This report investigates the social demography, learning outcomes and educational experiences of students enrolled in two distinct modes of higher education delivery in Australia – university programs delivered through third party arrangements, and higher education courses delivered by non-university higher education institutions (NUHEIs). In short, the research examines equity at and beyond the boundary of Australian universities.
University courses delivered through third party arrangements – particularly those that involve sub-contracting and franchising of program delivery – are not provided directly by public universities, and can therefore be considered as residing at the boundary of the public university. Programs delivered by NUHEIs are positioned definitively beyond the boundary of the Australian public university.
Our research examines the equity group participation, retention and success rates – as well as the educational experiences – of students within these two domains of delivery. While maintaining a particular focus on students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds, we analyse and present data on five of the six nationally recognised equity groups within higher education, including Indigenous students, students with a disability, and students from low SES, regional and non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB).