research grant, state and territory government grants)

11,332.9

11,588.8

11,824.8

12,240.5

3.5%

Higher education, domestic students (including FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP, full-fee paying student revenue)

6,400.4

6,893.2

7,152.4

7,397.6

3.4%

Higher education, overseas students

4,341.1

4,747.7

5,336.5

6,261.4

17.3%

Non-higher education (including VET, ELICOS, non-award)

231.1

257.2

343.5

355.8

3.6%

Other sources (including donations, HE third-party delivery, commercial activities)

3,899.7

4,050.1

4,070.0

4,084.9

0.4%

Total

26,205.2

27,537.0

28,727.2

30,340.2

5.6%

Revenue generated by universities has increased by 5.6 per cent from 2016 to 2017. This was driven by growth in overseas student revenue (17.3 per cent), which outpaced growth from all other sources.

Government grants continue to account for the majority of university funding at 40 per cent, while domestic student contributions accounted for 24 per cent of revenue.

Overseas student revenue was the largest growing source of revenue from 2014 to 2017, growing by $1.9 billion. Overseas student revenue now accounts for 21 per cent of universities total revenue, compared to 17 per cent in 2014.

TAFE

Figure 14: Key revenue sources, TAFE, 2014 – 2017

Figure 14. Bar chart illustrating key revenue sources for TAFE 2014 – 2017, broken up into Government grants and programs; Higher education, domestic students; Higher education, overseas students; Non-higher education; Other sources.

Table 22: Key revenue sources, TAFE, 2014 – 2017

 

2014
($’M)

2015
($’M)

2016
($’M)

2017
($’M)

%
Change
2016 to 2017

Government grants and programs (including Commonwealth Grants Scheme, Commonwealth research grant, state and territory government grants)

2,437.5

2,281.9

2,028.4

2,189.4

7.9%

Higher education, domestic students (including FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP, full-fee paying student revenue)

32.5

36.3

45.6

46.3

1.5%

Higher education, overseas students

17.9

21.7

21.4

28.0

30.8%

Non-higher education (including VET, ELICOS, non-award)

1,008.8

1,263.6

1,184.4

1,214.1

2.5%

Other sources (including donations, HE third-party delivery, commercial activities)

246.6

282.1

182.9

204.9

12.0%

Total

3,743.3

3,885.6

3,462.7

3,682.7

6.4%

The fluctuation in total revenue is largely due to the restructuring of Western Australia’s TAFE, which meant that financial data for the affected TAFEs was not available in the 2016 collection year.

The TAFE sector continues to rely heavily on government grants and non-higher education activities.

Higher education revenue from both domestic and overseas students in total was the fastest growing source of revenue, growing by 47 per cent from 2014 to 2017. Despite this, high education revenue continued to account for the smallest revenue source.

For-Profit

Figure 15: Key revenue sources, For-Profit, 2014 – 2017

Figure 15. Bar chart illustrating key revenue sources for For-Profit 2014 – 2017, broken up into Government grants and programs; Higher education, domestic students; Higher education, overseas students; Non-higher education; Other sources.

Table 23: Key revenue sources, For-Profit, 2014 – 2017

 

2014
($’M)

2015
($’M)

2016
($’M)

2017
($’M)

%
Change
2016 to 2017

Government grants and programs (including Commonwealth Grants Scheme, Commonwealth research grant, state and territory government grants)

0.1

0.8

1.2

1.0

-16.7%

Higher education, domestic students (including FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP, full-fee paying student revenue)

346.5

399.4

438.7

450.3

2.6%

Higher education, overseas students

384.4

507.1

517.5

570.9

10.3%

Non-higher education (including VET, ELICOS, non-award)

280.7

563.2

462.6

405.4

-12.4%

Other sources (including donations, HE third-party delivery, commercial activities)

73.5

88.0

216.9

258.1

19.0%

Total

1,085.2

1,558.5

1,636.8

1,685.7

3.0%

For-profit providers experienced the fastest revenue growth of any provider type from 2014 to 2017 (55.3 per cent). This has been driven by overseas student revenue growth.

Revenue sources are diversified across the key revenue sources.

Overseas higher education revenue is the largest revenue source and continues to see high levels of growth.

Non-higher education revenue declined for a second consecutive year. The changes to the VET FEE-HELP scheme may be an influencing factor, under which the funding available to domestic VET students was significantly reduced in some cases.

Not-for-Profit

Figure 16: Key revenue sources, Not-for-Profit, 2014 – 2017 

Figure 16. Bar chart illustrating key revenue sources for Not-for-Profit 2014 – 2017, broken up into Government grants and programs; Higher education, domestic students; Higher education, overseas students; Non-higher education; Other sources.

Table 24: Key revenue sources, Not-for-Profit, 2014 – 2017

 

2014
($’M)

2015
($’M)

2016
($’M)

2017
($’M)

%
Change
2016 to 2017

Government grants and programs (including Commonwealth Grants Scheme, Commonwealth research grant, state and territory government grants)

750.2

799.2

1,069.9

1,179.6

10.3%

Higher education, domestic students (including FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP, full-fee paying student revenue)

181.2

205.2

214.6

246.0

14.6%

Higher education, overseas students

100.8

148.3

111.7

138.7

24.2%

Non-higher education (including VET, ELICOS, non-award)

53.8

29.5

94.7

110.6

16.8%

Other sources (including donations, HE third-party delivery, commercial activities)

275.2

342.4

482.5

495.7

2.7%

Total

1,361.2

1,524.6

1,973.4

2,170.6

10.0%

Government grants continue to account for approximately half the revenue.

Other revenue sources such as donations and commercial activities account for much of the growth in revenue recorded.

The increase in total revenue from 2015 to 2016 is predominantly the result of the inclusion of additional providers that had not previously reported financial data.

Special focus topic: international profile

For the past few years, there has been a steady growth in the number of overseas students in Australia, TEQSA’s Key financial metrics on Australia’s higher education sector report (3rd edition) identifies overseas student revenue as a key driver behind the growth in sector revenue. 

Registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) enables Australian education providers to offer courses to students studying in Australia on student visas. As of 2016, there were 139 CRICOS providers in the higher education sector, representing 79 per cent of providers in the sector. 

Out of the 139 CRICOS providers, Victoria and New South Wales had the largest numbers of providers with overseas students.

In 2016, there were over 400,000 overseas students (80.9 per cent onshore enrolments and 19.1 percent being offshore enrolments) studying an Australian course. Offshore enrolments have been declining steadily, particularly in Universities.

Revenue earned from higher education overseas students accounted for 19 per cent of total sector revenue totalling $7.01 billion in 2017, and overseas student revenue was the largest growing source of revenue from 2014 to 2017, growing by $2.2 billion.

All provider types experienced significant growth in overseas student revenue in 2017, with revenue growth higher than any other source. While Universities accounted for much of the overseas student revenue generated from the sector, for-profit providers have a higher reliance on overseas student revenue than other provider types.

Providers continue to have a heavy reliance on the Chinese and Indian source markets which account for more than 50 per cent of all enrolments in the sector. The distribution of students studying by broad field of education (BFoE) is markedly different between overseas and domestic student groups with almost 50 per cent of all overseas students studying a course relating to the Management and Commerce BFoE (compared to 15 per cent of all domestic students). The percentage of overseas students at for-profit providers studying Management and Commerce was almost 83 per cent.

Table 25: Overseas students (EFTSL, and headcount) by provider type, 2013-201657

Provider Type

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change from 2015 to 2016

% change from 2013 to 2016

Universities

EFTSL

224,804

233,179

242,646

261,652

8%

16%

Headcount

299,545

312,210

321,377

344,222

7%

15%

For-profit

EFTSL

19,030

23,966

27,289

30,894

13%

62%

Headcount

28,295

35,191

41,575

45,148

9%

60%

Not-for-profit

EFTSL

2,972

3,507

4,907

6,012

23%

102%

Headcount

4,268

4,994

6,947

8,761

26%

105%

TAFE

EFTSL

1,260

1,530

1,824

2,195

20%

74%

Headcount

1,714

1,906

2,219

2,779

25%

62%

Sector

EFTSL

248,065

262,182

276,666

300,753

9%

21%

Headcount

333,822

354,301

372,118

400,910

8%

20%

Table 26: Overseas students (EFTSL) by provider type, 201658

Provider type Overseas student EFTSL Proportion of sector overseas students Proportion of providers CRICOS registered
Universities 261,652

87%

100%
For-profit 30,894

10%

90%
Not-for-profit 6,012

2%

68%
TAFE 2,195

1%

100%

Table 27: Overseas students (EFTSL) by citizenship, onshore and offshore, 2013 – 201659,60

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

 

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Overseas Onshore

166,922

176,563

187,584

208,880

11%

25%

Offshore

57,882

56,616

55,062

52,771

-4%

-9%

Total

224,804

233,179

242,646

261,652

8%

16%

For-profit

Overseas Onshore

17,061

20,914

24,214

27,571

14%

62%

Offshore

1,968

3,052

3,075

3,323

8%

69%

Total

19,029

23,966

27,289

30,894

13%

62%

Not-for-profit

Overseas Onshore

2,713

3,229

4,013

4,792

19%

77%

Offshore

259

278

895

1,220

36%

371%

Total

2,972

3,507

4,908

6,012

22%

102%

TAFE

Onshore

1,260

1,530

1,824

2,184

20%

73%

Offshore

0

0

0

12

-

-

Total

1,260

1,530

1,824

2,196

20%

74%

Sector

Overseas Onshore

187,956

202,237

217,634

243,426

12%

30%

Offshore

60,109

59,945

59,032

57,326

-3%

-5%

Sector Total

248,065

262,182

276,666

300,753

9%

21%

Figure 17: Domestic and overseas students (EFTSL) by broad field of education (BFoE), 201661,62

Figure 17. Bar chart illustrating domestic and overseas students (EFTSL) by broad field of education (BFoE), 2016. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

Domestic students

Overseas students

Natural and Physical Sciences

69,158

15,967

Information Technology

19,511

24,578

Engineering and Related Technologies

49,079

34,741

Architecture and Building

17,887

6,321

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

9,413

3,619

Health

151,387

23,270

Education

79,308

5,354

Management and Commerce

114,359

145,539

Society and Culture

170,439

22,725

Creative Arts

56,806

10,905

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

380

271

Mixed Field Programs

6,012

1,040

Forty-nine per cent of overseas students were studying a course in Management and Commerce in 2016.

Table 28: Overseas commencing students (EFTSL) by citizenship, onshore and offshore, 2013 – 201663,64

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change between 2015 and 2016

% change between 2013 and 2016

Universities

Overseas Onshore

72,356

80,631

81,723

93,502

14%

29%

Offshore

20,504

19,791

18,564

18,474

0%

-10%

Total

92,860

100,422

100,287

111,976

12%

21%

For-profit

Overseas Onshore

10,776

12,875

15,147

16,525

9%

53%

Offshore

838

1,176

1,273

1,534

21%

83%

Total

11,614

14,051

16,420

18,059

10%

55%

Not-for-profit

Overseas Onshore

1,839

2,271

2,872

3,433

20%

87%

Offshore

162

167

790

732

-7%

352%

Total

2,001

2,438

3,662

4,165

14%

108%

TAFE

Overseas Onshore

610

681

856

994

16%

63%

Offshore

0

0

0

12

-

-

Total

610

681

856

1,006

18%

65%

Sector

Overseas Onshore

85,582

96,457

100,598

114,453

14%

34%

Offshore

21,503

21,134

20,627

20,751

1%

-3%

Sector Total

107,085

117,591

121,225

135,204

12%

26%

The overseas onshore commencing student EFTSL has increased over time (by 34 per cent from 2013, and 14 per cent from 2015). Offshore commencing student EFTSL has been declining over time however, with a 10 per cent decline in universities from 2013.

Figure 18: Study locations of overseas students by state, 201665

Figure 18. Map of Australia showing study locations of overseas students by Australian state, 2016. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

State

Enrolment (headcount)

%

NSW

121,908

30%

VIC

143,988

36%

QLD

52,209

13%

SA

26,677

7%

WA

36,735

9%

TAS

5,480

1%

NT

2,632

1%

ACT

11,281

3%

Total

400,910

100%

Victoria and NSW have the highest number of overseas students (36 per cent and 30 per cent respectively). 

Table 29: CRICOS-registered providers by state, 201666

State

Providers

%

NSW

56

40%

VIC

34

24%

WA

17

12%

SA

14

10%

QLD

13

9%

ACT

3

2%

TAS

1

1%

NT

1

1%

Total

139

100%

Table 30: Onshore, offshore CoE type by provider type, 2016

Provider Type

Offshore CoE

Onshore CoE

Universities

61%

39%

For-profit

25%

75%

Not-for-profit

54%

46%

TAFE

40%

60%

A total of 290,501 confirmations of enrolment (CoEs) were issued in 2016 (134,387 onshore and 156,114 offshore).

Universities and not-for-profit providers had the highest proportion of offshore COEs for 2016.

Table 31: Overseas students (EFTSL) by broad field of education (BFoE), 2013 – 201667,68,69

Broad field of education

2013

2014

2015

2016

% change from 2015 to 2016

% change from 2013 to 2016

Natural and Physical Sciences

13,108

13,763

14,564

15,967

10%

22%

Information Technology

17,599

19,770

21,220

24,578

16%

40%

Engineering and Related Technologies

25,373

27,413

30,301

34,741

15%

37%

Architecture and Building

4,748

4,846

5,357

6,321

18%

33%

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

2,988

3,087

3,353

3,619

8%

21%

Health

19,769

20,682

21,420

23,270

9%

18%

Education

5,056

5,246

5,190

5,354

3%

6%

Management and Commerce

123,234

129,624

136,564

145,539

7%

18%

Society and Culture

20,472

20,005

21,058

22,725

8%

11%

Creative Arts

9,368

9,473

9,769

10,905

12%

16%

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

169

228

283

271

-4%

60%

Mixed Field Programs

723

697

809

1,040

29%

44%

Total

242,607

254,834

269,888

294,330

9%

21%

Figure 19: Overseas student enrolment (headcount) by broad field of education (BFoE), 201670

Figure 19. Bar chart illustrating overseas student enrolment (headcount) by broad field of education (BFoE), 2016

Table 32: Overseas students (EFTSL) by broad field of education (BFoE) and provider type, 201671,72,73

Broad field of education

Universities

For-profit

Not-for-profit

TAFE

Sector Total

Management and Commerce

45.3%

82.6%

56.2%

44.3%

49.4%

Engineering and Related Technologies

12.9%

2.9%

13.0%

12.0%

11.8%

Information Technology

8.7%

6.2%

3.4%

11.5%

8.4%

Health

8.7%

2.7%

0.4%

10.2%

7.9%

Society and Culture

8.5%

0.4%

14.9%

0.0%

7.7%

Natural and Physical Sciences

6.2%

0.3%

1.1%

0.1%

5.4%

Creative Arts

3.5%

4.2%

10.8%

1.8%

3.7%

Architecture and Building

2.4%

0.6%

0.0%

2.2%

2.1%

Education

2.0%

0.0%

0.3%

8.1%

1.8%

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

1.4%

0.0%

0.0%

0.4%

1.2%

Mixed Field Programs

0.4%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.4%

Food, Hospitality and Personal Services

0.0%

0.1%

0.0%

9.4%

0.1%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Figure 20: Overseas students (EFTSL) by aggregated course level, 201674,75

Figure 20. Pie chart illustrating overseas students (EFTSL) by aggregated course level, 2016, broken up into undergraduate and postgraduate. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

 

Student type

% (Numbers)

Undergraduate

60 % (175,734)

Postgraduate

40 % (117,080)

Figure 21: Top five nationalities, 201676

Figure 21. Map of world showing top five nationalities studying in Australia, 2016. Specific data is available in the table below the diagram.

Countries

%

China

38%

India

16%

Vietnam

6%

Nepal

5%

Pakistan

4%

Other

30%

Overseas student numbers in Australia has continued to grow over time. In 2016, majority of overseas students were from China (38 per cent) and India (16 per cent). All countries in the top five have grown from 2015, except Pakistan, where there was an 8 per cent decline. The two fastest growing source markets between 2015 and 2016 were Nepal (21 per cent increase), and China (13 per cent increase).

Table 33: Top five nationalities by provider type, 201677

 

 

Universities

For-profit

Not-for-profit

TAFE

Sector Total

China

43%

20%

59%

9%

38%

India

14%

27%

9%

23%

16%

Vietnam

4%

10%

4%

13%

6%

Nepal

5%

9%

2%

6%

5%

Pakistan

3%

12%

1%

6%

4%

Other

31%

22%

25%

43%

31%

The top three source markets for universities were China, India and Nepal. There are also significant differences in source market concentration within the university sector. Sixty-four per cent of student CoEs from the Go8 and 44 per cent from the Australian Technology Network (ATN) universities were from China in 2016 while 64 per cent of CoEs from the Regional Universities Network (RUN) universities were from India and Nepal.

Higher education overseas student revenue

Overseas students are an important source of revenue for Australian higher education providers.

Revenue earned from overseas higher education students totalled $7.0 billion in 2017 (2016: $5.99 billion) and accounted for 19 per cent of total sector revenue (2016: 17 per cent).

Figure 22: Higher education overseas student revenue ($), by provider type, 2014 – 2017

Figure 22. Bar charts illustrating higher education overseas student revenue ($), by provider type, 2014 – 2017, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities.

Table 34: Higher education overseas student revenue ($), by provider type, 2014 – 2017

 

 

2014
($’M)

2015
($’M)

2016
($’M)

2017
($’M)

%
Change
2016 to 2017

%
Change
2014 to 2017

Universities

4,341.1

4,747.7

5,336.5

6,261.4

17.3%

44.2%

For-profit

384.4

507.1

517.4

570.9

10.3%

48.5%

Not-for-profit

100.8

148.3

111.7

138.7

24.2%

37.6%

TAFE

17.9

21.7

21.4

28.0

30.8%

56.4%

Sector Total

4,844.2

5,424.8

5,987.0

6,999.0

16.9%

44.5%

Overseas student revenue was the sector’s fastest growing revenue source, growing by 45 per cent from 2014 to 2017 ($2.2 billion).

All provider types experienced significant growth in overseas student revenue in 2017, which grew by more than from any other source.

Universities accounted for most of the overseas student revenue generated from the sector. Universities generated $6.3 billion in overseas student revenue, an increase of 17.3 per cent from 2016. This represents 89 per cent of the sector’s overseas student revenue.

Revenue has been categorised into five broad sources (government grants and programs, higher education domestic students, higher education overseas students, non-higher education and other sources)78. The figure below illustrates the reliance on higher education overseas student revenue for the provider types, by considering the relative size of the overseas student revenue source, compared to the other sources.

Figure 23: Provider reliance on higher education overseas student revenue, by provider type, 2017

Figure 23. Bar chart illustrating provider reliance on higher education overseas student revenue, by provider type, 2017, broken up into TAFE, Not-for-Profit, For-Profit and Universities.

For-profit providers have a higher reliance on higher education overseas student revenue. In total, 48 per cent of for-profit providers reported higher education overseas student revenue as their largest revenue source while 20 per cent reported this revenue source as its second largest source of revenue.

Overseas student revenue is the third largest revenue source for the majority of Australian universities. Revenue from overseas students accounted for 21 per cent of universities total revenue.

Not-for-profit and TAFE providers have a lower reliance on overseas higher education student revenue.

Explanatory notes

TEQSA works closely with the Department of Education and Training to access data within the Department’s existing collections in order to minimise the reporting burden on providers. In 2016, TEQSA and the Department worked together to streamline the reporting of student, staff and financial PIR information to the Department through its Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS) and HELP IT System (HITS). TEQSA has reduced its annual reporting requirements under the PIR since 2012 and is continuing to work with the Department and other stakeholders to further reduce this burden while maintaining its capacity to effectively assure standards under a risk-based approach. Pending developments to the main national collections, TEQSA intends to share further information in the future and will continue to enhance content that is released, particularly as more complete time-series information across providers becomes available through the PIR. TEQSA is also working with stakeholders to share disaggregated PIR data and analysis to support the sector's benchmarking and quality improvement activities.

Further information about TEQSA's PIR

Financial Data

Figures stated in this report exclude capital and infrastructure grants (e.g. the Education Investment Fund program) and once-off or abnormal items. This may result in figures not being comparable with other stated sources and publications.

Following further data verification in agreement with affected providers, some prior years’ financial data has been adjusted to better reflect actual performance. These adjustments do not amend the total, but rather the categories of revenue source.

Legislation

As the national regulator, a key function of TEQSA is to disseminate information about higher education providers and their awards. This function is specified in section 134(1)(e) of the TEQSA Act, which notes that TEQSA may collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information relating to higher education providers, regulated higher education awards and for quality assurance practice and improvement in higher education.

Provider Exclusions and Inclusions

A small number of providers were not required to submit student, academic staff and/or finance data to the TEQSA PIR for reasons such as: the provider was either recently registered as a higher education provider (and did not yet have students and/or academic staff), in the process of merging with another entity (and did not have any students enrolled), in the final stages of teaching out courses (and withdrawing registration), or had its registration cancelled by TEQSA at the time of collecting 2016 data.  

A small number of providers’ academic staffing data is not included in the report as these staff deliver courses through third party arrangements (except for the University of Divinity, which reports third party staff data under HEIMS). Staffing data where academic status was classified as ‘unknown’ is also not included. 

Provider Type

In this report, providers have been grouped according to type. 

Student, staff and finance data is presented in the provider groupings 'universities', 'non-university for-profit’ (for-profit), ‘non-university not-for-profit’ (not-for-profit) and ‘technical and further education' (TAFE). 

Rounding

In this report, numbers have sometimes been rounded. Rounded figures and unrounded figures should not be assumed to be accurate to the last digit shown. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of component items and totals.

Sources

This report has been prepared from the following sources:

  • TEQSA's National Register
  • TEQSA's Provider Information Request
  • Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS), Department of Education and Training
  • HELP IT System (HITS), Department of Education and Training
  • Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS), Department of Education and Training
  • Finance Publication, Department of Education and Training.

The list below provides further information on the sources for student, staff and finance data, by provider type.

Student data

  • 'Universities' data is sourced from the Higher Education Statistics Collection, Department of Education and Training. If classifying using the HESA, this includes Table A, B, C providers
  • 'NUHEPs for-profit' and 'NUHEPs not-for-profit' data is sourced from the Higher Education Statistics Collection, Department of Education and Training and from the TEQSA PIR
  • 'TAFE' data is sourced from the Higher Education Statistics Collection, Department of Education and Training
  • Select data relating to the International section of the report is sourced from the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS), Department of Education and Training.

Staff data

  • 'Universities' data is sourced from the Higher Education Statistics Collection, the Department of Education and Training and TEQSA's PIR collection. If classifying using the HESA, Table A and B providers submit staff data to the Department of Education and Training, and Table C providers submit staff data to TEQSA
  • 'NUHEPs for-profit' and 'NUHEPs not-for-profit' staff data is sourced from TEQSA under its annual PIR collection, apart from data for two providers (Avondale College and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education), which are sourced from the Higher Education Statistics Collection, Department of Education and Training
  • ‘TAFE’ staff data is sourced from TEQSA under its annual PIR collection.

Finance data

  • Data in TEQSA’s 2017 collection year was sourced from the Department of Education and Training. Prior to 2016, financial data was sourced from TEQSA PIR collection and Department of Education and Training collections.

Timeliness

Information reported is the latest available nationally:

  • Provider data relates to providers registered with TEQSA in 2016. Where trend data is available, data relates to 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Student data relates to 2016. Where trend data is available, data relates to 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Academic Staff data relates to 2016. Where trend data is available, data relates to 2013, 2014 and 2015
  • Financial year relates to a provider's most recently available reporting year as at the time of the 2017 collection. The relevant reporting years in the collection include those ended 31 December 2016 to 30 June 2017. 

Variations in headcount data

On occasion, for headcount data, the PIR headline figure may vary slightly from the raw headcount due to:

  • Coding of additional student attributes in the data set
  • Students that may transfer citizenship categories throughout the year
  • Students that may be counted in multiple broad fields of education.

Glossary

The data definitions and scope for student, staff and finance data used in TEQSA's PIR have been guided by the data definitions, structures and scope established by the Department of Education and Training. For TEQSA's purposes, some definitions have been adjusted to provide flexibility in reporting that takes into account that the PIR extends to all private higher education providers. A glossary of data elements is available from the Department of Education and Training's HEIMS website.

PRISMS data used in the report was sourced from the CoE and Student Export report and filtered by CoE Creation Date 1/1/2016 to 31/12/2016.

Academic staff

The classification of staff as academic is used to identify members of staff who are:

  1. People for whom salaries are the subject of determinations which are made by the Industrial Relations Department or which are made by the Remuneration Tribunal in respect of “academic and related staff”, and including Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Principals and Deputy Principals.
  2. People of the type referred to in Section 12A(1) of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 (namely those appointed wholly or principally to undertake a teaching only function or a research only function or a teaching-and-research function in a higher education provider, or those appointed by a higher education provider to be responsible for such people), and who are funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council or other bodies.
  3. People employed on a contract basis to perform the function of teaching-only, research-only or teaching-and-research, or an “other” function, where the staff member is involved in the academic delivery of the courses, even though their remuneration is not subject to the determination of the Industrial Relations Department or the Remuneration Tribunal.

If a member of staff is not one of the three types referred to above, they are not classified as having an academic classification.

Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)

The AQF is the national policy for regulated qualifications in Australian education and training. Course levels in this report are defined according to the AQF.

More information on the AQF

Broad field of education (BFoE)

Fields of Education in this report are based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2011. It is a classification of courses, specialisations and units of study with the same or similar vocational emphasis or principal subject matter of the course, specialisation and unit of study.

More information

Commonwealth Grant Scheme

The Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) is where the Australian Government subsidises tuition costs for higher education students across a wide range of discipline areas and qualification levels. Since the beginning of 2012, public universities have been able to decide how many domestic students they enrol in bachelor level courses (excluding medicine) and receive funding for these ‘Commonwealth supported places’.

More information

Commonwealth supported place

A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is a subsidised higher education enrolment. CSPs are available at all public universities (and at a handful of private higher education providers in national priority areas like nursing and education). 
The Australian Government subsidises a CSP by paying part of the fees for the place directly to the university. The subsidy amount is not a loan and students do not have to pay the subsidy amount back. However, students are also required to contribute towards their study and they pay the remainder of the fee known as the ‘student contribution amount’ for each unit they are enrolled in. Universities set their own student contribution amounts (within limits set by the Australian Government). 
CSPs are only available to domestic students and most undergraduate students studying at university are enrolled in a CSP. There is no cap to the amount of study a student can undertake in a CSP. A student enrolled in a CSP is referred to as a Commonwealth supported student.

More information

Domestic student

A student who is one of the following:

  • an Australian citizen (including Australian citizens with dual citizenship)
  • a New Zealand citizen or a diplomatic or consular representative of New Zealand, a member of the staff of such a representative or the spouse or dependent relative of such a representative, excluding those with Australian citizenship (Note: includes any such persons who have Permanent Resident status)
  • a permanent humanitarian visa holder
  • a holder of a permanent visa other than a permanent humanitarian visa.

Dual-sector provider

Within the tertiary education sector, an institution that offers both vocational (skills-based) and higher (academic-based) education.

Equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL)

EFTSL is a measure of the study load for a year of a student undertaking a course of study on a full-¬time basis. Total EFTSL for a full-time student in a course in a given year will typically be 1.0. In some cases, a student may be undertaking a number of units in a given year above a full-time load. In these cases, the EFTSL may be above 1.0.

FEE-HELP

FEE-HELP is an Australian Government loan program to help eligible fee-paying students to pay their tuition fees.

For more information

Full-time equivalence (FTE)

FTE is a measure of the resources for a staff member in respect of their current duties, expressed as a proportion of a typical full-time staff member. A member of staff who has, at the determined reference date, a full-time work contract in respect of their current duties, a full-time equivalence of 1.00 at the reference date (FTE-RD). The FTE-RD for a member of staff who at the reference date has a fractional full-time (i.e. part time) work contract in respect of their current duties, is less than 1.00. The fraction represents the ratio between the number of agreed normal work hours for that person and the number of normal work hours that would be required of a member of staff having the same classification type and level as that person, but with a full-time work contract.

For further information, see:

HECS-HELP

HECS HELP is a loan scheme for eligible students enrolled in Commonwealth supported places to pay their student contribution amounts.

More information

Mode of attendance

The classification of the manner in which a student is undertaking a unit of study.

  • Internal: a unit of study at an onshore or offshore campus (includes classroom based)
  • External: a unit of study at an onshore or offshore campus (includes electronic-based, online and by correspondence)
  • Flexible: a unit of study is undertaken partially on an internal mode of attendance and partially on an external mode of attendance.

Offshore student EFTSL

The proportion of EFTSL attributable to students undertaking a program of study partially or wholly at an offshore campus of a registered Australian higher education provider.

Onshore student EFTSL

The proportion of EFTSL attributable to students undertaking a program of study conducted in Australia by a registered Australian higher education provider.

Overseas student

Any student who is not classified under the citizenship categories as a domestic student (see 'domestic student' definition), primarily overseas students studying in Australia or offshore, undertaking an Australian award.

Revenue sources

For this report, TEQSA has identified five broad revenue sources, and revenue is allocated into these categories:

  • Government grants and programs—revenue from Commonwealth, state or local government sources (excludes capital and infrastructure grants). This includes Commonwealth Grant Scheme, Commonwealth research grants, state and territory government grants.
  • Higher education, domestic students—revenue earned by the provider from the delivery of its own higher education courses to domestic students. This includes FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP and full paying student revenue.
  • Higher education, overseas students—revenue earned by the provider from the delivery of its own higher education courses to overseas students (onshore and offshore).
  • Non-higher education—revenue earned by the provider from the delivery of its own non-higher education courses (such as VET, English language intensive courses for overseas students [ELICOS] and non-award) to domestic students and overseas students.
  • Other sources—other revenue earned by the provider such as non-education related commercial activities, investment income, revenue earned from the delivery of another provider’s higher education courses (i.e. third party delivery), revenue received from donations and bequests made to the provider.

Self-accrediting authority

A higher education provider may be authorised to self-accredit a course of study, or courses of study, at one or more higher education award levels, and in one or more broad fields of study or discipline areas.

More information

Appendix 

Higher education at a glance infographic data

Registered providers

71 – NSW
45 – VIC
19 – WA
18 – SA
16 – QLD
3 – ACT
2 – TAS
2 – NT

Students

  • 1,046,259 EFTSL
  • 1,482,684 headcount
  • 71 per cent - domestic students
  • 29 per cent - overseas students

Academic staff

  • 65 per cent - full-time
  • 11 per cent - fractional full-time
  • 24 per cent - casual

Total revenue - 2017

$37.9 billion:

  • 41 per cent - government grants and programs (including Commonwealth Grants Scheme, Commonwealth research grant, state and territory government grants)
  • 22 per cent - higher education, domestic students (including FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP, full-fee paying student revenue)
  • 19 per cent - higher education, overseas students
  • 5 per cent - non-higher education (including VET, ELICOS, non-award)
  • 13 per cent - other sources (including donations, HE third-party delivery, commercial activities)

Proportion of students in provider type 

  • 91.0 per cent - universities
  • 0.4 per cent - TAFE
  • 5.6 per cent - for-profit
  • 3.0 per cent - not-for-profit

International sector profile

There were 139 CRICOS-registered providers in 2016

  • 56 – NSW
  • 34 – VIC
  • 13 – QLD
  • 14 – SA
  • 17 – WA
  • 1 – TAS
  • 1 – NT
  • 3 – ACT

Top five nationalities (%, headcount)

  • China – 38 per cent (111,603)
  • India – 16 per cent (47,505)
  • Vietnam – 6 per cent (16,116)
  • Nepal – 5 per cent (15,854)
  • Pakistan – 4 per cent (12,759)

Student enrolment by broad field of education (BFoE), 2016

  • Natural and Physical Sciences – 5 per cent 
  • Information Technology – 9 per cent 
  • Engineering and Related Technologies – 11 per cent 
  • Architecture and Building – 2 per cent 
  • Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies – 1 per cent 
  • Health – 7 per cent 
  • Education – 2 per cent 
  • Management and Commerce – 51 per cent 
  • Society and Culture – 7 per cent 
  • Creative Arts – 4 per cent 

Student EFTSL by aggregated course level

  • Undergraduate – 60 per cent (175,734)
  • Postgraduate – 40 per cent (117,080)

Notes

8. Source: TEQSA National Register; 2017 PIR; Higher Education Statistics Collection, Department of Education and Training. See Explanatory Notes for information on data sources.

9. State in which provider head office is registered.

10. See glossary for definition of 'self-accrediting authority'.

11. These figures relate to separately registered higher education providers. Figures are not aggregated where two or more registered providers are under one corporate structure.

12. Ten providers were not required to submit student data to the TEQSA PIR due to context such as: the provider was recently registered as a higher education provider; in the process of merging with another entity; in the final stages of teaching out courses (and withdrawing registration); or had its registration cancelled by TEQSA at the time of collecting 2016 data (i.e. in 2017).

13. See Glossary for definition of ‘dual sector’.

14. These figures relate to all registered higher education providers in all or part of 2016. Figures were not aggregated where a merger occurred.

15. See glossary for definition of 'CRICOS registration'.

16. TEQSA-accredited refers to courses that TEQSA accredits as the provider does not hold the authority to self-accredit those courses.

17. TEQSA-accredited courses are those that TEQSA accredits as the provider does not hold the authority to self-accredit those courses.

18. Source: 2014 PIR, 2015 PIR, 2016 PIR and 2017 PIR; Higher Education Statistics Collection, Department of Education and Training. See explanatory notes for information on data sources.

19. A small number of providers were not required to submit student data to the TEQSA PIR due to context such as: the provider was recently registered as a higher education provider; in the process of merging with another entity; in the final stages of teaching out courses (and withdrawing registration); or had its registration cancelled by TEQSA at the time of collecting 2016 data (i.e. in 2017).

20. See Explanatory Notes for information on provider type used in this report.

21. See glossary for definitions of 'domestic' and 'overseas'.

22. Excludes student citizenship classified as 'unknown' or 'unspecified'.

23. 'Undergraduate' includes Bachelor (Honours) students.

24. 'Other' refers to higher education providers’ non-award and enabling courses.

25. Data derived from the broad field of education of the course, rather than the broad field of education of the unit studied.

26. Excludes non-award and enabling courses.

27. Excludes non-award and enabling courses.

28. Excludes students with basis of admission classified as ‘professional qualification’ and 'unspecified'.

29. Total may vary from the sum of components due to coding of additional student attributes (where the student may be counted more than once).

30. See glossary for definition of 'mode of attendance'.

31. Excludes students with mode of attendance not specified.

32. See glossary for definitions of 'domestic' and 'overseas'.

33. Excludes student citizenship classified as 'unknown' or 'unspecified'.

34. See glossary for definitions of 'domestic' and 'overseas'.

35. Excludes student citizenship classified as 'unknown' or 'unspecified'.

36. 'Undergraduate' includes Bachelor (Honours) students.

37. 'Other' refers to higher education providers' non-award and enabling courses.

38. Data derived from the broad field of education of the course, rather than the broad field of education of the unit studied.

39. Excludes non-award and enabling courses.

40. Excludes non-award and enabling courses.

41. Excludes students with basis of admission classified as ‘professional qualification’ and 'unspecified'.

42. Total may vary from the sum of components due to coding of additional student attributes (where the student may be counted more than once).

43. See glossary for definition of ‘mode of attendance’.

44. Excludes students with mode of attendance not specified.

45. See glossary for definition of ‘mode of attendance’.

46. Excludes students with mode of attendance not specified.

47. 'Undergraduate' includes Bachelor (Honours) students.

48. Excludes ‘other courses’: postgraduate qualifying or preliminary programs, other undergraduate award courses, enabling courses, cross institutional programs (undergraduate), cross institutional programs (postgraduate), non-award courses, open learning undergraduate studies, open learning postgraduate studies, vocational graduate certificates, and vocational graduate diplomas.

49. Source: 2014 PIR, 2015 PIR, 2016 PIR and 2017 PIR; Higher Education Statistics Collection, Department of Education and Training. See explanatory notes for information on data sources.

50. 165 providers reported 2016 academic staff data.

51. Excludes staff with duties unspecified or duties classified as 'unknown'. Apart from the University of Divinity, data also excludes academic staff that teach higher education courses through a third party arrangement.

52. See explanatory notes for information on provider types used in this report.

53. Other’ staff refers to staff with functions other than a teaching only function, a research only function, or a teaching‑and‑research function.

54. Data in TEQSA’s 2017 collection year was sourced from the Department of Education and Training. Prior to 2016, financial data was sourced from TEQSA PIR collection and Department of Education and Training collections.

55. Financial year relates to a provider's most recently available reporting year as at the time of the 2017 collection. The relevant reporting years in the collection include those ended 31 December 2016 to 30 June 2017.

56. Figures stated in this report excludes capital and infrastructure grants (e.g. the Education Investment Fund program) and once-off or abnormal items.

57. Only includes students with a citizenship classified as ‘overseas’.

58. Only includes students with a citizenship classified as ‘overseas’.

59. Students coded as in the 2017 PIR as studying units 'partially offshore' have been included in the 'offshore’ category.

60. See glossary for definitions of 'onshore' and 'offshore'.

61. Data derived from the broad field of education of the course, rather than the broad field of education of the unit studied.

62. Excludes non-award and enabling courses.

63. Students coded as in the 2017 PIR as studying units 'partially offshore' have been included in the 'offshore’ category.

64. See glossary for definitions of 'onshore' and 'offshore'.

65. Only includes students with a citizenship classified as ‘overseas’.

66. State in which provider head office is registered.

67. Data derived from the broad field of education of the course, rather than the broad field of education of the unit studied.

68. Excludes non-award and enabling courses.

69. Only includes students with a citizenship classified as ‘overseas’.

70. Excludes non-award and enabling courses.

71. Data derived from the broad field of education of the course, rather than the broad field of education of the unit studied.

72. Excludes non-award and enabling courses.

73. Only includes students with a citizenship classified as ‘overseas’.

74. Undergrad includes Bachelor (Honours) students.

75. 'Other' refers to a higher education providers' non-award and enabling courses.

76. Confirmation of enrolment records created between 1/1/2016 and 31/12/2016 for higher education AQF award courses only.

77. Confirmation of enrolment records created between 1/1/2016 and 31/12/2016 for higher education AQF award courses only.

78. See glossary for full definition of ‘revenue sources’.