Joining the Dots (JTD)

Back to the future : re-exploring SES among university students.

Daniel Edwards, ACER
Eva van der Brugge, ACER


This Joining the Dots (JTD) Research Briefing explores the use of a measure of socioeconomic status (SES) that is based on university students' prior residential address rather than their address once attending university. It is hypothesised that prior address offers a more accurate indication of the SES background of higher education students, given that many of this cohort move house to attend university, and that the SES of their residential area once enrolled at university may not reflect their original SES background. This exploratory study aims to investigate the extent to which a measure based on previous address changes the SES distribution of the student body. Furthermore, it tracks whether SES of this population changed between 2006 and 2011 based on this new measure, a period in which there was substantial growth in university enrolments. [Author abstract]