Expanding the sector : growth targets and student numbers.

Daniel Edwards, ACER

Abstract

The policy for expansion of the higher education system in Australia (the foundation of which is a target of 40 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds in Australia holding a bachelor degree or above by 2025) was announced by then Minister for Education Julia Gillard in early 2009. In the two years since this announcement, only a few detailed analyses have been undertaken to identify the actual commencement and completion numbers needed to meet this target. This briefing outlines the findings of this work and matches these to budget forecasting undertaken by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). The briefing covers the following areas: revisiting the numbers — how many to make it to 40 per cent? Expansion estimates including DEEWR forecasting, forecasting growth for Australia and growth estimates built for the Victorian Tertiary Education Plan; matching DEEWR forecasts with required growth estimates; and conclusions and questions for future expansion. [Author abstract]