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Expenditure on Education and Training in Australia 2017

Expenditure on Education and Training in Australia 2017 image

Preschool, school and higher education all experienced an increase in expenditure, whilst that directed toward Vocational Education and Training was five per cent lower in 2015-16 than in 2005-06.

The report, Expenditure on education and training in Australia 2017 Update and analysis, provides a national picture of expenditure across each stage of learning – from the early years, through to school and tertiary education.  It suggests that ad hoc, piecemeal spending across the system, means governments are not looking at Australia's education system as a whole when deciding reforms. 

Drawing on analysis of data included in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Government Finance Statistics 2015-16.1, the report comments on the total operating expenditure on education and training by government (Commonwealth, State/Territory and local governments), as well as public entities such as government schools, TAFEs and public universities. Included in this analysis is government expenditure paid to private providers.

The report showed expenditure in the VET sector has declined dramatically, to below levels seen over 10 years earlier in real terms. From 2005-06 to 2015-16, national expenditure fell by 4.7 per cent, or $280 million, when adjusted for inflation. Some of the decline in VET expenditure over this period has been offset by increasing Commonwealth Government outlays to training providers through VET FEE-HELP. However, at the same time the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform expired on 30 June 2017. This has been replaced by the Skilling Australians Fund, which has been allocated between $350 and $390 million each year from 2017-18.4 It has yet to receive any funding through the proposed levy on firms employing skilled migrants (to be implemented from 1 January 2018).

To read more, you can view the original report from the Mitchell Institute.

Date posted Jan 10, 2018

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