The government will be pleased with new stats showing Commonwealth supported student starts staying stable in first half 2017 over ‘16, down 0.3 per cent. This continues a trend starting in 2015 which appears to indicate the demand driven system had peaked. If so it will make it easier for ministers to argue that the coming cap on undergraduate places at this year’s level will not generate unmet demand.
Overall growth in higher education enrolments is being driven by international students. While total domestic student numbers in the first half of last year were up 1.2 per cent on 2016 comparable international student growth was 10.5 per cent.