The IRU’s analysis of regional enrollment data has been covered in a Times Higher Education story:
Australia’s freezing of teaching funding has put an end to a growth spurt in higher education in rural areas, universities have warned.
Newly compiled figures suggest that the country’s demand-driven admissions system had been living up to its promise of generating opportunities in the bush, with the number of students being taught in regional areas rising by 12 per cent in the scheme’s first five years.
However, this was less than the 20 per cent growth in metropolitan delivery. And in an ironic twist, the effective recapping of student numbers that is the consequence of a two-year funding freeze announced in December is expected to hit the regions harder than the cities.
The new figures were assembled from unpublished institutional data by the Innovative Research Universities group, which has seven members across Australia. Unlike public statistics, which detail the proportion of students who come from regional areas, the new data reveal the share of higher education delivery that takes place outside major cities.
IRU said that regional delivery was crucial because appetite for higher education was lower there than it was in the cities.