Targets for Low SES Participation in Australian Higher Education

Written by NCSEHE’s Paul Koshy



This paper examines the measurement of the socio-economic status of Australian higher education students in relation to the Rudd/Gillard Government’s establishment of enrolment targets for higher education providers in regard to students from low socio-economic status (“low SES”) backgrounds. In particular, it discusses area measures of socio-economic status – where a student’s status is determined by the postcode or collection district of the student’s permanent residence. In doing so, the paper outlines issues with the relevance of current area measures which use a national benchmark, particularly in the context of geographical constraints on the draw-pool of Australian higher education providers, where students attend institutions in their own state or territory. The paper introduces a new area measure which uses the individual state or territory as a reference point, as opposed to the current national reference point. This is assessed in relation to existing area measures and the recently announced funding policy by the Gillard Government.

Read more: Targets for Low SES Participation in Australian Higher Education

Koshy, P. (2011), “Targets for Low SES Participation in Australian Higher Education: Geographical Measures and State Boundaries” in The Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, Volume 17, No. 2, pp 45 – 62.

Posted 18 September 2013 By ncsehe