On a per-capita basis, Australia has more tertiary graduates than many of the world's leading developed nations.
Australia also ranks in the top three countries in the world for its tertiary gross completion ratio (i.e. the number of students completing university degrees as a proportion of the typical graduation age cohort of the population).
The wide variety of opportunities available in Australia's services sector, particularly in the knowledge-intensive professional, technical and financial services industries, are reflected in the fact that 45% of Australian students graduated with social science, business and law degrees in 2010.
According to the OECD, the scientific literacy of a country's students is an important determinant of the part that country will play in tomorrow's advanced technology industries. Australia's proportion of students who graduate with a science (including computer science) degree is higher than that of a number of other advanced nations.
|Country||Education2||Humanities and arts3||Social science, business and law4||Science5||Engineering, manufacturing and construction6|
|Country||Health and Welfare7||Services8||Other9||Total graduates||Total graduates per million population||Gross completion ratio10|
- Graduates from International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) levels 5 and 6. ISCED 5A programs generally equate to university undergraduate degrees, while ISCED 5B programs tend to be more vocationally-oriented. ISCED 6 programs lead to the award of an advanced research qualification and are not solely based on course-work.
- Includes teacher training and education science
- Includes religion and theology, foreign languages and cultures, native languages, interpretation and translation, linguistics, comparative literature, history, archaeology, philosophy, ethics. Fine arts, performing arts, graphic and audio-visual arts, design, and craft skills
- Includes social and behavioural science, journalism and information, business and administration, and law
- Includes life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics and statistics, and computer sciences
- Includes engineering and engineering trades, manufacturing and processing, and architecture and building
- Includes medicine, medical services, nursing, dental services, social care, and social work
- Includes personal services, transport services, environmental protection and security services
- Includes agriculture, forestry, fishing, veterinary medicine, and unspecified programs
- Gross completion ratio refers to all graduates in ISCED 5A programs (first degree) as a percentage of the population of the theoretical graduation age for that level of program
- 2010 data
- 2009 data
Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Public Reports: Education Statistics, 2013