Share of population with a university degree in Australia 1989-2020

Over the past 20 years, the share of the Australian population that hold a degree at a bachelor level or above has more than tripled, reaching 39 percent in 2020. In Australia, the tertiary education sector comprises of both public and private institutions. The student body is comprised of both domestic and international students.

University graduate employment

Domestic students make up most of the graduates within Australia. Over half of the university graduates employed in the country were working in professional occupations in 2018. University graduates from pharmacy, rehabilitation and medicine study programs had the highest employment rate compared to all other fields. Dentistry graduates earned the highest median full-time salary of recent university graduates in the country.

International study landscape

International students are a rapidly growing segment of Australia’s tertiary education sector. The export income from international student activities amounted to over 20 billion Australian dollars in 2017. Chinese students accounted for the largest share of international student enrolments in the same period. Students completing their studies at Australian universities are attracted to the prestige of obtaining a degree at some of the best universities in the world. On top of that, graduates have the opportunity to enter the Australian labor market and to apply for a permanent visa in the country.

Share of population who hold a bachelor level degree or above in Australia from 1989 to 2020

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Release date

November 2020



Survey time period

1989 to 2020

Age group

15 to 74 years

Special properties

as of May

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Statistics on "Higher education in Australia"

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