Young women already at 40% higher education attainment

The government has a target of 40% of 25-34 year olds holding a bachelor degree or above by 2025. Data released by the ABS today shows that for women the target has already been met for 25-29 year olds. But men are lagging well behind on 30%.

However the gender gap is much smaller if vocational education qualifications are included:

Men with upper-level vocational qualifications do ok, which makes it less clear that there is a need to boost male university participation.

  1. I’m sorry Andrew, can’t agree with at all.

    Firstly, you seem to support the notion that there is a general public policy need to get more people into university, which I think is fraught with danger. For example, if people want to boost the population holding bachelor degrees – then opening up a lemonade stand in Martin Place and dolling them out might do the trick!

    Yes, degrees, on their own count for nothing. They’re just pieces of paper. And like Fiat money – it’s what they’re worth, what they signal that counts. And as universities have spawned and governments have encouraged ever more students, surprise, surprise, quality has immeasurably declined. Instead of containing courses to those of intellectual value, new courses of extolling values of no real import – just simply to prolong the adolescence of sheltered kids – have popped up. But it aint just undergrad, some Phd thesis topics are really quite shocking, and when I was a tutor, I got asked by a lecturer not to be too hard on the marking – less those international students who barely write English don’t pass ! – and for that matter, most of the local ones too !

    Semantics aside, Australia does not need more mass produced graduates prolonging their adolescence and being a general drain on society; but my issue with the post doesn’t stop here. I keep saying that in the heads of academics, bureaucrats and left-wing pollies they have this mindset that people with degrees tend to earn more than not, so let’s get people more people to hold degrees and they will magically earn greater incomes. They particular adopt this thinking in analysing the supposed ‘gender gap’ – where they perversely seek to bend the curriculum, entrance scores, provide financial support, etc to pursue this apparent goal. But it doesn’t work – it’s completely flawed as these muppets can’t distinguish between causation and correlation. You can see it in practice, an uneducated truck driver in the Kimberly taking home $200K p.a. is massively doing better than some Art grad being a librarian at the local school.

    As for vocational qualifications – why do you need a piece of paper to say that you can cut someone’s hair, or cut down a tree, turn a screw, etc. It’s complete madness – which means I have no idea how we reach the conclusion of:

    ‘Men with upper-level vocational qualifications do ok, which makes it less clear that there is a need to boost male university participation.’

    So Andrew, my question is, what has doing ok with vocational qualifications got anything to do with university enrollments?

  2. Baz – I certainly don’t think that there is any need to set educational attainment targets. But do I share your implicit view that we need to take measures to push down the number of people enrolled in post-school education? I can’t see that the evidence for that proposition is very strong either. The last couple of chapters of my recent Grattan report have some of the relevant data.

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