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Which states are leading in Australian higher education?

16 May 2014, by Informa Insights

HEEducated individuals are key to the prosperity of the economy, both at the state and national levels. It can therefore be worthwhile looking at measures such as the rate of higher level qualification attainment as a benchmark of a country’s education levels.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) looked at this measure in particular and identified the hotspots around Australia generating the most tertiary-level educated individuals. The ABS revealed that regions in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney boast some of the country’s biggest rises in the rate of attainment of higher level qualifications.

According to the ABS, Brisbane – North had the largest increase in the rate of attainment among those aged between 20 and 64 between 2001 and 2011. The rate in this region increased over the decade from 38 per cent to 53 per cent, totalling 24,300 more qualified individuals.

Lisa Conolly, director of rural and regional statistics at the ABS, outlined some of the potential reasons behind the surge in qualifications in the region.

“Brisbane – North has a very mobile population, with almost a third of its residents moving there in the last five years. The people who moved there tended to be younger and more likely to have a qualification, and this contributed to the increase,” she explained.

The City and Inner South areas of Sydney also demonstrated substantial increases in higher level qualification attainment rate, largely due to above average numbers of overseas immigrants since 2002. Ms Conolly explained that a larger proportion of those who had arrived from overseas possessed this level of qualification than the Australian average, suggesting that “overseas migration was a driver of the increase in attainment in this region”.

Looking at the nation as a whole, attainment rates grew in all regions across the country, potentially signifying a bright future for higher education in Australia.


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