Release type: Media Release


Gillard Government reforms deliver record number of degree qualified students


Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Official figures released today confirm the Australian Government is on track to achieve the 40 per cent bachelor degree attainment target.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said the Australian Bureau of Statistics report, Education and Work, showed 35 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds had attained a bachelor degree or higher in 2011, up one percentage point from last year.

“The 2011 milestone of 35 per cent has been achieved, and we are on course to reach the 2025 target of 40 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds attaining a bachelor degree or higher,” Senator Evans said.

"This is another example of how, during the transition to demand driven funding, more Australian students than ever before have had the opportunity of a university education as a result of the Government’s landmark higher education reforms.

“Government support for student places is estimated to grow from 488,000 in 2011 to 521,000 in 2015, which will help secure achievement of the 40 per cent attainment target.

“The Government is committed to skilling our future workforce, ready to meet the challenges of a modern, diverse economy.

“A university education is a ticket to greater career choice and to high skilled and high paid jobs.”

An additional 100,000 students are now attending university this year, with total Commonwealth-supported student places up by more than 22 per cent since 2007.

Total Government investment in higher education in 2011 is more than $12 billion – up more than 50 per cent since 2007.

The ABS publication Education and Work is available at