Regional Students

  • There is a significant differential in higher education attainment between city and regional Australians. The 2016 Census revealed that 49% of people aged 15 years and over living in greater capital city areas held a bachelor degree or above qualification compared with 30% living outside of the greater capital cities.

    In 2017, almost 45% of people aged 25-34 years in major cities held bachelor degree or above qualifications, while the proportion for those people living in inner and outer regional areas was 20.5% and 20.6% respectively.

    The proportion of people with Bachelor degrees or above grew strongly across Australia between 2010 and 2017.  The proportion of people in major cities aged 25-34 years with a bachelor degree or higher rose by 5 percentage points during this period.  Among residents of inner regional communities the proportion rose by almost 2% - the increase was greater for residents of outer regional and remote communities but fluctuated significantly between years. 
  • Students who go to university in regional areas tend to remain in regional areas after graduation, providing a ready supply of professionals to fill critical regional skill needs. Between 2013 and 2016, 69 per cent of employed undergraduate and 55 per cent of employed postgraduate level graduates from RUN member universities ended up working in regional areas upon graduation.

    By comparison, only 23 per cent of employed graduates – either undergraduate or postgraduate level – from non-RUN universities worked in regional Australia. This demonstrates the significant role RUN universities play in supplying skilled employees to regional Australia.
  • Students who leave regional areas to study in an urban institution are unlikely to return.
  • Regional institutions … do the heavy lifting in attracting students from regional and remote backgrounds to higher education and graduating them, notwithstanding an increasing flow of regional and remote students to metropolitan universities.

    53% of domestic undergraduate students enrolled at RUN universities are from regional or remote backgrounds, compared with around 22% across Australia’s public universities.
  • Across all equity cohorts, RUN universities have a higher percentage of enrolments compared to metropolitan universities. Students from equity groups face a number of structural challenges in accessing, participating and completing higher education, including geographical location, financial constraints, emotional factors and sociocultural incongruity. These structural and other compounding factors present a significant challenge to the success and completion of RUN cohorts and, in particular, RUN equity group students.

    RUN universities have been highly successful in mitigating multiple disadvantage at policy and practice levels. The majority of RUN students successfully graduate from bachelor degrees and achieve comparable completion patterns of equity group students and non-equity RUN students, who face some of the same structural challenges. Notably, high levels of student satisfaction with the quality of teaching and learning and student support are achieved by RUN universities.
  • Many regional universities are major providers of distance education, enabling regional students to access higher education while remaining in their communities.
Fact or research finding Reference
Regional students

There is a significant differential in higher education attainment between city and regional Australians. The 2016 Census revealed that 49% of people aged 15 years and over living in greater capital city areas held a bachelor degree or above qualification compared with 30% living outside of the greater capital cities.

In 2017, almost 45% of people aged 25-34 years in major cities held bachelor degree or above qualifications, while the proportion for those people living in inner and outer regional areas was 20.5% and 20.6% respectively.

The proportion of people with Bachelor degrees or above grew strongly across Australia between 2010 and 2017.  The proportion of people in major cities aged 25-34 years with a bachelor degree or higher rose by 5 percentage points during this period.  Among residents of inner regional communities the proportion rose by almost 2% - the increase was greater for residents of outer regional and remote communities but fluctuated significantly between years.

ABS 2016 Census data Summary.  Educational qualifications in Australia.  Released March 2018.

 

ABS (2017) Education and Work, May 2017.  Highest non-school qualification. Cat no. 6227.0 Data cube table 27

 

Ditto.

Students who go to university in regional areas tend to remain in regional areas after graduation, providing a ready supply of professionals to fill critical regional skill needs. Between 2013 and 2016, 69 per cent of employed undergraduate and 55 per cent of employed postgraduate level graduates from RUN member universities ended up working in regional areas upon graduation.

By comparison, only 23 per cent of employed graduates – either undergraduate or postgraduate level – from non-RUN universities worked in regional Australia. This demonstrates the significant role RUN universities play in supplying skilled employees to regional Australia.
Nous (2018) Jobs and productivity effects of the Regional Universities Network, page 3
Published on RUN website.
Students who leave regional areas to study in an urban institution are unlikely to return
  • 74% of regional students remain in cities after graduation
Hillman and Rothman (2007) referenced in ACER (2011)

Regional institutions … do the heavy lifting in attracting students from regional and remote backgrounds to higher education and graduating them, notwithstanding an increasing flow of regional and remote students to metropolitan universities.
 

 

 

 

 

53% of domestic undergraduate students enrolled at RUN universities are from regional or remote backgrounds, compared with around 22% across Australia’s public universities.

Building Legacy and Capacity Workshop Two:  Higher education participation and completion of regional and remote students, page 3  https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/WS2_-Summary-and-Reccs_FINAL.pdf

 

DET (2017) Selected Higher Education Student Statistics, 2016

Across all equity cohorts, RUN universities have a higher percentage of enrolments compared to metropolitan universities. Students from equity groups face a number of structural challenges in accessing, participating and completing higher education, including geographical location, financial constraints, emotional factors and sociocultural incongruity. These structural and other compounding factors present a significant challenge to the success and completion of RUN cohorts and, in particular, RUN equity group students.

RUN universities have been highly successful in mitigating multiple disadvantage at policy and practice levels. The majority of RUN students successfully graduate from bachelor degrees and achieve comparable completion patterns of equity group students and non-equity RUN students, who face some of the same structural challenges. Notably, high levels of student satisfaction with the quality of teaching and learning and student support are achieved by RUN universities.

Understanding the Completion Patterns of Equity Students in Regional Universities (2017) Karen Nelson, et al


Extracted from

Building Legacy and Capacity Workshop Two:  Higher education participation and completion of regional and remote students, page 10  https://www.ncsehe.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/WS2_-Summary-and-Reccs_FINAL.pdf

Many regional universities are major providers of distance education, enabling regional students to access higher education while remaining in their communities. 
In 2016, RUN universities enrolled almost 55,500 students on an external basis, and almost more than 14,200 on a multi-modal basis.

DET (2017) Selected Higher Education Student Statistics 2016