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Thursday, 21 September 1972
Page: 1109

Senator HANNAN - I direct a question to the Minister for Works in his capacity as Minister representing the Minister for Education and Science. In view of the wildly erroneous statements made by Labor leaders on the question of education, can he tell the Senate to what extent the percentage of youth population having access to universities has grown in the last decade under this Government?

Senator WRIGHT - We in the Senate would be well aware that year by year over the last decade the percentage of the youth population attending school has increased remarkably; that is to say, the number of students at school in their later years from the age of 15 to 18 has not only increased in absolute terms but also has increased in terms of a proportion of the youth population. Ten years ago the figure was 26 per cent and last year it was 43 per cent. In addition to that it should be noted that the proportion of the students remaining to matriculation level, which is the level qualifying a student for entrance to a university - I give the figures in respect of government schools only - increased from 13 per cent 10 years ago to 26 per cent last year. That shows the increasing load on universities to provide for the youth of Australia who now qualify for entrance to universities.

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