The number of students enrolled in government-funded courses in Australia decreased by 6.1% in the first nine months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, according to the 2 March 2023 report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).
The NCVER report, “Government-funded students and courses – January to September 2022,” covers enrolment data from January to September 2022. The enrolment drop was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic’s significant disruptions to the Australian education sector.
Despite the decline, more than a million students pursued VET, most opting for nationally recognised qualifications, particularly in training package qualifications.
A total of 1,055,585 students were enrolled in government-funded courses, including 1,026,450 students in nationally recognised training and 52,200 students in non-nationally recognised training.
The recent NCVER report also provides insights into the current trends and patterns in government-funded education in Australia.
Significant Insights into Government-Funded Students and Courses for January to September 2022
Out of the 1,026,450 government-funded students enrolled in nationally recognised VET courses, the majority (83.2%) studied training package qualifications. Accredited qualifications and training package skill sets accounted for 7.9% and 2.6% of enrolments, respectively. Locally developed skill sets and courses comprising at least one nationally recognised and stand-alone subject included 7.3% and 1.7% of registrations.
The report also revealed 1,245,845 government-funded programme enrolments in Australia, with 90.2% in nationally recognised programmes. Of these, 84.5% were in qualifications, 5.6% were in training package skill sets and accredited courses, 6.9% were in locally developed programmes, and 2.9% were in non-nationally recognised programmes.
Of the 84.5% of government-funded programme enrolments in Australia in nationally recognised qualifications, 77.3% were in training package qualifications, and 7.2% were in accredited qualifications. The most popular level of education for government-funded nationally recognised qualification enrolments was Certificate III, accounting for 50.1% of signups, followed by Certificate IV, which accounted for 20.0% of registrations.
The report also showed that TAFE institutes remained the most extensive training provider, with 53.5% of all government-funded students enrolled in their courses. However, this represents a significant decline of 8.3% from the same period in 2021, highlighting the challenges faced by the public vocational education sector amid funding cuts and competition from private providers.
Other government providers, such as schools and universities, saw a 14.4% decrease in enrolments, while community education providers experienced a 3.3% decline. Private training providers, on the other hand, only experienced a moderate reduction of 3.1%, with 34.7% of government-funded students enrolled in their courses. Other training providers, which include enterprises, industry associations, and not-for-profit organisations, saw a 1.4% decline.
Engineering and Society & Culture Top Choices for VET Students in Australia
The following data shows the number of enrolments in government-funded programmes by field of education in Australia from January to September for the years 2021 and 2022:
|Field of Education||January-September 2021 Enrolments||January-September 2022 Enrolments|
|Engineering and related technologies||197,050||206,085|
|Society and culture||212,615||185,410|
|Mixed field programmes||156,015||149,220|
|Management and commerce||149,580||144,540|
|Architecture and building||116,720||122,095|
|Food, hospitality, and personal services||81,600||79,405|
|Agriculture, environmental and related studies||38,530||35,345|
|Natural and physical sciences||10,535||11,450|
|No field of education||149,585||104,310|
One notable trend in NCVER’s data is the decrease in students enrolled in the “no field of education” category, from 149,585 in 2021 to 104,310 in 2022. This suggests that more students are enrolling in specific fields of study rather than remaining undecided.
Another trend in the data is the increase in the number of students enrolled in Engineering and related technologies, from 197,050 in 2021 to 206,085 in 2022, which could indicate a growing demand for professionals with skills and knowledge in this field, potentially due to the increasing need for technology-driven solutions across various industries.
On the other hand, the Society and culture field saw a decrease in enrolments from 212,615 in 2021 to 185,410 in 2022, suggesting a shift in student interest toward other fields of study.
Mixed field programmes, Management and commerce, and Health also saw a slight reduction in enrolments, possibly due to changes in student interests or a decline in job opportunities in these fields.
Architecture and building and Education fields both saw an increase in enrolments, indicating a potential growth in professional demand. The rise in education enrolments could also be related to Australia’s growing demand for qualified teachers.
Enrolments in Food, Hospitality, Personal Services, and Creative Arts fields both saw a slight decrease, which could indicate a shift in student interests or a change in job market trends.
Enrolments in Agriculture, Environmental, and related studies and Information Technology also dropped, potentially indicating a decline in student interest or job opportunities.
Finally, natural and physical sciences enrolments increased from 10,535 in 2021 to 11,450 in 2022, suggesting growing interest in these fields of study.
Overall, the data suggest that enrolments in different fields of education in Australia are influenced by various factors such as changing job market demands, student interests, and funding opportunities. Stay ahead of the competition and be aware of the latest updates, changes, and upcoming events in the VET industry that may impact your training business.
What the NCVER Report Means for RTOs
With the latest NCVER report, Registered Training Organizations (RTOs) can:
- Analyse the report to identify current trends and patterns in government-funded education in Australia.
- Adjust their VET offerings and programmes to meet the changing demand of the market.
- Adapt to the changing market conditions and gain an advantage over competitors.
- Determine the fields of education currently in demand and adjust their course offerings to meet the demand.
Keep in stride with the latest VET updates and trends.
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