14 August 2019

The rewards of vocational education need to be better known

Prime Minister Scott Morrison may have declared that ‘TAFE is as good as university’, but Australia is a long way from having policies that support students equitably across the tertiary education system.

12 August 2019

Uni versus TAFE: the gender divide

Students with lower ATARs generally have lower lifetime earnings. But men with lower ATARs could earn more doing a vocational education course than a bachelor degree in their chosen field.

17 June 2019

More students are going to uni than before, but those at risk of dropping out need more help

Practical measures are needed to preserve the benefits of expanded access to higher education, while reducing its costs and risks. They are worth doing whether we keep current government controls on enrolment expansion or go back to the demand-driven system.

11 January 2019

Graduate employment is up, but finding a job can still take a while

Four years on from the worst new graduate employment outcomes ever, the 2018 statistics released today show cause for optimism. Although full-time employment rates remain well down on a decade ago, they are improving.

12 December 2018

Three things high school graduates should keep in mind when they have their ATAR

School leavers across Australia are getting their ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank), and in coming weeks will get a chance to update their university course preferences. Here are three things they should keep in mind when finalising their preferences.

16 November 2018

Vocational education can solve oversupply of graduates

In many wealthy countries, including Australia, 40% of young adults are likely to achieve a bachelor degree or above. But policy-makers and others wonder whether we might have too much of a good thing.

27 September 2018

A lower graduate premium is no cause for alarm

Australia escaped the worst of the great recession that hit the UK and the US. But over the past decade, new graduates have still found it much more difficult to find work than they did before 2009. New analysis of census data shows that for some graduates, employment problems stretch into their early career years.

16 September 2018

Good news and bad news for the women of Australia

The good news for the women of Australia is that the gender pay gap is narrowing. The bad news is that the gap between what men and women earn – per hour and over a career – is still there and it’s still big.

14 May 2018

To avoid uni drop outs, vocational ed needs a boost

For universities, budget week brought bigger news from the opposition than the government. Bill Shorten committed Labor to restoring the demand-driven funding system. If Labor wins the next election, public universities could again enrol unlimited numbers of domestic bachelor degree students.

4 January 2018

Demand for cuts deals death blow to Australia’s demand-driven system

Australia’s experiment with demand-driven university funding is over, with government cash frozen for two years from 1 January. Increased funding from 2020 will be distributed by the government without reference to student demand. The demand-driven system was not a failed experiment. But it was a costly one, as it funded universities for unlimited numbers of bachelor’s degree students.