29/05/2015 - 14:17

Uni applications down 25% in WA

29/05/2015 - 14:17

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The number of applications for university places this year has fallen by 25.4 per cent in Western Australia, as a result of the change 12 years ago in the school starting age.

Uni applications down 25% in WA
Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

The number of applications for university places this year has fallen by 25.4 per cent in Western Australia, as a result of the change 12 years ago in the school starting age.

By contrast, applications in the rest of Australia were down just 0.2 per cent.

In WA, there were about 8,500 university applications by year 12 students this year, about 30.5 per cent less than last year, and a further 4,925 applications by other people, down 14.5 per cent.

In 2003, the state government changed the starting age for school children by a half year.

Until 2003, children began year 1 at the beginning of the calendar year when they turned six, but from 2003, children began year 1 if they turned six between July 1 of the previous year and 30 June of the year they started school.

The cohort has been working its way through the school system, reaching year 12 in 2014.

However, while the cohort distortion can explain the decrease in applications by year 12 students, it can’t explain why the number of non-year 12 students enrolling in tertiary education fell by 14.5 per cent in WA.

Excluding WA, the national rate of applications by year 12 students was 1.3 per cent higher.

“There are now, more than ever before, more and more Australians seeking to enrich their lives by pursuing a university education,” Education Minister Christopher Pyne said.

“Direct applications to university are up 6.8 per cent on last year, 96 per cent of which are non-year 12 applicants.”

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