The Australian Centre for Student Equity and Success acknowledges Indigenous peoples as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our campuses are situated. With a history spanning 60,000 years as the original educators, Indigenous peoples hold a unique place in Australia. We recognise the importance of their knowledge and culture, and reflect the principles of participation, equity, and cultural respect in our work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future, and consider it an honour to learn from our Indigenous colleagues, partners, and friends.

You are reading: Briefing Note: Student Equity Performance in Australian Higher Education: 2007 to 2012

Briefing Note written by Paul Koshy, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE).


This NCSEHE Briefing Note reports on recent trends in student enrolment in Australian higher education in key equity groups. Specifically, it reports on the number of domestic undergraduates between 2007 and 2012 in the 38 ‘Table A providers’ in Australian higher education and enrolments in six equity groups:

  • Low Socio-Economic Status (‘low SES’) students
  • Indigenous Students
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Regional Students
  • Remote Students, and
  • Non-English Speaking Background (NESB) students (also referred to as students from ‘culturally and linguistically diverse’ backgrounds or ‘CALD students’).

In each equity group, results are reported for the national system in total, by institutional groupings, by state and territory, and by regional or metropolitan status, for each year. All reporting is for domestic undergraduates in each given year. The institutional groupings used are as follows:

  • The Group of Eight: Australian National University (ANU), Melbourne, Monash, Sydney, New South Wales (UNSW), Queensland (UQ), Western Australia (UWA), and Adelaide
  • The Australian Technology Network (ATN): Curtin University, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), RMIT University (RMIT), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and University of South Australia (UniSA)
  • The Innovative Research Universities (IRU): Murdoch, Flinders, Griffith, James Cook (JCU), Newcastle, La Trobe, and Charles Darwin University (CDU)
  • Regional Universities Network: Southern Cross, New England (UNE), Federation, Sunshine Coast (SCU), Central Queensland (CQU), and Southern Queensland (USQ), and
  • The Unaligned Universities: Other Table A providers) – Macquarie, Wollongong, Deakin, Charles Sturt (CSU), Tasmania, Australian Catholic University (ACU), Canberra, Edith Cowan University (ECU), Swinburne, Victoria, Western Sydney (UWS) and The Batchelor Institute (Batchelor).

In addition, an analysis is also reported for a regional grouping of universities from the above list:

  • Regionally Headquartered: Institutions with a major regional – CSU, Southern Cross, UNE, Federation, CQU, JCU, USQ, Tasmania, CDU, and Batchelor
  • Metropolitan Institutions with Regional Campuses: Institutions with one or more regional campus – Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, Deakin, La Trobe, Monash, RMIT, Melbourne, QUT, UQ, SCU, Curtin, ECU, Murdoch, UWA, Flinders, Adelaide, UniSA, and ACU, and
  • No Regional Campuses: Metropolitan Institutions with no regional campus: ANU, Sydney, UNSW, Griffith, Macquarie, Canberra, Swinburne, Victoria and UWS.

All student data reported or derived for the purposes of this document are sourced from Students: Selected Higher Education Statistics 2012 (Appendix 2: Equity Data), originally sourced from the then Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE 2013a).

Read the full Briefing Note: Student Equity Performance in Australian Higher Education-2007 to 2012

Koshy, P. (2014). Student Equity Performance in Australian Higher Education: 2007 to 2012. National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), Perth: Curtin University.