Australia: Private school students more likely to attend university
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Australia: Private school students more likely to attend university

Australian private secondary school students are more likely to continue on to university, compared to their peers in Catholic and government schools, according to a new report on New South Wales students’ post-graduation plans.

Researchers at the Australian National University found private secondary school graduates are 24 percent more likely to head to university in 2016 than those in government schools. They are also 15 percent more likely to continue to university than Catholic school students, according to the study reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

The results show the biggest gap between independent, Catholic and government school students who go on to higher education in recent years. Researchers attribute this to the falling university enrolment rate among Catholic students (from 62.5 percent in 2015 to 53.9 percent in 2016), while more of their private school counterparts head to university (64.3 per cent to 68.7 per cent).

In comparison, nearly the same number of independent and Catholic secondary school graduates went to university in 2015.

In total, the study shows a growing rate of both male and female Year 12 students who are going to work instead of pursuing further study or training, with 22 percent going into part-time or full-time jobs. This is an increase of nearly five percent from 2015.

The total number of those pursuing a bachelor’s degree, vocational course, apprenticeship or traineeship dropped five percent from the previous year.

Where students reside and what they speak made a difference to their post-secondary school plans, too.

Those who spoke other languages in addition to English were 20 percent more likely to go on to university compared to their peers who spoke only English.

Students who graduate from a high school in the capital are nearly twice as likely to go to university than students in the rest of NSW.

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