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New statistics show increase in number of university students.



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New statistics show increase in number of university students

12 September 2006

Student numbers at Australian universities reached a record high in 2005, according to statistics released today by the Minister for Education, Science and Training, the Hon Julie Bishop MP.

The figures, from the Selected Higher Education Statistics Students 2005 report, show a total of 957,176 university students in 2005. This equates to a 1.3 % increase from 2004 and includes an increase of around 7,000 commencing domestic students (up 2.7%).

“Australia has a world-class education system that has attracted increasing numbers of both international and Australian students,” Minister Bishop said.

“The increase in students demonstrates the high priority placed on an Australian university education by Australians and students from numerous other countries.”

A total of 239,495 overseas students enrolled to study at an Australian institution onshore and offshore in 2005 - an increase of 4.8% from 2004. This indicates overseas students continue to view Australian universities as offering a first-class educational experience.

Approximately 10,000 additional domestic students commenced an undergraduate course in 2005, with around 5600 of these students commencing in the fields of Health and Education.

Commencements in the National Priority Areas of Nursing and Teaching rose 15.8% and 7.2% respectively between 2004 and 2005, and there was a 9.2% increase in new students studying courses that lead to registration as a medical practitioner.

“Since 2004, the Australian Government has created more than 18,000 new places and unmet student demand has fallen by more than 60% - its lowest level for decades. This demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to increasing participation in

post-school education for all Australians,” Minister Bishop said.

The figures also show that an increasing number of private higher education providers are contributing to student choice. When combined with enrolments at public universities, approximately 4.3% of domestic bachelor students are fee-paying with around 35% of these students taking up the opportunity of accessing Australian Government support through FEE-HELP. This is an increase of around 2,500 students enrolled in fee-paying bachelor degrees compared with 2004.

The Australian Government will create more than 39,000 new Commonwealth supported places through the 10 year, $11 billion Backing Australia’s Future reforms to higher education.

The Selected Higher Education Statistics Students 2005 report is available from http://www.dest.gov.au/highered/statpubs.htm

Media Contacts: Minister Bishop’s Office: Murray Hansen 0417 886 155 Dept of Education, Science & Training: Media Unit (02) 6240 7300 Non-media inquiries: 1300 363 079

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