Bachelor student numbers fall by 12% in less than a decade

The number of Australians enrolled in bachelor degrees has fallen 12% in less than a decade, as experts warn the cost of living crisis may be affecting decisions, and ambitious targets to ramp up university enrolments will not be met, writes Caitlin Cassidy for The Guardian Australia.

Some 815,700 people were enrolled in bachelor degrees in 2022, compared with 934,700 in 2016. Conversely, the number of people enrolled in postgraduate degrees increased over the same time period. In 2022, 311,500 were enrolled in a postgraduate degrees, compared with 269,600 in 2016. Enrolments in graduate diplomas and certificates also experienced a minor increase from 2016 (83,300 compared with 85,700 in 2022).

Andrew Norton, a professor in higher education policy at Australian National University, said the number of domestic Australian students enrolling was likely to be lower, as ABS data included international students, who rebounded this year after a COVID slump. He said current rates had Australia “well short” of the 55% attainment rate by 2050.
Full report on The Guardian Australia site