Post-school (or tertiary) education can lead to qualifications through the vocational education and training (VET) sector, primarily at the certificate I to advanced diploma level (although some VET providers now offer degree courses) or the university (higher education) sector, which offers mainly bachelor degree and higher qualifications.
The number of university enrolments increased strongly over the decade to 2014 (up by 43%), well above the growth in VET enrolments (13%).
Over the two years to 2014, VET enrolments fell by 7%, while university enrolments continued to rise (up by 10%). There are, though, significantly larger numbers of students enrolled in the VET sector than in universities (1.8 million, compared with 1.0 million).
More young people are undertaking post-school education
The number of young people undertaking tertiary study has increased over the past 10 years, with markedly stronger growth in university enrolments (up by 50%) than in VET (16%).
- In 2014, there were 727,800 people younger than 25 years enrolled in VET and 625,700 enrolled at university.
- Young people comprise a larger share of university enrolments (61%), than they do for VET (41%).
Female enrolments are rising strongly
Female participation in tertiary study has risen in both the university and VET sectors.
Over the 10 years to 2014, female university enrolments rose more strongly than those for males (up by 46% compared with 39%).
Females enrolled in VET courses increased by 14% over the 10 years to 2014. There was 13% growth in male enrolments. There are, though, more males enrolled (914,800 compared with 837,900 females).
University student enrolments, by gender (‘000)
VET enrolments, by gender (‘000)
Sources: Department of Education and Training, Higher Education Statistics; GCA, Graduate Salaries; NCVER, Government-Funded Student Outcomes; NCVER, Government-Funded Students and Courses