Release type: Media Release


Strong growth in Indigenous participation in higher education


The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Education

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students engaging in higher education has grown by 32.5 per cent under the Coalition Government.

According to the 2018 Student Data report released today:

  • The number of Indigenous students increased to 19,935 last year up from 15,043 in 2014.
  • The number of women studying STEM-related courses increased by 10.3 per cent to 110,370 in 2018, with the number of domestic women studying STEM increasing by 3.6 per cent.
  • Australia continues to be a destination of choice for international students, with enrolments in higher education institutions growing 11.3 per cent last year.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said more work was needed to improve access to higher education for regional and remote Australians.

"Our Government is focussing on improving educational outcomes for all Australians, no matter their background or where they live," Mr Tehan said.

"Our Government has made graduate employment outcomes, student success, student experience and participation of Indigenous, low socio-economic status, and regional and remote students the key metrics of our performance-based funding model to sharpen the focus of the sector on making improvements in those areas.

"The strong growth in overseas students is proof that Australia continues to offer a high-quality education. International education is our number one services export. It generated $35 billion for our economy and supported 240,000 jobs last year."

The Selected Higher Education Statistics – 2018 Student Data is available online at