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Article Title

Deferring a university offer in rural Australia

Abstract

Atrend of increasing regional disadvantage is suggested in the pattern of rising rates of deferral of university places amongst rural schoolcompleters in Australia. Cost-related factors and financial barriers are prominent in the reasons given by these young people for deferring a place at university. These trends formed the impetus for a study of the destinations of rural school-completers in the Australian state of Victoria, the findings of which are reported in this article. The issue of theoretical and practical interest that this article examines is whether this phenomenon of deferral constitutes a disadvantage for these young people. Are these deferrers ‘lost’ to the system? Do they eventually take up their places? Are some groups less likely to take them up than others? What happens to the rest? Of particular interest is the question regarding what barriers might prevent some groups from taking up their place. And finally, what is the experience of those who enter university? Do they continue and thrive in their studies? This article considers these questions in the context of data outlining the destinations of non-metropolitan deferrers in their second year out of school.

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