More equity students in study – just not all groups or everywhere

University enrolments from most equity groups outperformed the overall UG increase in 2014-19. But remote and regional numbers were below average and NESB numbers declined 

The figures are from a new analysis by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education at Curtin U.

Overall UG enrolments at public and private higher education providers rose from 706 000 to 765 000 (8.4 per cent) in ’14-’19.

The big improving groups were students with a disability (44 per cent), Indigenous students (36 per cent) and low SES (16 per cent).

However, NESB students actually declined from 25 100 in 2014 to 24 400 in 2019.

And the growth rate for remote (4.4 per cent) and regionals (3.5 per cent) were well below the overall figure.

The proportion of all students who are classified as remote or regional went backwards in some university groups, notably the Regional Universities Network, where it declined across the five years reported, from 52.4 per cent in 2014 to 47.5 per cent in 2019.  The NCSEHE suggests this might be due to RUN members establishing metro campuses.