Articles from Grattan Blog
Since the early 1990s, higher education statistics have defined someone as of low socio-economic status if they are from a region classified in the lowest 25 per cent in Australia according to the ABS Index of Education and Occupation. Wouldn't it be better to pay more attention to areas that for whatever reason have low university participation rates, even if quirks of the Index of Education and Occupation formula give them SES ratings that disqualify them from low-SES rewards?
In 1987, for the first time in Australia’s history, more women than men were enrolled in higher education. Many things have changed in Australian higher education since but, as the figure below shows, the gender make-up of our university classrooms is not one of them. In 1989 – the first year for which reliable data were available – 71 per cent of teaching students were women; in 2016, the figure was 73 per cent. In nursing, it was 89 per cent in 1989 and 87 per cent three decades later.
Our latest research shows that lifting compulsory super contributions to 12 per cent would leave workers in Middle Australia poorer over their entire lifetimes – and that remains true under any plausible assumptions.
Policy makers need timely information to decide whether economic stimulus might be required. A new indicator based on the unemployment rate can help.