Submission on Redevelopment and Audit of the Higher Education Data Collection

by Andrew Norton and Ittima Cherastidtham


The federal Department of Education and Training is looking to improve the quality and relevance of higher education student statistics. In this submission to the department’s discussion paper, Grattan Institute’s Higher Education Program Director Andrew Norton and Fellow Ittima Cherastidtham call on the Government to establish a universal identifier for post-secondary students. Currently, there is no accurate way to track students across vocational and higher education sectors. With students increasingly moving between sectors, understanding the transitions would help both sectors and the Government to improve student pathways. Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) data collection should also be made more consistent and universal. At present, different universities adopt different practices regarding ATAR data. The department should require them to report ATAR data consistently, regardless of how students were admitted.