News & Events

Regional brain drain worsens

An Australian-first study has revealed regional students across every state and territory are turning to metropolitan universities at an unprecedented rate.

The new study, funded by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) at Curtin University, and led by La Trobe University researchers, Dr Buly Cardak and Matt Brett and Dr Mark Bowden of Swinburne University, shows the number of regional students across Australia moving to a city location to study increased by more than 76 per cent between 2008 and 2014.

Regional Student Participation and Migration: Analysis of factors influencing regional student participation and internal migration in Australian higher education

Associate Professor Buly Cardak, Mr Matthew Brett, Dr Paul Barry and Mr Richard McAllister (La Trobe University)
Dr Mark Bowden and Mr John Bahtsevanoglou (Swinburne University of Technology)
Dr Joseph Vecci (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

Executive Summary

This research study examines regional student participation and migration by use of novel data sources and analytic techniques. The data and techniques utilised within the study provide insights that are relevant to contemporary higher education policy challenges and reform processes.

This study builds our knowledge of regional student participation and mobility through quantitative analysis of:

  • factors associated with regional youth progression through school and into higher education, using data from the Longitudinal Survey of Australian Youth (LSAY)
  • factors associated with the migration of students with a commencing regional home address to major cities and other regional areas, using customised administrative data obtained from the Department of Education and Training, with particular emphasis on the impact of demand driven funding on patterns of student migration.

Through analysis of the 2006 Cohort of the LSAY we find that regional and remote students are on average:

  • 10.0 per cent less likely to have plans to attend university than metropolitan students, after controlling for socioeconomic status (SES)
  • 7.0 per cent less likely to complete high school than their metropolitan counterparts after controlling for SES
  • 4.7 per cent less likely to attend university than their metropolitan counterparts after controlling for Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank (ENTER)
  • 5.8 per cent less likely than metropolitan students to graduate from university.

Read more here.

Media release

Posted 27 February 2017 Posted in General, Regional, rural and remote