Returns to education for those returning to education: evidence from Australia

Jenny CHESTERS, Louise WATSON

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    There is widespread support for expanding access to universities for under-represented groups, such as students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and older students, because of the higher rates of return to university degrees. This study examines whether this assumption holds true for mature-aged graduates who have received their degrees in an era of mass participation. Using data from Australia, where around a quarter of university students are now over 25 years of age, the returns to higher education of mature-aged and younger graduates between 2001 and 2009 were compared. It was found that mature-aged graduates are more likely to reside in less-advantaged areas and to be the first person in their family to attend university but are less likely to be employed in the year before graduation, compared to younger graduates. However, in the year after graduation, employment status and earnings do not differ significantly for graduates regardless of their age at graduation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1634-1648
    Number of pages15
    JournalStudies in Higher Education
    Volume39
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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