Outcome 2: Excel through knowledge

Promote growth in economic productivity and social wellbeing through access to quality higher education, international education, and international quality research, skills and training.

Enable the delivery of quality higher education, international education and research that contributes to Australia’s society and the global economy.

Our performance highlights

Increased participation in higher education by previously under‑represented groups

Figure 2.9: Domestic undergraduate students (Table A and B providers) by equity group, 2015

Figure 2.9 illustrates that the number in all categories, number of students have increase since 2006 (students from a non‑English speaking background, students with disability, Indigenous Low SES (postcode measure 2006 SEIFA), Low SES (postcode measure 2011 SEIFA), regional/remote (2006 MCEETYA), regional/remote (2011 ASGS) and all domestic undergraduate students)
Figure 2.9: Domestic undergraduate students (Table A and B providers) by equity group, 2015

Programs and policies that broaden access to higher education have driven a disproportionate increase in participation by people from identified equity groups. These programs include the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), the demand driven system of higher education, and the Higher Education Disability Support Program.

As shown in Figure 2.9, between 2011 and 2015 the number of domestic undergraduate students increased from 611,559 to 729,076, an increase of 19.2 per cent over five years. In that time the number of low socioeconomic status (low SES) students grew from 103,372 to 129,620 (an increase of 25.4 per cent), the number of students with disability grew from 30,597 to 44,907 (an increase of 46.8 per cent) and the number of Indigenous students grew from 8,558 to 11,853 (an increase of 38.5 per cent).

Driving quality learning through informed student choice

The greatest driver of quality in the higher education sector is competition for students between higher education institutions. To drive quality in higher education and support informed student choice, prospective students require transparent and comparable information about institutions and course quality, and graduate employment outcomes.

The Quality Indicators in Learning and Teaching (QILT) website was launched in September 2015 to provide students and families with clear information about the quality of study options, including data indicators that measure student and graduate satisfaction with their educational experience and graduate labour market outcomes.

One of the data sources underpinning the QILT website is the Student Experience Survey (SES)‑the only comprehensive survey of current higher education students in Australia. More than 145,000 first and later year undergraduate students, from all Australian universities and around 40 non university higher education institutions, participated in the 2015 SES. The response rate increased in 2015 to 38 per cent of students sampled (from 30 per cent in 2014). The SES reports on student satisfaction with elements of their higher education experience known to be important for quality learning outcomes. In 2015, 80 per cent of students were satisfied with their entire educational experience.

Figure 2.10: Total students sampled and response rate to the 2015 Student Experience Survey

Figure 2.10 illustrates statistics included in text
Figure 2.10: Total students sampled and response rate to the 2015 Student Experience Survey

Figure 2.11: Student satisfaction and participation in the 2015 Student Experience Survey

Figure 2.11 States that the satisfaction levels for all focus levels have remained stable for the past two years, with overall satisfaction consistently high at 80%. It illustrates the level of satisfaction in the following areas ‑ skills development 81%, learner engagement 60%, teaching quality 82%, student support 72% and learning resources 86%. There were no notable changes in the results for any SES focus area between 2014 and 2015
Figure 2.11: Student satisfaction and participation in the 2015 Student Experience Survey

Increased participation in science and maths

The number of students undertaking domestic undergraduate enrolments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses has increased by more than 44,000 or 38 per cent since 2009, faster than the overall growth in domestic undergraduate enrolments of 30 per cent. Domestic undergraduate enrolments in natural and physical sciences have increased by 26,000 or 47 per cent, in information technology by 7,000 or 39 per cent and in engineering by 12,000 or 26 per cent. Slower growth in engineering enrolments could be associated with the end of the resources boom.

Figure 2.12: Numbers of domestic undergraduate students enrolled in STEM courses in Table A and Table B higher education providers, 2009‑2015

Figure 2.12 illustrates the increase in student numbers in engineering and related technology, information technology, and natural and physical sciences (including mathematics) over the period 2009 to 2015
Figure 2.12: Numbers of domestic undergraduate students enrolled in STEM courses in Table A and Table B higher education providers, 2009‑2015

Note: Table A and Table B providers as listed under the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Growth in students completing higher degrees by research

Research block grants support the research training of higher degree by research (HDR) students. There has been significant growth (40 per cent) in the number of HDR students completing their courses from 2008 (7163) to 2015 (10,021). The research block grants support HDR students by providing tuition fee support and a living stipend. Research block grant funding is provided to universities using performance based funding formulae, which includes HDR course completions as a performance measure.

Figure 2.13: Number of higher degree by research students completing their degrees, 2008‑2015

Figure 2.13 illustrates an increase in completing students between 2008 and 2015 (referred to in text)
Figure 2.13: Number of higher degree by research students completing their degrees, 2008‑2015

Sustained university research performance

Sustained university research performance has been demonstrated through an increase in research income earned and research publications. For 2014 universities reported $3.74 billion in Australian competitive grants research income, other public sector, industry and other research income, and Cooperative Research Centre research income, compared to $3.56 billion in the previous year (see Figure 2.14). There has also been growth of four per cent in research publications produced by Australian universities in 2014, compared with the previous year2.

The department supported university research capacity through the provision of $1.83 billion in research block grant funding in 2015‑16. This funding plays a key role in underpinning university research performance by supporting institutional costs of conducting research, building research capacity and training the next generation of researchers.


2 Comparison includes journal articles, book, book chapter, and proceedings papers from Incites™, © 2016 Thomas Reuters.

Figure 2.14: Total research income reported by Table A and Table B higher education providers

Figure 2.14 illustrates an increase in total research income over the period 2008 to 2014
Figure 2.14: Total research income reported by Table A and Table B higher education providers

Source: Higher education research data collection (HERDC)

Increased international student satisfaction with studying and living in Australia

Figure 2.15: International student satisfaction with studying and living in Australia, 2014

Figure 2.15 illustrates statistics included in text
Figure 2.15: International student satisfaction with studying and living in Australia, 2014

The department funds a biennial national survey of international students studying higher education, vocational education and training, school and English language courses.

The latest survey, in 2014, of more than 50,000 students across Australia found that 87 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied with their study experience and 89 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied with their living experience in Australia. This was an improvement on the previous survey scores in 2012 (86 per cent studying; 88 per cent living).

High quality policy advice to government on higher education matters

In 2015‑16 the department led or undertook consultations with stakeholders aimed at strengthening the quality of our advice to government on options for the higher education sector. 

Consultations with various stakeholders, including a ministerial‑led roundtable held in August 2015 at Parliament House, helped develop the National Strategy for International Education 2025.

The department reviewed 32 written submissions from stakeholders on exposure drafts for legislative amendments to streamline the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework. The Parliament passed changes to the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, which came into effect in December 2015. The changes streamline regulation, remove duplicative requirements and cut red tape in the ESOS framework, without compromising Australia’s strong student protections or reputation as a world‑class destination for international students. 

The department continued to support the Minister for Education and Training to consult on higher education reform. The policy options paper, Driving Innovation, Fairness and Excellence in Australian Higher Education, was released on 3 May 2016. Submissions closed on 25 July 2016.

On 7 July 2015, the then Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, appointed Dr Ian Watt AC to conduct the Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements. An extensive consultation process took place over a period of four months to inform the review’s recommendations. On 6 May 2016 the Government announced it had accepted all 28 recommendations to strengthen Australia’s research system, improve collaboration between universities and business, and translate research outcomes into economic and social benefits. 

In May 2015 the Government commissioned the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) to undertake the Review of Australia’s Research Training System. The review aimed to help ensure that Australia’s research training system is truly world‑class and capable of underpinning our capacity for learned inquiry, innovation and productivity. The review consulted extensively with stakeholders in mid to late 2015 and reported in April 2016.

Our analysis 

The department continued to work in partnership with universities and other higher education institutions, to promote a world‑class tertiary education system that is fair, sustainable and provides a quality education for all students. The department also focused on increasing collaboration between universities and industry to ensure Australia’s publicly funded research efforts are translated into commercial outcomes. 

The Government played a key role in progressing key initiatives to promote a world‑class tertiary education system and research sector that are innovative, competitive and globally connected. However, barriers to achieving our goals still exist.

Higher education

One of these barriers is the incentives in the current funding system that may encourage universities to enrol students in bachelor degrees at the expense of other types of qualifications (in either the higher education or vocational education and training sectors). In addition to the need for the sector to be fiscally sustainable, the Government is working towards ensuring that the funding system enables students to have the opportunity to enrol in the university course that most suits their abilities and needs.

As set out in the policy options paper, Driving Innovation, Fairness and Excellence in Australian Higher Education, Australian higher education providers need to be held accountable and meet national standards, particularly to be eligible for government subsidies and to be able to offer student loans. Our tertiary education system must be affordable. Individuals and the country as a whole benefit from the higher education system. A sustainable system needs to strike the right balance between public and private contributions, while ensuring that up‑front barriers to participation are minimised.

The demand driven system (progressively introduced from 2009), has strengthened participation in higher education and is building Australia’s workforce skills by giving universities the opportunity to adjust their course offerings in light of student and employer demand for different skills. In 2015 more than 1,410,000 students were enrolled in higher education. This represents a 2.7 per cent increase compared with 2014, or approximately 35,000 additional students. In 2015, 26.6 per cent of 15‑64 year olds had attained a bachelor degree or higher level qualification.3

The proportion of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds increased to 17.7 per cent in 2015. More remains to be done to further increase participation. An evaluation of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program will inform efforts to increase higher education participation and success by people from disadvantaged backgrounds in future.

The continued provision of income contingent loans through the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), which aims to remove the up‑front cost barriers to tertiary education and training, is also contributing to increased enrolments in tertiary education and training. The sustainability of the scheme requires that all students who are able to repay their HELP debt do so. Compulsory repayment of the debt commences once an individual’s HELP repayment income is at or above the minimum repayment threshold, which was $54,126 in the 2015‑16 income year. Voluntary repayments may also be made at any time.

In 2015‑16 legislation was amended to recover HELP debts from Australians who move overseas. From 1 July 2017, all debtors will be required to make repayments if their total Australian and foreign sourced income exceeds the minimum repayment threshold. Recovering student loan debt from Australians living overseas is fairer for both debtors and taxpayers. This brings obligations for overseas residents in line with debtors who remain in Australia, by using the same repayment thresholds and rates for all debtors regardless of where they choose to live and work. This is expected to save taxpayers more than $150 million over the next 10 years. The additional repayments will help reduce the overall rate of student loan debt not expected to be repaid and contribute to the sustainability of Australia’s student loan schemes.


3 ABS, 2015, Education and Work, cat no. 6227.0.

Research

The National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), announced on 7 December 2015, provides a framework for initiatives that aim to increase collaboration between universities and industry and other research end‑users, including new research block grant funding arrangements and the assessment of engagement and impact. Two major research‑related reviews were also completed in 2015‑16: the Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements and the Review of Australia’s Research Training System. Both reviews identified approaches to increasing university research engagement with industry and other end‑users and to improving research training arrangements. While these initiatives are critical steps, they will only be fully effective if universities implement strategies that drive the behaviour of senior academic leaders and put in place appropriate incentives to improve the performance of their researchers and research managers.

The Government provided $1.83 billion to strengthen research and research training at eligible higher education providers. Research block grant funding underpins a strong university research system and allows higher education providers autonomy in deciding which projects, personnel, equipment and infrastructure to support across their research and research training activities. Additional funding announced in the 2015‑16 Budget continued support for major research infrastructure that underpins world‑class research activity in Australia through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). This funding will continue to support the operations of the 27 projects and facilities currently in the NCRIS network to 30 June 2017.

To ensure these projects translate into commercial outcomes, and in response to the Government’s Boosting the Commercial Returns from Research strategy, the department introduced the requirement for the development of an industry engagement plan by facilities and projects currently in the NCRIS network to foster greater collaboration.

International

In 2015 Australia’s international student numbers and export earnings continued to grow in an increasingly competitive international environment, with Australia hosting over half a million students, and total export earnings from educational services of $19.4 billion. In the OECD report Education at a Glance 2015, Australia was the third most popular destination for tertiary international students, behind only the United States of America and the United Kingdom. 

Australia’s success in attracting international students is a result of enhancing student protections in legislation, robust interconnected regulatory systems, and ongoing delivery of high quality learning, teaching and research. In December 2015 the legislation governing international education was amended to create a more seamless system for institutions, by streamlining international registration, monitoring and quality assurance processes. The measure reduced red tape and allowed national quality assurance agencies to better target poor practice by institutions. 

Student protections were enhanced through a strengthening of the Tuition Protection Service Director’s powers to require institutions to report on their activities. This, in combination with the National Strategy for International Education 2025 (released in April 2016), will ensure Australia continues to provide a world‑class education experience for all students.

The National Strategy provides a framework for the Australian international education community to work together to achieve common goals, including strengthening connections domestically and internationally and increasing global partnerships. The implementation of the National Strategy will boost community awareness of the social, cultural and economic benefits that international students bring to Australia and enhance the international student experience through greater community engagement.

Our priorities

Embracing new ideas in innovation and science

NISA comprises 24 measures designed to support research, incentivise innovation and entrepreneurship, reward risk taking, and promote science, maths and computing in schools. In 2015‑16 the department progressed implementation of four NISA measures that are our responsibility:

  • sharper incentives for engagement to drive greater research‑industry collaboration through the streamlining of research block grants and increased financial incentives to encourage universities to engage with industry and other end‑users of research
  • Australia’s first national assessment of engagement and impact in university research, to assess the economic, social and other benefits of research and universities’ engagement with industry and other end­‑users‑this work is being progressed jointly with the Australian Research Council (ARC)
  • ongoing support for NCRIS to meet operational needs associated with national research infrastructure and the development of a new National Research Infrastructure Roadmap
  • key elements of the Inspiring all Australians in digital literacy and STEM measure.

Strengthening Australia’s research system 

The Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements (the Watt review) identified opportunities to enhance the contribution that research in universities plays in building Australia’s capacity for innovation, productivity and growth. Its recommendations seek to ensure the world‑class research undertaken by the higher education system in Australia is translated into economic advantage. The review was undertaken by Dr Ian Watt AC between July 2015 and November 2015. Dr Watt was assisted by a group of eminent experts drawn from the higher education sector.

The review report and a volume of case studies on university‑business collaboration were published on 4 December 2015. On 6 May 2016 the Government announced it accepted all the review’s recommendations to strengthen Australia’s research system, improve collaboration between universities and business, and translate research outcomes into economic and social benefits. These actions build on the measures announced as part of NISA. 

On 14 April 2016 the Minister released the report of the Review of Australia’s Research Training System, which was undertaken by ACOLA. The review aimed to ensure Australia’s research training system is capable of underpinning our capacity for learned inquiry, innovation and productivity, and consider ways to better develop research graduates with capability to work with industry. The review aligned strongly with the recommendations of the Watt review and included 11 key findings and six recommendations that highlight areas for improvement in the HDR training system. 

Expanding access to higher education

Driving innovation, fairness and excellence

On 3 May 2016 the Government released a policy options paper, Driving Innovation, Fairness and Excellence in Australian Higher Education. The paper sets out the Government’s broad vision for higher education, and reinforces the ongoing need for savings to address budget repair, while making higher education fairer and more internationally competitive. The department is continuing to support the Government as it works closely with all stakeholders to inform a revised higher education reform package to be finalised and legislated, for commencement from 2018.

Equity and access programs

Since 2011, programs and policies that broaden access to higher education have driven a disproportionate increase in participation by people from under‑represented groups including:

  • Indigenous Australians
  • people from non‑English speaking backgrounds
  • people with disabilities
  • people from low socioeconomic status (low SES) backgrounds
  • people from regional and remote locations.

These programs include the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, the demand driven system of higher education, the Higher Education Disability Support Program, and targeted Indigenous higher education initiatives.

Accelerating Indigenous higher education

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council provided advice to the Government on improving the participation and success of Indigenous Australians in higher education. Five areas were identified, which form the basis of current policy priorities:

  • growing the Indigenous academic workforce
  • increasing Indigenous participation in a broader range of disciplines focusing initially on STEM and business
  • facilitating development of a whole of university approach
  • working towards stronger alignment across policy priorities
  • developing a framework for assessing performance at a system level.

The department is working with universities and representative bodies, such as Universities Australia, Deans’ councils and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium, to progress these priority actions.

Improving regulation of higher education providers and courses

The department continued to support the delivery of high quality higher education through improvements to the regulation of higher education providers and courses. A new Higher Education Standards Framework was created in October 2015 by legislative instrument‑the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015. This followed an extensive review of the 2011 standards by the Higher Education Standards Panel. The revised standards will be used by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) from 1 January 2017 to assess applications for registration and re‑registration of higher education providers. It will also be used to accredit higher education courses by TEQSA and by those providers with self‑accrediting authority.

The new standards are structured to align with the operational characteristics of a typical higher education provider. This will enable the standards to be readily adopted as the basis for providers’ own internal monitoring, reporting and governance activities. TEQSA should then be better equipped to use the internal reports and information produced during providers’ normal business operations as evidence of compliance. This will further reduce the red tape burden of TEQSA assessments and complements TEQSA’s risk‑based approach to standards compliance monitoring and assessment.

Sustaining the growth and excellence of Australian international education

International education is one of five super growth sectors set to drive Australia’s future economic prosperity. The National Strategy for International Education 2025 sets a national framework for the continued success of Australian education around the world and is the result of extensive consultation led by the department. The national strategy is part of the Government’s plan to support Australia’s transition from commodities to a knowledge‑based economy. It builds on the strengths of Australia’s education and training system and world‑leading regulatory and quality assurance frameworks to ensure our education remains globally attractive.
Increasing capabilities of domestic students in mathematical sciences

The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) Vacation Schools and Scholarships four‑year project (2012‑2016) aims to increase the capability of Australian domestic students in mathematical sciences. The project seeks to inspire students to continue their studies to advanced levels in preparation for research careers and specialist roles in industry, as well as contributing to their current studies and research projects.

The domestic student participation target was achieved across all AMSI project activities, including the participation of at least one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student per project year. Average female participation across all AMSI project activities was 27 per cent, higher than female participation in the mathematical sciences for the whole university sector (20 per cent).

The BioInfoSummer symposiums achieved the highest participation rates of female students. In 2015‑16, close to half (46 per cent) of participants at the symposium were female, the highest female participation level recorded for all AMSI project activities, in all years (Figure 2.16).

Figure 2.16: Female participation in the AMSI Vacation Schools and Scholarships project by activity and year

Figure 2.16 illustrates that BioInfoSummer had the largest female participation across all years
Figure 2.16: Female participation in the AMSI Vacation Schools and Scholarships project by activity and year

Universities taking the lead on STEM partnership projects

Funding of $21.6 million over the past four years under the Australian Maths and Science Partnerships Program (AMSPP) has supported 22 university‑led outreach projects with schools and other groups to improve school student engagement in maths and science. Projects focused on:

  • building the theoretical and academic skills of school teachers to deliver maths and science subjects
  • increasing the number of school students undertaking maths and science subjects to year 12
  • encouraging more students to study science, technology, engineering and maths courses at university.

AMSPP funding ended on 30 June 2016, project activities are ongoing until June 2018. One of the projects‑RMIT University’s Making Something out of Maths project.


EXCEL THROUGH KNOWLEDGE

Enable the delivery of quality higher education, international education and research that contributes to Australia’s society and the global economy.


Program 2.1 Commonwealth Grant Scheme

Contributes to the cost of educating all Commonwealth supported students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate degrees


Program 2.2 Higher Education Superannuation Program

Meets certain expenses for current and former university employees who are members of identified state government schemes


Program 2.3 Higher Education Support

Maintains and improves the quality of our higher education system and improves access to and the education outcomes for students; from disadvantaged backgrounds


Program 2.4 Higher Education Loan Program

Removes the up-front cost barriers to tertiary education and training in order to increase access and participation


Program 2.5 Investment in Higher Education Research

Supports the delivery of world-class research in Australia's universities, including the training of higher degree by research students


Program 2.6 Research Capacity

Increases the production, use and awareness of research knowledge and improves collaboration between government, industry and the research sector


Program 2.7 International Education Support

Supports the sustainable growth of Australia's high quality international education, training and research through strong government-to-government engagement and international mobility


Our program performance

Table 2.10: Program 2.1 Commonwealth Grant Scheme
DELIVERABLES ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Number of Commonwealth supported domestic undergraduate placesa 569,400 568,348 
Number of Commonwealth supported domestic postgraduate coursework placesa 38,700 38,032
Number of enabling placesa 9,700 9,686;
Number of Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) medical placesa 13,100 13,074
Number of regional campuses under the CGS for which regional loading is applieda 46 46

a Data for this performance measure is for the 2015 calendar year.

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Number of domestic enrolments (full‑time equivalent)a 732,000 730,997
Number of domestic postgraduate enrolments (full‑time equivalent)a 125,000 124,551
Number of undergraduate completionsa 200,000 200,818
Number of postgraduate coursework completionsa 115,000 113,960

a Data for this performance measure is for the 2015 calendar year.

Table 2.11: Program 2.2 Higher Education Superannuation Program
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ESTIMATE ACTUAL
On time payments to eligible Table A universities 27 27
Table 2.12: Program 2.3 Higher Education Support
DELIVERABLES ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Number of learning and teaching citations and awards provided to higher education providers by the Promotion of Excellence in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PELTHE) program 184 179
Number of learning and teaching projects supported by PELTHE 58 59
Number of maths and science projects supported by the Australian Maths and Science Partnerships Program (AMSPP) 11 11
Number of maths and science educational activities supported by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) project 5 5

a Data for this performance measure is for the 2015 calendar year.

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Number of infrastructure projects supported by ‑ Education Investment Fund Regional Priorities Round and Structural Adjustment Fund (SAF) 10 10
Higher education graduates in full‑time employment within four months of completion of degree as a proportion of those available for work 66.4% 68.8%
Graduate starting salaries as a proportion of male average weekly earnings 74.0% 75.8%
Number of domestic undergraduate low SES enrolmentsa 139,000 135,859
Statistical Area Level 1 measure of the number of domestic undergraduates in low SESa 127,000 122,262
Proportion of higher education undergraduate students from a low SES backgrounda 18.1% 17.7%
Number of Indigenous students enrolled at funded institutionsa 15,100 15,480
Number of Indigenous completions at funded institutionsa 2,020 2,094
Number of Indigenous student enrolments by selected higher education course level categoriesa 15,500 16,108
Number of universities participating in AMSPP projects 19 19
Number of students participating in AMSI activities 313 396

a Data for this performance measure is for the 2015 calendar year.

Table 2.13: Program 2.4: Higher Education Loan Program
DELIVERABLES ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Number of Commonwealth supported places for which HECS‑HELP loans paid 522,700 520,606
Number of places for which FEE‑HELP loans paid 88,900 77,850
Number of OS‑HELP loans to assist students to undertake some of their course overseas 14,400 12,818
Number of SA‑HELP loans to assist students to pay their services and amenities fees 496,500 463,872
Number of places for which VET FEE‑HELP loans paid 225,900 196,108
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Average amount of debt ($) 19,100 19,400
Average number of years to repay debt 8.8 8.8
Proportion of new debt not expected to be repaid 19% 22%
Table 2.14: Program 2.5 Investment in Higher Education Research
DELIVERABLES ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Number of commencing Australian Postgraduate Awards allocateda Up to 3,500 3,497
Number of commencing International Postgraduate Research Scholarships allocateda 330 330

a Data for this performance measure is for the 2015 calendar year.

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Number of higher education providers receiving support for research 41 41
Number of higher education providers receiving support for research training 41 41
The equivalent full‑time student load supported by the Research Training Schemea 21,500 26,335
Number of higher degree by research student completionsa 9,200 10,021

a Data for this performance measure is for the 2015 calendar year.

Table 2.15: Program 2.6 Research Capacity
DELIVERABLES ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Number of research institutions supported by the Collaborative Research Networks (CRN) programa 12 11
Number of learned academies and associations supported under the Higher Education Research Promotion schemeb 6 6
Number of Australian Public Service agencies participating in National Security College (NSC) activitiesc 15 15

a One project was completed early, before 2015‑16 commenced.
b This includes the four learned academies, ACOLA and the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science.
c Actuals as at 31 December 2015 as reported in the NSC 2015 Annual Report.

 

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Number of partnerships supported by the CRN programa 20 23
Number of attendees participating in activities promoting research awarenessb 54,000 55,743
Number of research infrastructure projects established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy to offer services to the research sector 27 27
Number of Commonwealth participants in NSC courses 80 76
Number of participants in NSC courses 350 652

a Total number of institutions partnered with CRN lead entities in 2015‑16.
b Actuals as at 31 November 2015 as reported in the learned academies’ 2015 Annual Reports.

Table 2.16: Program 2.7 International Education Support
DELIVERABLES ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Number of projects and/or activities funded by the Increased Profile of Australian International Education Sector programa 2 6
Number of international scholarships, fellowships and exchange opportunities supported (Endeavour and mobility programs) 3,100 3,554

a Funding for this program ceased from 2015‑16. There are a small number of contractual funding commitments over the forward estimates.

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ESTIMATE ACTUAL
Proportion of international student survey respondents who are satisfied or very satisfied with studying in Australiaa >85% 87%
Proportion of international student survey respondents who are satisfied or very satisfied with living in Australiaa >80% 89%

a The reported actual is from the 2014 International Student Survey. The next biennial survey will be in 2016.