A report released this week by the Australian government
shows that the demand driven enrollment system bolstered domestic university attendance
. The now discontinued system helped raise enrollment numbers from approximately 600,000 in 2010 to more than 750,000 in 2017. Under the system, more students from weaker socio-economic backgrounds had the chance to be admitted to universities and colleges, as schools could access more funding no matter how many students enrolled, lowering competition for spots that typically excludes the less affluent.
The report also details that the so called “additional students” entered university with lower reading and writing proficiencies. 65 percent were the first in their family to attend university, compared to 45 percent of “regular students” who would have been admitted with or without the system in place. As a result, 21 percent of additional students dropped out by age 23, compared to 12 percent of regular students. If they did graduate, 75 percent out of both student groups were employed full-time by age 25. While there were hopes for more indigenous students to attend university under the program, their enrollment numbers were only slightly higher at 1.6 percent under the program, compared to 1,2 percent overall (2016).
The current Coalition government had announced a two-year freeze on the system after 2017. Labor had said that it would revamp the program prior to its loss in the national elections this May.