Advocacy - Independent Tertiary Education Sector Snapshot

The independent tertiary education and training sector plays an increasingly important role in supporting individuals to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to meet their career aspirations and to continue to develop the skills required to transition in line with the contemporary skills needs of Australia’s businesses.

A landmark piece of research published by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) showcases the importance of the education and training offered by the ITECA membership.

Vocational Education & Training ―

The independent sector educates more students than any other education sector. This is reflected in student enrolment numbers with approximately 60 per cent of the 4.23 million vocational education and training (VET) students opting to study with an independent VET provider in 2017.

There are around 3,700 VET providers currently registered with government of which 77% are independent VET providers.

Higher Education ―

Independent universities and independent higher education providers delivered training to 143,960 students in 2017; a growth of approximately 10% since 2015, suggesting students are seeking higher education opportunities in the independent sector.

There are around 173 higher education providers of which 42 are universities, 12 are public TAFE colleges and the remainder independent higher education providers of which more than half are ITECA members.

International Education Exports ―

International education is also vital to Australia’s export revenues, cultural diversity and international relations. International education earned Australia $32.4 billion in FY2017-18, with independent providers responsible for 68 per cent of international VET enrolments.

Overall satisfaction with the independent sector is high, with 86.3 per cent of 2017 independent VET provider graduates satisfied with the quality of their training. Students studying at independent higher education providers in 2017 reported higher satisfaction than universities with the entire educational experience as well as skills development, teaching quality, student support and learner engagement. In 2017, independent VET providers delivered training to 65 per cent of the total number of students from equity groups.

Further Information ―

To find out more about the ITECA State of The Sector Report, follow us on Twitter at or Facebook at . Alternatively, send an email to or telephone 1300 421 017.

The information on this page is available for use under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution non-derivatives international license.

ITECA Reference ―