Future Demand for Higher Education in Australia

7 Mar 2014
demand driven

The Group of Eight (Go8) has released detailed projections of future demand for higher education in Australia, based on the latest population projections by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This work updates earlier Go8 projections published in 2010.

Two main projection methodologies are used. The more conservative approach calculates the current domestic higher education participation rate and applies this to the population projections for 2020 and 2030. The alternative method is based on the ABS Survey of Education and Work, which takes into account a larger range of provider types as well as international students who remain in Australia for more than 12 months. Together they provide a number of possible growth scenarios across the coming decades.

According to the most likely scenario, it is anticipated that student numbers will grow by around 344,000 to 2020 and 563,000 by 2030 (relative to 2012). This will have significant implications for staffing and service provision, as well as for the Commonwealth Budget. Australia needs to consider how best to meet the needs of these additional students, as well as address how best to match higher education training to the needs of the Australian workforce.