Rise in educational qualifications: Australia

New analysis, bringing together almost 20 years of information from various Australian Bureau of Statistics collections, reveals significant increases in educational qualifications among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The analysis includes findings from the 2018-19 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) which showed that nearly three in five (57 per cent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 20 had a year 12 or certificate III level or above qualification.

This was up from two in five people (39 per cent) reported in the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey.

Tony Grubb, Director of the ABS Centre of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics (CoATSIS), said 2018-19 NATSIHS findings showed that in the 20 to 24-year-old age bracket, more than three-fifths (62 per cent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had a year 12 or certificate III level or above qualification.

“This increased to more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in major cities,” he said.

“Census data also showed the number of people with postgraduate degree level qualifications in the 2016 Census (3,708 people) was more than five times higher than in the 2001 Census (682 people).

“Over the same period, graduate diploma and graduate certificate level qualifications more than tripled, bachelor degrees tripled and advanced diploma and diploma level and certificate level qualifications almost quadrupled.”

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